Tackles by attacking players

Pogue Mahone

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Total tackles in PL so far this season

Greenwood 8
Cavani 6
Rashford 6
Martial 1

Sterling 15
Mahrez 8
Jesus 6

Mane 30
Firmino 19
Salah 13

Son 12
Kane 11
Bergwijn 10

Perez 20
Vardy 8

Richarlison 28
Iwobi 17
DCL 9

- Our forwards who have made the fewest appearances have made the most tackles.

- Our forwards who have made the most tackles would have made the least tackles in 4 out of 5 of the other top 6 clubs (5 out of 5 if you consider regular starters only).

- Two forwards at other clubs have each made more tackles than all our forwards combined. Three, if you only include three of ours (and we only ever play three at a time)

- Every single club in the top 6 has a forward who has made twice as many tackles as 3 out of our 4 forwards. Three clubs have forwards who have made either five or six times as many tackles.

A lot of talk about our forwards lack of goals and the whole team’s workrate and fitness under Ole. To me one our biggest problems is a whole sector of our team who seem to think tackling other players is beneath them.

Discuss.
 
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Massive Spanner

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Well most of those managers are all about high press, defending from the front. Ole isn't. Not sure there's much more to it.

Martial is a disgrace but I don't for a second believe the likes of Rashford and Greenwood aren't putting the shift in if asked.
 

Godfather

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Well most of those managers are all about high press, defending from the front. Ole isn't. Not sure there's much more to it.

Martial is a disgrace but I don't for a second believe the likes of Rashford and Greenwood aren't putting the shift in if asked.
This is a huge part of it. I'm baffled when people think we actually press under Ole. We don't. We have one or two players chasing shadows. That's not how a press works.

Martial's one whopping tackle is still astounding though.

BTW: Mane is an absolute beast isn't he. Still pissed we missed out on him back then.
 

Massive Spanner

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Spurs don't seem that impressive to me?

I dunno, like I said in my edited post above, what that would mean is our forward players aren't putting in the effort which goes against everything I hear on here about us under Ole i.e. our players actually give a shit and he's rallied them together etc. So which is it then? Seems a truly damning indictment of both him and the players either way.

But yeah, again, Martial is a fecking disgrace.
 

Godfather

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Just out of curiosity: What are Graelish' stats?
 

Pogue Mahone

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Spurs don't seem that impressive to me?

I dunno, like I said in my edited post above, what that would mean is our forward players aren't putting in the effort which goes against everything I hear on here about us under Ole i.e. our players actually give a shit and he's rallied them together etc. So which is it then? Seems a truly damning indictment of both him and the players either way.

But yeah, again, Martial is a fecking disgrace.
I edited my post too. Leicester and Everton don’t do a high press either.

I’m actually shocked by these stats. I can’t explain them.
 

Classical Mechanic

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It's interesting that we're even significantly behind Spurs given that they play the low block. Many of the other sides are associated with high pressing and workrate.

@Pogue Mahone

Tackles is a bit of an outdated measure. It would be more interesting to look at pressures because you don't need to take the ball off a player to shut them down

https://fbref.com/en/comps/9/defense/Premier-League-Stats

I don't have the time to do the numbers per 90, maybe @Borys would do the honours?

The raw numbers show that in the attacking third Bruno is 4th and our next players on the list are Rashford at 26 and Martial at 33.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It's interesting that we're even significantly behind Spurs given that they play the low block. Many of the other sides are associated with high pressing and workrate.

@Pogue Mahone

Tackles is a bit of an outdated measure. It would be more interesting to look at pressures because you don't need to take the ball off a player to shut them down

https://fbref.com/en/comps/9/defense/Premier-League-Stats

I don't have the time to do the numbers per 90, maybe @Borys would do the honours?

The raw numbers show that in the attacking third Bruno is 4th and our next players on the list are Rashford at 26 and Martial at 33.
Our position on that table as a club is pretty wretched, no?

Interesting Bruno is a positive outlier. Proof his influence goes beyond goals/assists.
 

Berbasbullet

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Would it be too mean to make a joke that involves the phrase “tackling child poverty is well and good but...”?

Actually, no. My dear old mum always says if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything. My lips are sealed.
I’m just glad you didn’t say it!

Good thread though and bit of an eye opener in terms of our work rate, thought it was pretty damning on Rashford and Martial when I saw Bruno and cavani sprinting after defenders whilst they were stood about.
 

Pogue Mahone

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It's interesting that we're even significantly behind Spurs given that they play the low block. Many of the other sides are associated with high pressing and workrate.

@Pogue Mahone

Tackles is a bit of an outdated measure. It would be more interesting to look at pressures because you don't need to take the ball off a player to shut them down

https://fbref.com/en/comps/9/defense/Premier-League-Stats

I don't have the time to do the numbers per 90, maybe @Borys would do the honours?

The raw numbers show that in the attacking third Bruno is 4th and our next players on the list are Rashford at 26 and Martial at 33.
As well as Spurs, we’re also behind Leicester, Everton and Villa. None of whom are known for a high press.

In fact, I have yet to discover a club we aren’t behind!
 

JPRouve

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As well as Spurs, we’re also behind Leicester, Everton and Villa. None of whom are known for a high press.

In fact, I have yet to discover a club we aren’t behind!
United are 10th in pressure and 8th in tackles. There is nothing wrong with the team on that front.
 

Davie Moyes

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United are 10th in pressure and 8th in tackles. There is nothing wrong with the team on that front.
Now that sounds more realistic just based on the eye test. I don't think we are that bad at this and some of it is due to tactics, instructions and being a team that will allow teams to come at them in the hope of counter attacking them.
 

Davie Moyes

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If our team as a whole is doing ok that’s an even more damning indictment of the relative lack of contribution from our forwards.
This could be due to just Martial and Rashford again. Martial has been much better at closing down passing lanes without actually tackling.

Rashford it seems to me conserves his energy or could be is wary of his back/shoulder injury so never seems to fully tackle. This may not be a bad thing and could be tactical. Rashford is needed as the main outlet for runs behind so we can't risk him being out of breath. This is sometimes I feel a problem with Bruno in that he exerts so much energy running all over that when he's on the ball he has none left and contributes to his high turn over of losing possession.
 

Pogue Mahone

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This could be due to just Martial and Rashford again. Martial has been much better at closing down passing lanes without actually tackling.

Rashford it seems to me conserves his energy or could be is wary of his back/shoulder injury so never seems to fully tackle. This may not be a bad thing and could be tactical. Rashford is needed as the main outlet for runs behind so we can't risk him being out of breath. This is sometimes I feel a problem with Bruno in that he exerts so much energy running all over that when he's on the ball he has none left and contributes to his high turn over of losing possession.
A bit like Son and Kane. Who both made twice as many tackles as him.

The Martial “closing down passing lanes” excuse is a cracker. Are you seriously claiming he has a unique talent at doing this which explains his total of ONE FECKING TACKLE while every single other forward on that list has made closer to 10?!? (a few of them closer to 30)
 

JPRouve

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If our team as a whole is doing ok that’s an even more damning indictment of the relative lack of contribution from our forwards.
Not really, our defensive system is clearly based around pressing for a short period of time in order to regain shape and retreat. It's not to press and recover the ball in the last third, we don't have the players to do that effectively which is quite obvious when you look at the characteristics of the players that you listed for various teams.
Just to highlight the clear strategic differences, Liverpool and City are last in tackles in their defensive third, Liverpool are in the bottom third for tackles in the middle third. While United is average or slightly above average in all stats, we have a balanced system that relies on everyone doing something different while Liverpool are done if you bypass their press which is something that we have seen the last time we played them.
 

Solius The Red

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It doesn’t look good those stats but I do think they tell only a slight picture.
As we know, three of our four main attackers are very much centre forwards converted into inside forwards. If you compare the tackling with the other centre forwards, Vardy, Jesus and DCL there isn’t much difference. Kane has played a Rooney role this season so his stats are expected although I’m surprised at Lacazette but then Arsenal have spent most of the season camped in their own box.

Then you consider players like Iwobi, Son, Perez, Richarlison, although not playing in pressing systems (like the city, Liverpool, Soton lot) they are more ‘wide midfielders’ playing as wide forwards.
So I think our players in those attacking front three positions don’t have the natural defensive mind of their counterparts.

Secondly, although our work rate has improved its more so in comparison to how bad it was under Jose. It’s still short of the other sides in there. Furthermore our defenders and midfielders work a lot harder than our attackers who have a lot of spells of moping about. I wonder if that’s also partly a tactical decision from Ole who wants them to conserve energy.

Finally, I’d say all those teams have managers who are better at tactically drilling a team on how to defend as a team and from the front.

Our league form over the year results wise has been good but performances have been largely poor to average. Some people on here seem to think this league form automatically means we’re getting it right tactically and that Ole is one of the great minds in the league.
Wrong. We are still someway short of where we need to be in those areas and that becomes very evident on days where we’re in ‘turn up’ mode like last night and basically the first 25 minutes of every game we’ve played in the past six months.
 
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Pogue Mahone

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Not really, our defensive system is clearly based around pressing for a short period of time in order to regain shape and retreat. It's not to press and recover the ball in the last third, we don't have the players to do that effectively which is quite obvious when you look at the characteristics of the players that you listed for various teams.
Just to highlight the clear strategic differences, Liverpool and City are last in tackles in their defensive third, Liverpool are in the bottom third for tackles in the middle third. While United is average or slightly above average in all stats, we have a balanced system that relies on everyone doing something different while Liverpool are done if you bypass their press which is something that we have seen the last time we played them.
Why are you focussing on Liverpool? Our front three’s stats are atrocious compared to every other club on that list. Almost certainly every other club in the league. There’s no way you can justify their abysmal return on the basis that Ole is implementing tactics that no other club in the league uses.
 

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Last time we won the league (starts/subs in brackets):

Welbeck: 36 (13/14)
Van Persie: 24 (35/3)
Rooney: 20 (22/5)
Kagawa: 17 (17/3)
Nani: 10 (7/4)
Chicharito: 7 (9/13)

I didn't include Valencia and Young because, honestly, both practically played like full backs already at that stage. Regardless, that wasn't a team renowned for its pressing from the front.
 

Pogue Mahone

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The crazy thing is Ole must be aware of those stats. Do you think he’s been taking Martial aside before our last dozen games or so and saying “I believe in you Antony, today’s the day when you will make your second tackle of the season!”?
 

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It’s been said before that the reason AWB and Luke Shaw have been put under so much pressure is because our forwards don’t track back and those numbers clearly justify that.

Defence starts from the front.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Last time we won the league (starts/subs in brackets):

Welbeck: 36 (13/14)
Van Persie: 24 (35/3)
Rooney: 20 (22/5)
Kagawa: 17 (17/3)
Nani: 10 (7/4)
Chicharito: 7 (9/13)

I didn't include Valencia and Young because, honestly, both practically played like full backs already at that stage. Regardless, that wasn't a team renowned for its pressing from the front.
Well there you go.
 

No Spring Chicken

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This might be a useful page to look at in the context of this discussion. Shows how often teams press & tackle, which part of the pitch they press, how successful the presses are, etc and the same for all the players in the league.

https://fbref.com/en/comps/9/defense/Premier-League-Stats

These stats don't exactly match with those from @Pogue Mahone so they must be a different source, but they're pretty close.
 

Chabon

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Well there you go.
Most of them track with what you expect, but Van Persie jumped out at me. My hazy memory of that team is Welbeck/Young/Valencia running themselves into the ground so RVP could float around doing whatever he wanted, but clearly he wasn't averse to putting a shift in now and then either.
 

Pogue Mahone

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This might be a useful page to look at in the context of this discussion. Shows how often teams press & tackle, which part of the pitch they press, how successful the presses are, etc and the same for all the players in the league.

https://fbref.com/en/comps/9/defense/Premier-League-Stats

These stats don't exactly match with those from @Pogue Mahone so they must be a different source, but they're pretty close.
Mine are from official Premier League website.
 

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The crazy thing is Ole must be aware of those stats. Do you think he’s been taking Martial aside before our last dozen games or so and saying “I believe in you Antony, today’s the day when you will make your second tackle of the season!”?
Maybe he's just read this place for the last few years whilst everyone was crying about our forwards having to put in a tackle.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Most of them track with what you expect, but Van Persie jumped out at me. My hazy memory of that team is Welbeck/Young/Valencia running themselves into the ground so RVP could float around doing whatever he wanted, but clearly he wasn't averse to putting a shift in now and then either.
I think strikers playing through the centre can get a bit of a pass. But to play out wide as often as Martial and Rashford have and make such a paltry effort at winning the ball is pathetic. And pathetic is far too kind a word for Martial’s contribution to the cause.
 

Davie Moyes

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A bit like Son and Kane. Who both made twice as many tackles as him.

The Martial “closing down passing lanes” excuse is a cracker. Are you seriously claiming he has a unique talent at doing this which explains his total of ONE FECKING TACKLE while every single other forward on that list has made closer to 10?!?
I probably did not explain myself well in that I think he and us as a team have improved with closing down and applying pressure in general compared to previous seasons.

Does not excuse the lack of tackles though and last night he and Rashford really peeved me off and totally highlights your point and this thread. Last night forget tackling there was no effort to even close down and apply pressure and had me throwing slippers at the telly. Martial on those two occasions where once he lost it causing Bruno to sprint back 60 yards and also for the second goal really had me spitting feathers.

This is a good thread though, as someone whose own five a side game is based on mainly tackling and nicking balls off opposition even if playing up front can't understand why forwards don't do it more. I mean a good tackle in the opposing half and you could be through on goal.
 

Chabon

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I think strikers playing through the centre can get a bit of a pass. But to play out wide as often as Martial and Rashford have and make such a paltry effort at winning the ball is pathetic. And pathetic is far too kind a word for Martial’s contribution to the cause.
If they're scoring goals, sure. I think Martial this year might end up in competition for the worst ever league season by a United CF who's been allowed to start 10+ games up front (in my time anyway, I'm sure we had some nightmares in the 70s), he may as well be a training cone with the number 9 written on it.
 

That'sHernandez

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Rashford and Martial aren’t expected to track back to make tackles.