Chris Smalling Disciplined for 3 a.m. Manchester United Songs in City Centre

Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2014

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Chris Smalling of Manchester United in action during the FA Cup with Budweiser Third round match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on January 5, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been punished by the club after he and a group of friends were found singing and chanting in the streets of Manchester in Saturday's early hours.

David Moyes is quoted by The Mirror's David McDonnell saying the injured defender has been disciplined, and that the issue has been dealt with: “I've dealt with it and I've spoken to Chris. That would be as much as I would want to say on it.”

Sang Tan/Associated Press

The official Manchester Evening News Twitter account revealed on Saturday afternoon the details of the incident in question, which occurred the morning of the Red Devils' 2-0 win at West Ham United:

Smalling hasn't featured in a Premier League fixture since the 3-0 victory over West Brom on March 8, but it's crucial the 24-year-old doesn't limit his involvement unnecessarily during such an important part of the campaign.

On Saturday, Michael Carrick was once again forced to fill in at centre-back alongside Phil Jones. Jonny Evans is currently sidelined due to injury, Nemanja Vidic was suspended and Rio Ferdinand continues to be used sparingly at this late stage of his career.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Oliver Kay of The Times does find Manchester United's tendency to unearth recurring injuries among their defenders odd, Smalling being among that number:

Smalling's unprofessional amount of confidence comes with peculiar timing when one considers the chants reported usually come with a side rising high on a wave of fortune.

That is something United certainly have not been this season, and Smalling, who arrived at Old Trafford in 2010, has seen far happier times during his three-and-half-year stay so far.

That being said, after the club managed to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Olympiakos and book their place opposite Bayern Munich in this season's Champions League quarter-finals, there is some area in which the centre-back can be cheerful.

Moyes wouldn't appear quite as understanding on the matter, and just as Sir Alex Ferguson did during his 26-year tenure at the helm, he dealt with the matter in a swift and proper manner.

With just eight league fixtures remaining on United's calendar, including Tuesday's high-stakes Manchester derby, now is the time for United's stars to hold off on any more unwarranted celebrations.