Man United | the serial sideways passers

Man United | the serial sideways passers

Barcelona’s setting of the gold standard in ball retention has helped spawn a series of fascinating statistics that have quantified their art. OptaJoe on Twitter delivered a telling statistic on Barca’s puppeteer:
20% - Just one in five of Xavi's passes in La Liga went forward. Crab.
It’s initially surprising given the influence he exerts, but less so when you consider the value Barcelona place on possession. On a broader, team scale, Manchester United are the most reluctant team in …
Berbatov | The Cases For and Against

Berbatov | The Cases For and Against

Dimitar Berbatov has been called a lot of things. "Languid" if you're a fan, "lazy" if you're not, he divides opinion amongst Manchester United fans more than anyone else. Given the sparking form of Wayne Rooney towards the end of the season, along with the emergence of Javier Hernandez and the return of Danny Welbeck to his parent club, it looked like Berbatov's chances of getting decent game time this year might be limited, even given the fact that he …
Who will fill Jones' role?

Who will fill Jones' role?

Cahill One of EPL's Best

Cahill One of EPL's Best

A number of defenders have recently been touted for moves to Arsenal or another Champions League club by the close of this summers transfer window.  As Arsene Wenger and his cohort look around the Premier League to draft in replacements their attention has not, at least in the tabloids, turned their collective eyes towards the Reebok.  I realize even mentioning that Cahill may not be long for a Wanderers jersey is a painful thought for many but not one which anyone, least …
One 'Eck of a job at Villa

One 'Eck of a job at Villa

As the new season draws upon us, we Villains have a lot to contemplate. More goings (so far) than comings in a transfer period that as of yet has failed to sparkle to life, but one change round B6 has set a few chins wagging. Not even the wildest imagination could have foreseen that the Aston Villa board would covet their most fierce rival manager so much that they would end up acquiring his services. This lead to wide spread …
The influence of Man City's midfield trio

The influence of Man City's midfield trio

With the departure of Carlos Tevez anticipated for much of the summer months, much has been made of quite how stark his contribution to Manchester City has been these past two seasons. The undoubted heartbeat of the side, City often appeared to go as Tevez did. His energetic and infectious play a constant torment to the opposition and his worth to City (despite some trying to play down his contribution) was clear: top scorer in both seasons by some margin …
Swansea City AFC | Building from the back

Swansea City AFC | Building from the back

Will a strong defence and a good home record keep Swansea City in the Premier League beyond this season? First things first Swansea City had a great season last season, finishing in 3rd place in the Coca Cola Championship, just missing out on automatic promotion. Swansea City were un-fancied for promotion but managed to do so via the play off with their free flowing and brilliant attacking football. For a team very well known for their attacking football and very …
Ashley Young Vs Stewart Downing

Ashley Young Vs Stewart Downing

There's no secret to the fact that Manchester United and Liverpool hate each other. The race to sign Ashley Young ended with Young "snubbing" LFC to head to the Red Devils for around £17m. Liverpool, however, shot back with their own deal for the other Villa winger Stewart Downing in a deal believed to be worth around £20m. There has been much debacle amongst LFC fans, Villa fans, and Utd fans alike about which team got the better deal. Using Opta Stats …
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