In his last season in charge, Sir Alex Ferguson left us all with a final masterclass in how to win the league. Comfortably. If you hadn’t figured it out already, the steep straight red lines above show the various win-streaks Man Utd went on through games 2 to 31. In that period they amassed an average of 2.667pts per game and 80pts in total from just 30 games, scoring 72 goals and conceding 30. And their midfield wasn’t even that impressive, was it?
In their first 32 games they only drew twice, which is perhaps reward for their focus on attacking football as Rooney and van Persie lead from the front – at 3 times in the season they had a 5-game average of 3 goals scored per game, and defensively they went on a 7-game streak (25-31) without conceding at all!
The word that sums the above charts up is ‘clinical’. Away form was a touch worse than home form, to be expected, and away goals conceded perhaps could have been better (but this includes the 5-5 ‘exhibition match’ with West Brom at the end of the season.
Another lesson in how to win the league. The symmetry on this graph is very pleasing to me! As the opposition deteriorated in quality, Man Utd scored more, conceded less and won more points. Oh, and they had a 100% record against the teams who finished in the bottom 5.
Nothing much to write home about considering United’s close vital stats to the league averages.
van Persie, Carrick and Evra were the backbone of the team throughout the season, playing over 3000mins each. But United were a bit short in the next group, as de Gea is the only player who had as many as 2400-2800mins on the pitch – and the following group down includes Rooney, Ferdinand, Valencia and Rafael all of whom I am sure Ferguson would have liked to use more often. Lots of strength in depth through the squad as well considering that Vidic, Nani, Young and Jones as a group only averaged 1206mins playing time.
- Second highest total headed clearances (848)
- Highest number of clear cut chances created (88)
- Highest goals per shots on target ratio: 38%
- Lowest number of fouls lost (377) and only 1 red card
- Highest long ball accuracy with 67.3% of 1969 passes hitting their target
van Persie obviously had a very successful first season at United, and as many pundits have said Carrick was also brilliant – TPOEM agrees that they were both highly influential. Don’t write off Rooney, whose stats were impressive again this year despite a lower goals total or Ashley Young, who also performed very well considering he managed only 1372mins. Evra just about takes the plaudits for best defender ahead of Rafael because of his better disclipine and goals return.