Manchester United: Just how boring are Louis van Gaal's side?

Yet another 0-0 draw saw boos ring out around Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon - but is the discontent among the fans justified?

Simon Rice
Sunday 06 December 2015 14:55 GMT
Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal

The full-time whistle in Manchester United's 0-0 draw with West Ham on Saturday was greeted with a chorus of boos from the fans at Old Trafford.

Unrest is growing among supporters amid frustration at their side's seeming inability to find the back of the net and the perception that the team are playing negative football under manager Louis van Gaal. With five goalless draws in their last nine matches, it appears the fans might have a point.

But we wanted to scratch beneath the surface to understand if Manchester United really deserve the boring tag they've been labelled with this season. So we compared their Premier League statistics for the season to the sides around them at the top end of the table.

Aside from Liverpool, Manchester United are clearly scoring well below their rivals at the top. Thankfully for Van Gaal their defence is the tightest in the division.

Van Gaal has said his side are creating chances and it his strikers' inability to take them that is the problem. Yet these figures suggest it is not accuracy that is the issue but the far fewer number of shots attempted by his side.

When it comes to chances created, Manchester United are seriously lagging.


Whilst comparisons with Manchester United's rivals at the top of the league make difficult reading, one particular Van Gaal statistics in comparison to his predecessors also tells a story.

Over Louis van Gaal's 53 games in charge, Manchester United have been involved in a higher percentage of goalless draws than under any other manager. 13.2 per cent of the matches overseen by the Dutchman have ended 0-0. In contrast, that figure stood at 6.9 per cent under Sir Alex Ferguson, 5.9 per cent under David Moyes and 5.2 per cent under Matt Busby.

Manchester United's strikers have been bearing the brunt of criticism this season, but the figures suggest there is more to Manchester United's problems than simply misfiring forwards. Whatever the issue, Van Gaal must identify and address it or the the boos will only grow louder.

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