Is the gap really that big now according to statistics?

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Toad, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. Apr 8, 2018
    #1

    Toad Full Member

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    Just to clarify before we start, by gap I do not mean points gap, I mean performance/ability gap going forward.

    We have all had our share of criticism recently regarding our performances, admittedly I am guilty of this and pretty hasty in my posts sometimes especially when I am disappointed with a recent result or during a game where I have posted a negative comment far too early in the match (prime example being the Derby).

    I think it is fair to say that we are not watching entertaining football at the best of times and the majority of you will agree to this, but needless to say we do grind out results which is the most important thing.

    The derby, for me, put into perspective that City are not this unbeatable, one of a kind, best we have seen team. The odds on City to win were much greater than United simply because their form this season and the current hype around them (excluding the Liverpool game).

    I took a look into some statistics of the current top four teams just to see how we have all performed during the first half of the season compared to the 2018 part of the season so far and out this into the table below:

    [​IMG]

    Column by column City were obviously the more dominant team during the 2017 half of the season but as of the new year the form has levelled out more and it shows City haven’t been the dominant team we think they are for quite sometime. Maybe this could be because they already have the title pretty much wrapped up but I beg to differ with that, as every game they are still given 100% and putting all their energy into breaking records even though they are assured the title.

    All teams have had their share of hard fixtures this year as well:

    Man United - Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, City.
    City - Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, United.
    Liverpool - City, Tottenham, United.
    Tottenham - Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea.

    We have most likely had the hardest fixtures looking at the above in comparison. But even looking at those fixtures we are on average 0.35 points better off per game in 2018 compared to the first half of the season, City are 0.54 PPG worse, Liverpool 0.17 better and Tottenham a massive 0.65. Looking at just his it already goes to show that the top 4 has been a lot closer during 2018 compared to 2017 which makes me believe that next season their could be a real scrap for the title and that City won’t just run away with it again, obviously depending on how good a transfer window all of the clubs have.

    City are clearly still banging int he goals but still, slightly less than what they had previously in 2017, this could be down to teams finally understanding their tactics and being able to defend alit better against them knowing these facts. Although we have also managed to drop our goals to games ratio which is a bit dissapointing from a entertainment point of view, but maybe this mean that our players are gradually learning Mourinhos tactics as we are not a team that that needs to score a mass amount under Mourinho, he would quite happily score a goal and defend well for the rest of the game in order to not concede and gain the three points. Which leads me to goals conceded:

    Our goals conceded per game has changed slightly but nothing too drastic, it has been pretty steady through the season and by looking at the statistics we have a fairly solid defensive unit. It may not show this on the field and there are still noticeably a few errors which lead to goals (which do need ironing out) and would lower the average if dealt with but otherwise we have a good defensive record and only Tottenham have bettered us in 2018. City are starting to show their defenders isn’t all it has been made out to be, maybe that is since the arrival of Laporte as he hasn’t seemed to settle in too well so far or maybe it is because other teams have figures out how to score against them.

    Tottenham seem to have come on leaps and bounds in 2018 so far, if they keep this form up and are smart during the transfer window they could well be the team to beat next season as they have gone under the radar a little bit so far.

    Liverpool just seem to have an issue with consistency. They seem to have improved in the latter part of the season so far but unless they take the hit and sell some of their inconsistent players then they may well be in the same position next season. But if they are also smart in the transfer window and fix tighten their defenders even more, with the addition of Keita they could also be right up there challenging.

    To conclude, I think we are far to harsh on ourselves given how much we have improved so far this seasons, and from last season. Mourinho does seem to be improving us albeit the boring performances we are still getting points on the board. Make what you will of the statistics but personally I after looking at them I don’t think there is as much of a gap between the top four anymore as we keep saying their is, even though City are 13 points ahead I believe this is down to an extraordinary first half to the season which we may not see again for some time.
    By no means is this an ‘alternative league table’
  2. Apr 8, 2018
    #2

    el3mel Full Member

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    City are too far ahead because they are the only team who didn't have a poor period like the rest. When their performance dropped at some point in th first half of the season they were still winning by late goals non stop. I don't want to discredit them, best team in th league, sure, but some of these games they won by late goals could have easily been draws and the gap would have been less. The fact that they didn't pass through any period of poor results was unfair for the rest.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
  3. Apr 8, 2018
    #3

    MyOnlySolskjaer Creator of Player Performance threads

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    Spurs are always great in these alternate tables.
  4. Apr 8, 2018
    #4

    Salus Populi Suprema Lex Full Member

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    Good analysis there, Toad. When you think we have 71 points from 32 games, that would normally put us right in a title challenge. It's only City's incredible leagues form which diminishes what a strong total we have. We need the defence sorting, but I do think we're moving the right way overall. I think/hope we will see a stronger side and more attacking approach next season.
  5. Apr 8, 2018
    #5

    Toad Full Member

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    I genuinely ended up pissed off with all those late goals that kept coming in that period. Anyone else and they wouldn’t have scored. Sometime the football gods are just behind you.
  6. Apr 8, 2018
    #6

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Yes. It is big.
  7. Apr 8, 2018
    #7

    Toad Full Member

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    But they do really look like a proper team finally. Slowly built their way, cheaply, to a potential title challenging side. We will see next season I suppose.
  8. Apr 8, 2018
    #8

    el3mel Full Member

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    Yeah, this period showed it was just their season, that's all.
  9. Apr 8, 2018
    #9

    Toad Full Member

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    Good input.
  10. Apr 8, 2018
    #10

    BluesJr Full Member

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    Still think the time for them was that Leicester season. Can’t seem them getting past us and City really.
  11. Apr 8, 2018
    #11

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    If we can get our best and most promising players firing on all cylinders like KDB, Silva, Sterling, Aguero and that lot have been all season, then no we’re not far off City. Our problem is players like Pogba, Martial, Sanchez, Lukaku, Rashford can all go missing at times.
  12. Apr 8, 2018
    #12

    Toad Full Member

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    I seem to think the problem is our full backs though and someone else to help out in the midfield. I just don’t honk Matic is good enough personally, you look at Fernandinho and he is the main reason that City’s forward have the freedom they do. He completely dominated that midfield even in his own, so underrated. He picks fantastic passes, his defensive duties he carries out superbly. Although Matic has his moment we need that step up, who that is I don’t know. As with the fullbacks, we have decent options but decent isn’t good enough for modern football anymore. We need players that can take on their man and can pass just like the midfielders. Unfortunately as good as Tony and Young have been we do need to upgrade, again I don’t know who to. It’s a shame because You g has had a great season but is pretty inconsistent. Fantastic squad player though.
  13. Apr 8, 2018
    #13

    Toad Full Member

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    If you look at our financial power we could easily pull away but it’s how you use the money in the transfer window and Spurs just seem to be great at this.
  14. Apr 8, 2018
    #14

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots

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    Yeah, we'd be right in there otherwise. BUT we have played some really poor football for long stints and only come away with points because we generally have better players than most teams. Strange season
  15. Apr 8, 2018
    #15

    el3mel Full Member

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    Each team is nailed on to have a period of poor performance and poor results. Happened to not just us but everyone behind us as well. Problem with City is they didn't pass through a period of poor results which was unfair for the rest of the teams imo.
  16. Apr 8, 2018
    #16

    VeevaVee despite the protests, wears Ugg boots

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    It's been more than a poor period. We looked devoid of .. well, football really.

    Did Liverpool have a poor period? Feels more like they just randomly do crap in one game here and there.

    City have just been so high in confidence. Liverpool haven't been that far behind them in terms of that, which is maybe why they haven't had an actual poor period that I can think of.
  17. Apr 8, 2018
    #17

    el3mel Full Member

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    Liverpool were very poor at the start of the season and got several shocking draws at this period.
  18. Apr 8, 2018
    #18

    Ekeke Full Member

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    Answers the question.
  19. Apr 8, 2018
    #19

    Bastian Full Member

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    I agree with you that we need top level full backs and having Tony and Young next season as back ups is a almost an embarrassment of riches in that department, so that would be ideal. And we need another top midfielder to rotate with those already here and possibly improve our first XI. I do think we are a top class centre half short, as well.
    But with Matic, I think you underrate him. I don't know where we'd be in the league without him, but I don't think it would be the top 4. IMO our player of the season and he's had to play some games in midfield without a partner. Fernandinho is great and it was highlighted on MOTD tonight. If you'd have swapped them at the start of the season I'm not so sure City would be worse off or we'd better off. Today wasn't Matic's best game, but overall he's been immense for an underperforming side lacking balance.
  20. Apr 8, 2018
    #20

    cyril C Full Member

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    Likewise some of our loss / draw were incredible. Had we turned up consistently we would have been 8 points better. Our 1st half performance against City could be a disaster against even a bottom club but our 2nd half can beat any team in the world. This J&H performance is really hurting us this season.
  21. Apr 8, 2018
    #21

    Swift Football Banned

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    Just curious, what team is the 'unbeatable', the best team you have seen ?

    I always find this notion of dividing the statistics as per calendar year rather silly. I will rather check the statistics of a season as a whole.
    When it hit the year 2018, nothing changed, its just a continuation of same season.

    Also, the sample size of 12 games in 2018 is not as good representative as 20 games in 2017. If I must break the statistics by year, I will do so at the end of season, when some 18 games will be played by then.
    One hypethetical example here : if City win against Spurs next week, your statistics will read:
    City = 12 games played, 2.33 points per game
    SPurs = 13 games played, 2.30 points per game

    The sample size is too small to deduce any conclusion from your table.

    TO answer your question: The gap is as big as it can get. In fact, many people are complaining that because of this big gap, the league has been so boring.
  22. Apr 8, 2018
    #22

    Sereques Full Member

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    LOL the media fed everyone with the idea that this is the best team to ever grace the premier league, Pep is the ordained coach from god and no one is close or better than him, City are the future, they will dominate for years, blah, blah blah and some of our fans bought into that idea. To make it worse, our fans use this propaganda to beat Mourinho, the team and Woodward. Our fans are always gullible so am not surprised.

    Anyone with eyes and brain can see that Pep's team is not better than United 99, 2000, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Arsenal invisibles, feck I will toss Chelsea 2005 in there too. Don't get me wrong, Pep's side are very good, but the idea they can't be beaten or Wow we've never seen this before in the premier league is unnecessary over reaction.

    The same propaganda is also been used when they say Oh, wow Spurs, Liverpool moving in the right direction and forward while Man United is moving backwards with old archaic football. Oh Mourinho can only train defenders, attackers should go to Arsenal and City to save their careers

    I don't mind it when media say all this B.S, media will always be media. It breaks my heart when our own fans believe it.
  23. Apr 8, 2018
    #23

    POF Full Member

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    It would have been interesting to see how City would have reacted after a defeat or two if anyone else was close enough to them to put them under pressure.

    United dropped points in key games when it seemed like they were on a momentum building run. That Spurs game at Wembley was the final nail in the coffin.

    The true test of a great team is how they play under pressure. Hopefully City will be tested more next season.
  24. Apr 8, 2018
    #24

    Green_Red Full Member

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    Proof that consistency wins leagues.

    Ability and 'on their day' types of performances there isnt much between us, City, Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal or Chelsea.

    Its purely the ability to consistently perform thats the difference.

    If City finish the league 10 or so points ahead there are 5 games this season the Jose can point to and say "if we'd performed in these games we'd have matched them all the way".

    Thats what next season has to be about, consistency.
  25. Apr 8, 2018
    #25

    RooneyLegend Full Member

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    At this point, they are significantly better than us, the sort of gap that'll take a lot to overturn.
  26. Apr 8, 2018
    #26

    AR87 Full Member

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    Buy fullbacks, an experienced "leader" type CB and an upgrade on Herrera and Fellaini in the B2B all action type CM we need to balance us out in a 3 man midfield. If we can do that I believe we'll be up there even if City pick up points at a similar pace, though I don't think that'll be the case.

    I feel that next year will be a very tight title race between us, City, Liverpool and potentially Tottenham so long as none of their key players agitates for a move, which I don't think they will but am not sure about.
  27. Apr 8, 2018
    #27

    Gordon S New Member

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    One good, out of the blue, half shouldn’t change much in the grand scheme of things.

    Individually, our squad is fine, that is probably the reason why we are where we are. But our football on display is still not what we want. No confidence on the ball when under pressure. Just pass it back to the keeper then hoof it long. Players trying to do pressing one at a time. Standing too far away from our oppos, giving them far to much time and space on the ball. We still have loads to work on!
  28. Apr 8, 2018
    #28

    Akshay Moderator Staff

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    That's a defining trait of champions though, the ability to grind out wins even when you're not playing well. We've done it plenty of times under Fergie as well and it'd piss off rivals to no end. I think that's where we lost the league, after the home defeat to City the heads dropped and the belief didn't seem to be there anymore. Quite a few games where if we'd had more confidence and determination we could have grabbed the win. Contrast it to how we quietly (and not very prettily) went about amassing points after the 6-1 defeat in 11-12.
  29. Apr 8, 2018
    #29

    ManUArfa Full Member

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    ....and Solskjaer has won it!
    71 Points from 32 games is indeed a total which should put a team in contention for the run in. I think City have led a charmed existence in the prem this season. I actually thought our first half was good up until the errors which cost us and then the heads dropped. We pressed them and we tracked their runners and it was working until that point. Teams who are prepared to have a go at City have shown that there is a weakness, not just defensively but also in temperament and team spirit. They will not have it so easy next season. I can see them losing a couple of their remaining games this season and us winning all six which would restore some respectability and send out a signal for next year...
  30. Apr 8, 2018
    #30

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    I said it yesterday, been saying it for months and I'll say it again.
    The gap on the table exaggerates the gap in quality.
    Pep has done an incredible job with his team. City have three genuinely world class players in Aguero, Silva ànd KDB. What they also have, is a bunch of good players at the top of their game. Pep has been able to find a formula that gets the absolute best from his world class players and also his good players.
    Something we are unable to do.
    Short of fullbacks, there's not too much between both sides.
    Its also why I think this talk of needing hundreds of millions is rubbish.
    Mourinho needs to add to the team but most importantly, he needs to learn to get the best out of what he has.
    That's been my entire argument these past few months.
  31. Apr 8, 2018
    #31

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    City's late goals haven't been by luck.
    Their late goals have come as a result of running teams into the ground. Something we failed to do in the games we dropped points.
    We have to learn how to put teams under more pressure away from home.
  32. Apr 8, 2018
    #32

    Adisa likes to take afvanadva wothowi doubt

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    We do ourselves an injustice by failing to recognise where we need to improve, if we assume City are where they are due to luck or some football god looking after them.
  33. Apr 8, 2018
    #33

    Relfy Full Member

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    I think if we can upgrade the fullbacks and maybe a centre half too then we will be well set. Fellaini looks to be out the door, so we probably need to add to the midfield too. I don't think we're that far away from them. The players heads went after they beat us at home. We had some very winnable games on the back of that result which we made a mess of. Providing Jose brings in the right players and allows us to play a more forward thinking brand knowing that we're solid at the back then I believe we will have a big chance next year.
  34. Apr 8, 2018
    #34

    Leftback99 Full Member

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    Statistically we have been clinical in front of goal for the lack of chances we create and at the other end De Gea has been saving a higher % of shots than ever before. If either of these things regress which is likely than we're in trouble. Yesterday City could have easily had 6.

    We take less shots on goal and concede more shots on goal than our rivals, eventually results/points will follow unless we improve.
  35. Apr 8, 2018
    #35

    Mr H Full Member

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    The difference was the 3/4games they won at the last minutes when they didn't play well at all (just before playing us) and the ones we drew (3 in December) that we should have won.

    13 points isn't that big of a gap, the hype makes this season seems like we're the worst united team ever and they're the best players team ever. That's not the case. Far from it.

    The loss against them at home defined their and our season. A win would have put us 5 points behind and I'm pretty sure that with more motivation (being just 5 behind) , we could have turned a few of those draws to wins and we would have been closer to them right now.

    They deserve the tittle obviously as they did what they had to do in that difficult period they had.

    Next year hopefully, we will challenge way more.

    They don't have a lot of improvement room, I can't see where they can improve. At the same time, we can improve a lot, just by upgrading our fullbacks and having a Sanchez with half a season in his belt with the team, we're already seeing what he can do these last few games.
  36. Apr 8, 2018
    #36

    Sunny Jim Full Member

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    /thread
  37. Apr 8, 2018
    #37

    Klopper76 "Did you see Fabinho against Red Star & Cardiff?"

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    We had a run of something like 8 games where we only won one game. I think we lost one and drew six, taking 9 points from a possible 24 available.
  38. Apr 8, 2018
    #38

    Toad Full Member

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    Matic has played a bit better for me in the last couple of games but there has been a spell previous to that where he could even pass the ball, yet we still manage to grind out results :houllier: I suppose this could have been the ‘bad spell’ but I still think there is room for improvement in this area. Maybe not such as high priority as the others.
  39. Apr 8, 2018
    #39

    LennonNL nipple flasher and door destroyer

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    We definitely need new fullbacks I agree and I also reckon we need a new intelligent centre mid. But the fact is we’ve got some of the best players in the league and at times - more often that we’d like - they’ve underperformed.
  40. Apr 8, 2018
    #40

    el3mel Full Member

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    I didn't say it was luck. I said in any other seasons some of these games would have been draws and the gap would have been less.