By 90Min
February 12, 2018

Newly appointed England Women's manager and former Manchester United defender Phil Neville has branded centre-back pairing Phil Jones and Chris Smalling 'a disaster' after Sunday's  1-0 defeat to Newcastle.

The Reds still sit second in the league and admittedly have a strong defensive record this season but this is not the first time the two England men have cone under criticism. 

A Matt Ritchie goal was enough to secure Newcastle an important victory and Neville was quick to point out that Smalling and Jones lack decisiveness and are both liabilities because of it. 

Dan Mullan/GettyImages

Speaking on Match of The Day 2 (via Goal.com), Neville said: ''They have got the best defensive record because they have the best goalkeeper in the world in David De Gea and Matic out in front who protects them really well.


''The last two away games. Smalling and Jones have been a disaster. Against Dele Alli and Harry Kane, they got bullied. They were making decisions all day where you were thinking, 'what are you doing?' They brought these two as the best young centre backs in England.''

Neville is not the only one to criticise the pair, with Smalling coming under particular scrutiny by fans on social media.

Smalling was lucky not to give away a penalty in Sunday's game when he seemed to commit a blatant trip on Dwight Gayle only for the ref to wave the appeals away. 


He then proceeded to perform a clear dive in the middle of the park and was rightly booked for diving. Funnily enough, this was the free-kick that led to the Newcastle goal, capping off a nightmare day for the 28-year-old.


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