Detailed Analysis of ManYoo vs. Wolves

BBC - Football Tactics: Are Manchester United lacking a midfield spark?

This is the sort of article that makes a blogger wish he had access to much more the sort of detailed data, statistics, and tools that larger media outlets (like BBC) can afford.  I don't know if the ultimate conclusions are really any surprise - it doesn't take a ton of data to know that ManYoo need better central midfielders and that Wovles have been very organized against the big clubs that they've beaten.  That said, reality doesn't always match up with common sense so it's nice to see that such a detailed analysis backs up what we've been saying all along.

The one amazing stat that they mention at the bottom of the piece is that "Fletcher, Carrick, and Anderson make up three of the six central midfielders from the top five clubs who have taken the least number of shots. (John Mikel Obi, Nigel de Jong, and Wilson Palacios are the other three).  This strikes me in two ways - one, it isn't good for United to have three players in this category and the other is that in the absence of the stat being called out as "shots per game" or "shots per minute played" you have to wonder how much it has to do with United's midfield rotation more so than the proclivity of those three gentlemen to shoot.  I think of Mikel, de Jong and Palacios (until recently) as guaranteed starters while I'd never be confident betting on Fletcher/Carrick/Anderson to start any given match. The writer managed to bury the headline a bit by waiting until the next to last sentence of the article to mention that United's midfield averages about half as many attempts on goal compared to Arsenal and just more than a third the attempts of Spurs.

Some interesting reading while we're getting past the mid-week international friendlies.


  1. Anonymous12:17 PM

    MU wins games because of Alex.

    If other guys are in charge of this team, MU will end up about 6-9 places in this very competitive season.

  2. Anonymous8:23 PM

    Sticking with the tactics theme, I thought this article about Liverpool's effective use of a three-man back line against Chelsea was interesting.