Stats illustrate decline in Rooney and several Man Utd stars

Date published: Wednesday 20th April 2016 10:31

Ashley Young & Wayne Rooney: Stats highlight poor campaigns

Stats prove that Manchester United have suffered an alarming drop in form this season under Louis van Gaal. provide the evidence….

Manchester United were third and nine points off top spot this time last season and rather than continue their upward trajectory, United have regressed. A year down the line and a further £100m invested into the squad and they are nine points worse off and a staggering 17 points adrift of league leaders Leicester City. They didn’t even make it out of the group stage of the Champions League and aren’t currently on course to be in the competition next season.

Not many expect Van Gaal to see out the final year of his contract at Old Trafford, which will be music to the ears of some of the players in the United dressing room. takes a look at the players who have suffered most from Van Gaal’s second year in charge and what that could mean for United’s summer transfer plans.

Wayne Rooney’s performances this season have often dominated back page headlines. The United captain hasn’t reacted kindly to some of the criticism he has received this season, but it’s hard to make a case in favour of the 30-year-old’s displays thus far.

With only seven league goals to his name, Rooney could conceivably finish the campaign having failed to reach double figures for the first time in his 12 years at the club. His rating (6.93) represents a -0.35 decrease on last season (7.28) and would also be the lowest he has achieved in the last seven campaigns. The drop would have been even more alarming had Rooney’s form not picked up dramatically at the turn of the year, where eight of the 11 league goals he has directly contributed towards came in a six game run (five goals, three assists).

Ashley Young: Needs surgery after being injured at Liverpool

If many thought Rooney was having a bad season, then spare a thought for Ashley Young. Not many believed the 30-year-old even had a future at Old Trafford when Van Gaal arrived in 2014, but Young proved an unlikely success story in his first campaign. In fact, his involvement in the league (26 appearances) was his best return since joining United in 2012. Young finished the 2014/15-league campaign with two more Man of the Match awards (4) than he has managed in the rest of his United career and his best rating (7.23) since his maiden campaign at the club (7.24).

The versatility Young has shown to play at full-back in the last two years certainly etched him into Van Gaal’s good books for a while. However, while United fans were relatively impressed with his ability to fill in at left-back, they were left baffled when Van Gaal turned to Young to play centre forward against Tottenham at the start of the month, with Anthony Martial on the pitch and Memphis on the bench. That was his first appearance since January and may well prove his last this season. A decline of 0.63 in his rating compared to last season would represent the sharpest decrease of all United players to make more than 10 appearances this time around.

For all the noise from the media that has linked United with a batch of defenders, fast wingers and a new striker, it’s interesting that their central midfielders have been the biggest causalities of Van Gaal’s reign, thus perhaps suggesting this remains the main area in the squad that needs assessing.

Ander Herrera (-0.53 drop), Michael Carrick (-0.42) and Marouane Fellaini (-0.40) have suffered three of the five biggest declines in rating of United players from last season to this of those to make more than 10 appearances. The fact that United’s midfielders have struggled to adapt and implement Van Gaal’s demands on the pitch, in the area where football matches are often cited as being won and lost, perhaps offers one explanation behind United’s lamentable style under Van Gaal.

All three have had their own hurdles to overcome in the last two years but most of their problems on the pitch may simply stem from a lack of continuity in team selection by Van Gaal. In fact, Herrera’s run of six consecutive starts in the league around the turn of the year is the longest of any of the midfield trio this season (Carrick – 4, Fellaini – 2). Herrera made 13 consecutive starts in the league last season but injuries, coupled with being out of favour with Van Gaal, have diminished his involvement this season and that has unsurprisingly affected his performances.

Ander Herrera: Manchester United midfielder a fan of Paul Scholes

Herrera needs to start four of United’s last five matches to mirror his involvement from his debut campaign and he would also need to double the amount of goals and assists he has in the league (three goals, two assists) to match the achievements of last season.

A hallmark of Herrera’s game is the energy he brings to central midfield. Not only can he score and create, but he is also useful without the ball in breaking down opposition attacks. However, even that side of his game has dipped this season. He has gone from averaging 4.8 tackles and interceptions combined in the league last season to just 2.9 this time around.

Like Herrera, Carrick’s performances have also been disappointing this season. The 34-year-old, who is approaching his 10-year anniversary at the club, is out of contract in the summer and the drop off in his performances have been so notable that contract talks haven’t even started yet.

The England international is on course to achieve his lowest rating in a league campaign (6.64) in the last seven seasons and the first time it would have dropped below 7.00 since 2010/11. Coincidentally, that was also the last time Carrick finished a league campaign without a goal or an assist.

Marouane Fellaini: Escaped without a card

What is perhaps saving the two aforementioned midfielders from criticism is their relationship with the fans. The same, however, cannot be said for Fellaini. Van Gaal has used the Belgium international fleetingly over the last two years, although some would consider the fact he is still at the club is a minor miracle. To his credit, the cumbersome midfielder has been effective at times, but his playing style is widely out of sync with that traditionally associated with United and you wouldn’t consider him a viable long-term option at Old Trafford.

Regardless of who the manager is next season, establishing a dominant midfield partnership should be one of the main priorities in the summer. Whether that means working with the midfielders currently at the club or throwing more money at the problem, it’s a key area that needs addressing for United to launch a serious title challenge next season.


By Josh Wright


All statistics courtesy of, where you can find more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with their new free-to-download app.

Related Articles

Your Say

Home Forums Stats illustrate huge decline in Rooney and several Man Utd stars

This topic contains 13 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Zico 9 months ago.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #972502

    James Marshment

    Stats prove that Manchester United have suffered an alarming drop in form this season to last. provide the evidence.

    [See the full post at: Stats illustrate huge decline in Rooney and several Man Utd stars]



    I don’t think anyone is overly surprised by the stats shown in this article, in fact I don’t think anyone even needed the stats to show what’s being said.



    Wayne Rooney has never been a top class goal scorer. His “world class” striker status is a facade. Just look at his stats. Over the past 5 years he has 3 times finished on less than 13 league goals. He has broken through the magic 20 league goal barrier TWICE in FOURTEEN years. (Harry Kane has equalled this record by the age of 22) In fact Rooney has actually only scored more than 20 goals total (5 competitions) in Four of his Fourteen seasons. In short, Rooney is not in decline. He was just never as good as portrayed and was built up way beyond his actual ability.



    We who wach this dross every week knew before reading this article.
    For the Tranny Brigade it is a surprise and they will take a hide in their handbags a day or two.


    @liverpool_1986. We all know Rooney is pants now but I think you should a little respect mate. Rooney is not a no9 neither is he a no10. He has played all over the forward line for us and he consistently produced 40 odd goals & assists for many seasons from the age of around 21 to 27. Pivotal in the many trophies that we won in our most recent period of dominance.

    Show some respect.



    @Liverpool-1986. It’s so funny how you guys hail Robbie Fowler as a God and then say that about Rooney, ha ha!


    There seem to be no stats in that article. Its just states that their ‘ratings’ have dropped. Unless the ratings are based upon stats then its just opinions which have declined not stats.



    @hatters. You say that Rooney has “consistently” produced 40 odd goals & assists? Did you just pluck that info from nowhere? His last 5 years of goals have been 14,19,16,34,16. So you are trying to tell us all that in those seasons his assists stats were 26,21,24,6,24? Are you serious? This is what I mean about the facade that is Wayne Rooney. He actually has people genuinly convinced that he has produced for numerous years. Its like he has people hypnotized to believe this rubbish when the stats are clear to see. (Oh and by the way the most assists in a single season of premier league history is 20. So Rooney couldnt have made your figures in 4 out of 5 of those seasons) His average assists per season for utd is 8. His average league goal return is 14. So thats a combined 22. Nowhere near the 40 you are talking about.



    Kane is a quality striker remind me of shearer but a better version and one destined for greater things. Rooney was a great player the way he defends assist scores goals. His an all rounder player sure his goal scoring record is a joke but remember he has scored the most goal at a single club. It’s a shame liverpool is so shit that nobody wants to stay so piss off to Liverpool your say page.


    @liverpool_1986. I am not going to discuss the details with you. Your problem, just like every other opposition fan, is that you need to classify Rooney as a specialist in some position. We all know his versatility is his gift and his curse.

    We also all know that he is now way past it.

    To be honest I couldn’t give a hoot how many goals or assists he made. My point is you must show a little respect to a player who has played as a key player for United through his career and has won loads more titles and accolades than 90% of football players that ever play.

    On the podium for the Ballon d’Or at a point as well. So stuff that in your pipe and smoke it. Maybe come back and goad when you have a player in your team that comes close to his achievements in professional football.

    Sturridge??? Gerrard?? Go back to your page mate.


    theMartial Art

    Man United are struggling since SAF and myself left the club – Michael Owen



    Lollll owen a joker typical of scousers.



    Liverpool_1986 I love when opposition so porters like you bash Rooney. Fact is Rooney only played as main striker 2004-2006 during the Ronaldo years he played left wing and after Ronaldo left returned to the front line.

    I love the way you choose to dismiss the amount of assists Rooney has made or dnot they count.

    Fact is Rooney had a better career than Gerrard.



    £300k a week is a awful lot of money for an very averaged midfielder.
    You could have 3 proper midfielders for that salary.
    Ship him out.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

You must be logged in to reply this topic.