The opinions in this Fanpost do not reflect the editorial opinions of The Busby Babe.
Manchester United suffered a rare home defeat on Saturday at the hands and lightning quick feet of Tottenham and Bale, Lennon et al. For me, it was no huge surprise. Tottenham have talent and that aforementioned pace to burn, but it's a fixture Man United should be able to win in normal circumstances. But normal circumstances these are not.
Injuries. And lots of them, especially to the back line are hampering Man Utd slightly.
Sir Alex: Man Utd suffering with injuries.— Premier League News (@BarclaysPL_News) September 28, 2012
A simple tweet, it tells us what we already know.
Today I want to run through the injury/selection board for you. This will be far easier if I let the picture do the talking.
Injury and Selection
B=bench D=dropped inj=injured
This is a full breakdown of every player used in the PL in 2012/13. I have listed the game and it's result. Each player and how many minutes they played in that game and if they did not play-why not. The bold column on the far right is the total percentage of available minutes that said player has featured in.
Now, it takes only a cursory look through the above table to see how Man Utd have been decimated at the back. Jones and Smalling have not featured. Ferdinand has missed the first 2 games, Vidic the last 2. Injuries, especially in defense can really harm the the continuity that is needed in a back 4 unit, United managed to overcome this last year with Vidic's absence but overcoming these injuries and performing solidly at the back is not a trend I would bet on being repeated.
Did we see the first (or just another) sign of the lack of continuity in defensive selection harming Man Utd on Saturday?
United's midfield seems to be untouched by the injury bug, United's wingers are suffering, though. Young has been out, Valencia will be out for a period of time. Are these injuries bad luck or does the problem go deeper?
I wanted to improve on the depth chart work I undertook last year and include reasons why players didn't feature. Whether it be suspension, or injury or tinkering, I wanted to see if there were specific ideas behind certain team selections. As it is, albeit only six PL games into the season, it doesn't seem as if there is any specific pattern to the selection. Form and injury is the great determining factor.
De Gea is a fine keeper, he will likely be a lot better than Lindergaard is or ever will be, yet David De Gea was dropped after a minor mistake against Fulham which cost Man Utd zero points. The punishment seemed disproportionate to the mistake. As it is, Lindergaard has the gloves, yet he never overwhelmes me with his talent or ability to stop potentially savable shots. Bale's goal, anyone?
We have ran through this when looking at injuries. Selection for the defensive positions goes like this; whoever is still standing plays.
Carrick, 100%. He is the work horse this year, he was the work horse last year and he will continue to play nigh all of the available minutes. Cleverly. the prospect who at 23 is not really a prospect anymore, has been left on the bench for the last 3 games.
Anderson, hasn't featured in the last 4 games, dropped for 2 games and on the bench for 2 games. Giggs gets patchy minutes, Powell is too young. Scholes is the only outfield player (along with Carrick) to play the full 90 minutes in the two games Man Utd have lost this season. Coincidence or the managers complete trust in a very old player to be the go to man in game situations where Man Utd need to score?
Rooney has one start this year, Welbeck 3, and Hernandez has had 2. RvP has obviously played the most minutes with Rooney being injured for those 3 PL games. Rooney and RvP have yet to start a game together.
Favoured team selection
Man Games Lost To Injury
|Man games lost to injury||Man games lost per game|
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