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Mame Biram Diouf

How Many Chris Smallings Are Out There

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Was it just a case of him getting lucky and being spotted or was he genuinely levels above the rest and just slipped through the ranks. Always thought there are a bunch of players like him who play lower league football but never impress on the right day to a scout or play in a sh*t team so don't excel.

Anyone ever played with someone with raw talent who they felt could make it?

Chris must wake up every day thinking f*ck I am Manchester Utds 3rd choice centre back and air to Rio Ferdinand's throne

Guy is a real inspiration and he still seems humble aswel, the amount of criticism he got at Fulham and when we first signed him was disgraceful, anyone could see the raw talent was there but were blinded by him adapting to the league and getting used to the pace of the game and not going up against pub strikers every week. Technically he is excellent; can play the ball, play CB, RB and DM and can also make good runs and his crossing seems to be improving every game he is at right back. Still wish he was trailed before the CL final in the holding roll last season and possible given a chance.

Glad we didnt sign Smalling.

And was called more Wes Brown then Rio Ferdinand....

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The Rise And Rise of Chris Smalling

At the beginning of last season (2007-2008), Chris Smalling was playing for Maidstone United's youth team in the Ryman Youth League. The tall and talented central defender shone amongst his peer group and both he and his club Maidstone United were delighted at his progression to the first team where he made 11 Ryman League Premier Division appearances and 7 England Schoolboy appearances including a game at Wembley Stadium against Scotland.

Chris made the jump from youth to senior football seamlessly and in his first half a dozen or so games he was voted as Man of the Match by The Stones' supporters on four occasions. By the time that Chris had scored his first (and sadly only) goal for Maidstone in a 4-2 win away to East Thurrock United, it was apparent that a vast array of Football League scouts had noticed his ability.

With strong intrest from Premier Division Middlesbrough and attempts to entice Chris to both Charlton Athletic and Gillingham, Chris opted to sign for Roy Hodgson's Fulham on June 1st 2008. At one point it seemed a certainty that Chris would sign on for Gareth Southgate at The Riverside but despite being extensively "wined and dined" in the north-east he decided that it would be in his own personal and professional interests to join Fulham.

Chris was soon listed as a First Team "Develoment Squad" player and had early run outs in pre-season fixtures at some familiar grounds (eg Wheatsheaf Park, Staines!) Staff at Maidstone United were delighted to hear that by November 2008 that Chris had been made Captain of Fulham Reserves and press reports indicated that he was in excellent form against Tottenham Hotspur as he captained a side including Hungarian International Captain Zoltan Gera!

By January of this year Chris had began to travel with the Fulham first team and was an unused squad member at Villa Park. Fulham's much praised defensive unit had barely been changed by Roy Hodgson this season, as The Cottagers' good disciplinary record and lack of injuries to defensive players ensured that minimal change was required. However, Fulham were drawn away to Manchester United in the FA Cup and for once defensive unavailabilities meant that changes were needed. Chris Smalling was named as one of the seven permitted substitutes at The Theatre Of Dreams. Despite Roy Hodgson giving two youngsters their debuts that evening Chris did not manage to see any playing time.

With staff and supporters alike at Maidstone United following his progress intently, the news that was received this week was entirely unexpected. The England Under-20 squad to face Italy at Loftus Road was named and Chris Smalling was in the squad despite not yet having made his full Fulham debut!

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hes shitt

evans is worse thought

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From taking a close interest in non-league football since 2005. I'd say, there were loads of players like Smalling just waiting to be given a chance,

For instance Anthony Pilkington scored a hattrick against FC in either our first or second season (I can't remember which) he us now also plying his trade in the premiership. And he definitely wasnt the best player we came up against that season,

Mentality

The ability to show your true talent in the lower leagues/non leagues.

Determination.

Luck I.E the right scout coming to see your game an the rub of the green going for you that day.

All come into it,

At FC we've seen some amazing players slip down the leagues below us, an some go up,

Also seen some seemingly average ones go up into league football, some stay there, some come back down.

Loads of championship, League 1 or dare I say it Premiership level players in non league football.

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Anyone ever played with someone with raw talent who they felt could make it?

Marvin Morgan

marvin-morgan.jpg

Played with dude in the Wealdstone youth team, was always decent, wasn't surprised to see him make it, still think he could go a bit higher with a bit of luck.

A few others, some made it and are balls, some didn't and were good enough.

1 Yugoslavian kid called Rudi I played with for a local but well connected side, never seen anything like it in my life and my school were easily top 10 in England for football, we had nobody that good.

Only thing I could compare him to is a cross between Robin Van Persie and Cristiano Ronaldo, no shitting.

Ricky Hill used to come train us and took dude to Spurs, got thrown out for attitude but when he came bk he was telling me he was the best there and sh*t lol.

Personally believe I could of been better than Smalling, but his height must have been a major attraction, 6'4 Centre Backs don't grow on trees.

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theres loads, but the way football is structured in this country.....

shits all buddy buddy system when everything should be on merit

all you have to do is look at how managers get there jobs in the prem to see the state of things

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there are a lot but as ive stated earlier there are very few who havent been spotted earlier. Every Chris Smalling has been connected to an academy or at least been on a few trials at some point in their youth career. these guys arent hollywood zero to hero stars like people think

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Any way you wanna look at it coming from below the Conference is zero to hero.

Most guys below that level can only dream of playing higher up, whether they have had 2 weeks at Millwall age 11 with 60 other kids or whatever.

Drogba, Varney, Jay DeMerit, Albert Adomah, just some names that come to mind of recent footballers who weren't at academys and had/will have a promising career.

Smalling was in a different position as he was playing for the England youth set up, the chances of him being spotted were a lot higher when you are playing higher profile games and in a team of kids all at academys.

The fact he had a short spell at Millwall and was let go doesn't really mean much other than certain coaches decision making abilities to let go the talented ones, Tom Huddlestone, SWP, Smalling and give a full professional contract to kids who are playing lower than conference now or not playing at all anymore.

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Chris Smalling got lucky, not saying the potential/quality isn't there and what not but its more luck than anything.

A case like this in another country probably wouldn't even be highlighted. As dire as English players are right now there are some jems in the lower league that just don't get the rub of the green.

I know a few lads that should be playing ball at a good level and I know one who should be playing in the premiership somewhere.

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Football is just like any other competitive industry in the world.

Right connects, taking your opportunities, etc.

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what no one mentions is smalling was only at maidstone because he was homesick from middlesboro

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Plus he was playing for England(schools/college) which is huge exposure

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what no one mentions is smalling was only at maidstone because he was homesick from middlesboro

I think he left Maidstone to go Boro.

He was at Maidstone I think since 12.

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Any way a footballer intends to make it:

The Wayne Rooney straight through the Academy way,

The Drogba never played for a pro club till 18 way,

Or the Jermaine Beckford released from pro club come back up from non league way.

The years 18-23 are everything, NOTHING else matters other than how your football career develops in this time.

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My boy was on the bench for qpr on the weekend. 2 years ago we was playing together in the ryman league, not a player you would look at and say "omg he must be a pro one day" and dare I say it alot of opposition players and team mates rated me higher then him.

We both got our chances at bigger clubs, he took his(20 goals by december) and I got injured. The rest is history...

/

Loads of players down here that are technically good enough to play in the football league and some in the prem.

Everytime I see certain man pull on a premiership jersey I cry a little inside

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70% of the game is luck and about being spotted,

there was a group i used to play withat around 13/14, 2 of which were signed up, there was a least two other players who were by far better players,

just never played for a sunday league team who got scouts down, so missed out on being developed by a good set-up in the real formative years,........................

those other players did so by the time we were 19 it was clear to see what the coaching had done,

we've got a few players at FC who are almost too good for the league, I.E really like to get the ball down and play fancy passes tricks and flicks, and therefore will come off as looking shite as a lot of teams thrive on playing against this sort of player and kick them out of the game,

however when we went on our FA cup run and were playing league sides, they looked right at home, however i and the rest of the fans know what the lads are capable of, however a scout attending just the one game her and there will just forget all interest after the first bad seemingly abject performance.

in short even some seemingly sh*t players at Non-league would possibly look better at league clubs,

almost a case of styles make fights

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First time I saw Smalling was when he scored that OG on his debut for Fulham.

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not sure what your getting at, but ok.

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in short even some seemingly sh*t players at Non-league would possibly look better at league clubs,

almost a case of styles make fights

Real Talk.

1 of the most insightful comments I've seen in Sports room.

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Craig Mackail-Smith, came through the youth setup and got released by St Albans, found himself at Arlesey Town.

I know many in his position who have called it a day, 8 years later dude gets transferred for £3.25 Million.

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How could i forget, Ross Hannah is another one who's moved up,

Playing for Bradford now,

played against us a few times an i think im right in saying he scored on every occasion,

looked top quality and finally got what his quality deserved, easily good enough to be in the Championship imo

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My boy was on the bench for qpr on the weekend. 2 years ago we was playing together in the ryman league, not a player you would look at and say "omg he must be a pro one day" and dare I say it alot of opposition players and team mates rated me higher then him.

We both got our chances at bigger clubs, he took his(20 goals by december) and I got injured. The rest is history...

/

Loads of players down here that are technically good enough to play in the football league and some in the prem.

Everytime I see certain man pull on a premiership jersey I cry a little inside

Football is about knee-jerk reactions.

For an example you don't need a good year in non-league football just three good games you land yourself a trial@professional team or even two good months you get a transfer.

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Guy who went to my school (Karim) played at Crystal Palace and was their captain (played centre back) up until he went into the reserves, then they bought 2/3 defenders when they were promoted into the Premier League so that killed his development and he dropped back to conference level and went to University. Not sure if he's still playing now but he was a cut above by a long way at school - gutted it didn't work out for him as he was a lovely guy too.

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My boy was on the bench for qpr on the weekend. 2 years ago we was playing together in the ryman league, not a player you would look at and say "omg he must be a pro one day" and dare I say it alot of opposition players and team mates rated me higher then him.

We both got our chances at bigger clubs, he took his(20 goals by december) and I got injured. The rest is history...

Troy Hewitt?

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i went to school a guy who played a couple times for arsenal, there was a couple guys easily better than him but ended up on road/in prison

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