United’s Purposeless Possession Summed Up in a Single Stat

Manchester United under Louis Van Gaal tend to dominate possession and play a patient, passing game. Indeed, we have the highest possession percentage in the league so far this season at 58.8%, and the highest pass success ratio at 85.1% (via WhoScored).

But when you look at the 10 Premier League players who have made the most attacking passes this season (i.e. passes completed in the opposition half), there is not a single Man Utd player on the list!

Watching United dominate possession without attacking purpose, urgency, and willingness to take some risks is an ongoing frustration for fans, and with the creative, attacking talent we have at our disposal, our slow, cautious style of play is understandably drawing criticism.

In terms of the league’s most prolific attacking passers, City have 4 players in the top 10, Arsenal have 3, Chelsea have 2 (despite their awful start to the season) and even Bournemouth have a player in there.


Here’s the full list:

  1. David Silva (Man City) – 253 attacking passes / 81.09% pass completion
  2. Aleksandar Kolarov (Man City) – 256 attacking passes / 69.75% pass completion
  3. Andrew Surman (Bournemouth) – 257 attacking passes / 82.64% pass completion
  4. Yaya Toure (Man City) – 272 attacking passes / 83.18% pass completion
  5. Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) – 286 attacking passes / 79.72% pass completion
  6. Mesut Ozil (Arsenal) – 302 attacking passes / 79.68% pass completion
  7. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) – 338 attacking passes / 83.46% pass completion
  8. Fernandinho (Man City) – 339 attacking passes / 88.98% pass completion
  9. Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea) – 356 attacking passes / 74.17% pass completion
  10. Santi Cazorla (Arsenal) – 413 attacking passes / 83.6% pass completion

See more stats on United’s long-term attacking decline HERE.

Let us know what you make of this in the comments below…