Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal now believes that England international Chris Smalling will one day be the skipper at Old Trafford. The Dutch boss who branded the 25-year-old superstar “stupid” last year for his performance in the Manchester derby at the Etihad, after being sent off, has now praised his centre-back.
It is surely due to the fact that the Englishman has now impressed this term and will be a first choice as the Red Devils go into this weekend’s Super Sunday showdown with City at home. The United boss said, “Wayne Rooney is the captain and so you don’t have to worry and then [vice-captain] Michael Carrick, but when they are gone, then Chris Smalling can do that, so I push him also in that situation. He has done it by himself. There is a lot of advice. It is about how we defend as a team. He is a part of that and I wanted him to speak. He also has the talent to speak. That makes him easy to coach. Because of that, I made him a leader of the team. He has made steps and also in a tactical way. When you give instruction in terms of organisation, you need someone to understand that. David de Gea has the best view and then the central defenders, so I demand of my defenders that they speak.“