Manchester United have the Possession of Barça, but the Attacking of Stoke

Whoscored.com has revealed United’s forward going weakness through their statistical rank in key areas of their attacking play.

When it comes to possession and passing accuracy, United rank 3rd in the Premier League, and 2nd for possession in the final third. This has been clear to see even in United’s defence where Chris Smalling has bombed forward to get an attack going or has stayed up to continue an attack. Smalling also has 87.2% pass accuracy.

However for shots per game, key passes per game and shots on target per game, Manchester United rank about mid table. Having only 1 goal to a United player’s name, it’s clear that the attack isn’t going well. Memphis Depay is always looking to score, and averages 4.7 shots per game, but still hasn’t scored.

The Red Devils boast some very technically gifted players by the likes of Juan Mata, Adnan Januzaj and Memphis Depay all of whom can take on almost any defender in the league but United rank 17th in the league for dribbles per game. The majority of the attack seems to be set around short passes in midfield and crosses into the box, which clearly isn’t working.

United clearly have control of the ball in attacking zones for enough of the games but just lack the finishing touch that a quality striker possesses. The pressure of not scoring will be felt by all of the United players. One can only hope that they score a couple soon, and then find their regular scoring form again.

About Ben 371 Articles
Recently graduated university, life now revolves around sports, and writing about sport. Has an intricate knowledge of Ice Hockey and World Football but also dabbles in American Football and Heavyweight boxing. He's a very versatile and hard working writer, who uses exceptional English in each article. Trying to get his name out there to hopefully become a professional sports writer.

3 Comments

  1. If LVG still have not got the formula to strike gold this season, then it is high time MU board shows him the exit door. Give LVG & Ed Woodward till Sept 2, to get this Strikers in, if they fail to get any, then after Sept it will be a chopping block for both this jokers…

  2. To Mr Chopping at least I would be more entertained by stoke playing they have transformed themselves in a short space of time from there previous image whereas under moyes and LVG United have become a boring club to watch possession and passing stats maybe high but in terms of football if it ain’t winning you titles it means nothing. United are 5 years away from competing for major trophies at the current state of the club and competition from man city and Chelsea.

    • I completely agree. Moyes ruined United, and then van Gaal was tasked with making a winning team in his short 3 year term. So he has to bring in these big name players but won’t have the time to get them gel properly, so any titles and trophies won’t come until after his contract is up. That’s if we get a decent replacement for the Dutchman. I merely used Stoke as a reference point for their common table position, but yes their play has become more exciting since Tony Pulis’ exit, even though he was a very good manager for them. I despise the football craze in recent years of possession and passing. The Spanish national side and Barcelona have bored their way to success with the tiki-taka but it’s so boring for the spectator. There is a need for possession play, when you’re winning a tight game, but when at 0-0 the top teams, which United still are, need to push for goals, not knock the ball across the back four and defensive midfielder. Before van Gaal’s term is up, I can see him getting maybe an FA Cup, but it will be the next manager who should reap the rewards of Louis’ cash rampage.

      Thank you for your comments, I hope you enjoyed the article.

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