You can imagine that any player who has to leave a football club due to a lack of playing time will feel some kind of resentment towards their former employer and the manager.
Usually that simply comes down to a lack of communication or honesty from a coach over their place in the squad, and it looks like that’s Chris Smalling’s main gripe with the way he left Man United.
He was speaking in an interview with The Telegraph about his move to Roma and the situation that led to his departure.
Smalling talked about dealing with a new centre back coming in every summer and he usually ended up as first choice so he wasn’t overly worried about Harry Maguire coming in, but he was surprised when he wasn’t even making the matchday squads under Solskjaer:
“As that season started I found myself not even on the bench which is something I have never experienced.
“I guess that was maybe the lowest point at United. That was the shock I didn’t expect. How it was handled… if I was told earlier that summer – and I don’t want to have a dig at Ole – I would have made other plans.”
He explains that he turned down interest from other clubs because he believed he was part of the first team plans, so it doesn’t reflect brilliantly on the coach if players are in the dark about their status.
One of United’s biggest problems is the bloating in the squad where average players are taking up first team salaries, so you wonder if other players have stayed due to the same reasons.
Obviously you need to keep some kind of squad depth to deal with injuries and fatigue, but you can see why Smalling has been left with a bitter taste in this situation.