Former Manchester United defender Smalling is now living a great professional experience in Italy. He believes Italian and English football are different.
On August 30, 2019, Chris Smalling joined the Giallorossi. Roma’s sporting director Gianluca Petrachi finalized a great deal with Manchester United and brought home an experienced defender capable of changing Fonseca’s backline.
The 29-year-old from London did not arrive in the eternal city on vacation but he wants to achieve the club’s goals and prove he is a top player. Over the years, many English players have failed in Italian football. It is necessary to overcome several obstacles when changing lifestyles and city but Smalling is not worried about that.
The Englishman is pretty happy about his first few months in the Bel Paese. In a recent interview released to the official AS Roma website, Smalling spoke about a substantial difference between Italian and English football:
“They are not different in terms of facilities and schedule. But in terms of the games…there are a lot more teams playing with two central forwards who are causing you more problems.”
By focusing on the moves of a single striker, the backline can operate in a different way and eventually the fullback may be more prone to push forward. But when your opponents are playing with two men up-front, the centre-backs may be more in trouble.
“In England, often you have to deal with just one striker and the other defender can cover you. Here, instead, you can be left two vs two often,” said Chris Smalling.
Different football and different challenges for the talented Englishman. But Smalling is definitely enjoying his new professional adventure in the eternal city.