There have been plenty of negative statistics about Manchester United’s season so far doing the rounds on social media, but one that has emerged today could be the most damning of all.
Football statistics site whoscored.com has revealed that United are simply one of the worst tackling clubs in Europe.
‘Manchester United rank fourth bottom in the whole of Europe’s top 5 leagues (98 teams) for tackles per game (12.4)’ their tweet reads.
😬 Manchester United rank fourth bottom in the whole of Europe's top 5 leagues (98 teams) for tackles per game (12.4)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) October 19, 2021
This is despite the fact that for the most part, manager Ole gunnar Solskjaer adopts a 4-2-3-1 formation, with two defensive midfielders rather than one in a more attacking system.
Coming 95th out of 98 European teams has to be one of the most horrific statistics that United have ever posted.
Yet despite the almost complete absence of tackles put in by Solskjaer’s men, they have managed to amass 15 yellow cards, including four for Paul Pogba, in the Premier League alone this season, placing them in 9th place.
There is no obvious explanation for the tackles per game statistic.
Even if a team were to play a largely possession-based game or a very low press, the figures should still be higher.
The fact is that Solskjaer’s United employ a pressing tactic, making this all the more of an anomaly.
The only conclusion that can be drawn is that covering a lot of ground as Scott McTominay and Fred do doesn’t equate to success in terms of ball retrieval.
Perhaps it says that Solskjaer’s men are running around where they shouldn’t be rather than standing where they should be.
Whatever the case, it must be added to the growing list of ‘urgent issues to address’ in Solskjaer’s inbox.