A Breakdown Of Manchester United Strikers

Note: None of the opinions here reflect the views of The Busy Babe.

I was just looking over a few strikers numbers in this seasons EPL and Thought I'd do a breakdown and quick analysis of Manchester United's strikers in this seasons EPL.

After the jump I'll be looking at not just goals scored, but shooting %, game winners and goals scored in different in-game situations. I'll also tell you why Rooney looks good(ish) and why Welbeck must do better.

I'll break down the various stats in to small chunks here so we can look at key numbers in easy to digest form.

Manchester United have scored 76 EPL goals. 44 have come from strikers who account for 57% of total goals


Rooney 21

Hernandez 10

Berbatov 7

Welbeck 6

Time on the pitch

Rooney 2308 mins

Welbeck 1735 mins

Hernandez 1350 mins

Berbatov 533 mins

Is welbeck really United's #2 striker?

Minutes per goal

Berbatov 76

Rooney 109

Hernandez 135

Welbeck 289

Now, Dimitar Berbatov is neither Pele or Marco Van Basten as his number here may well indicate. This number has context. He has rarely been trusted this season and has mostly been an afterthought as a sub in the games he has featured in.

Welbeck doesn't look great by this measure. Readers and Man United fans will know better than me, but I assume he is the #3 striker at the club. I think that number needs to look better. He is a young player, but this is still Manchester United and he must improve.

Rooney's 109 minutes per goal number is fantastic. To give the numbers here some context in regard to the very best striker, I shall list RVP's numbers.

Robin Van Persie 1 goal every 111 minutes.

Shots and shooting %

Rooney 56 shots 0.37 sh% 21 goals

Hernandez 22 shots 0.45 sh% 10 goals

Berbatov 9 shots 0.77 sh% 7 goals

Welbeck 27 shots 0.26 sh% 6 goals

Again Berbatov's number looks skewed. Welbeck again doesn't look good. EPL shooting % (shots on goal/goals) runs at 0.31 %. A forwards number should be a little higher than 0.31 also. Welbecks 0.26 is among the lowest shooting % I have encountered for EPL strikers this season.

RVP 65 shots 0.40 sh % 26 goals. Aguero 39 shots 0.43 sh % 17 goals. Rooney is in the ballpark so far.

Home and Away goals

Rooney 12/9

Hernandez 2/8

Berbatov 6/1

Welbeck 3/3

Hernandez is really bucking the trend here, not just at Man Utd but EPL wide.

Goals By Situation

Now a little explanation here. -2 denotes a goal scored whilst 2 goals down. 0 while the game is tied. +1 when leading by a goal etc etc. This tells us who is scoring in the crucial situations when the game is on the line and who is padding stats scoring goals at + 2 when the game is already won.


-3 1

-2 1

-1 0

0 6

+1 4

+2 6

+3 1

+2 2

Rooney is a curious case here. He has 2 goals from - positions. 6 at evens and 13 from leading positions. He has by far the highest ratio of + goals to evens & - goals of any of the EPL's top 20 strikers. Part of this is due to United being a strong side and regularly being goals ahead in games, but it's still a tiny red flag against the excellent season that he is having. I wont go as far as to say he is a flat truck bully who pads his stats but it's not far off.


-2 0

-1 1

0 5

+ 1 0

+2 0

+3 2

+4 1

For only scoring 10 goals all season his 0 (game tied) goals tally stands at 5 and that maybe puts Rooney's game tied total of 6 from 21 goals into some context.


-2 1

-1 1

0 0

+1 2

+2 1

+3 1

+4 1

A great talent reduced to a sub role. Coming on when the game has been won or toiling on in that 2-3 loss at home to Blackburn which accounts for his -1 and -2 goals.


-2 0

-1 0

0 3

+1 2

+2 1

Too few goals for any real analysis.

% of goals scored at the crucial -1,0,+1 game situation

Rooney 10 out of 21 for 47%

Hernandez 6 out of 10 for 60%

Berbatov 3 out of 7 for 42%

Welbeck 5 out of 6 for 83%

For context RVP 22 out of 26 for 84.6%. -1 6 gls, 0 13, +1 3.

As a note, RVP's numbers in these crucial situation are out of this world and probably up there with all time EPL scoring in these situations for a single season.

Game winners


Rooney 7/2

Hernandez 1/3

Berbatov 0/0

Welbeck 1/2

True Game Winners

Games won by a solitary goal

Rooney 3

Hernandez 2

Berbatov 0

Welbeck 1


These numbers don't tell us everything. They are meant as a guide to help us analyze who has scored and when. How efficient are they and where they might be going wrong.

Wayne Rooney is a clear #1 striker on any EPL club. He is having a great season although one where he has scored quite a number of goals when the game has already been won. Of late, though, he has been picking up his even strength scoring and scoring more game winners.

Javier Hernandez by shooting % (0.45) and time on the pitch (1350 mins) has had a good season. I believe he would make a wonderful #3 striker at Manchester United.

Danny Welbeck's low shooting % (0.26) and minutes per goal (289) has had a poor campaign. His TOP (time on pitch) would indicate he is Manchester United's #2 striker. Yet, these numbers are blatantly not good enough. A return of only 6 goals would indicate his struggles this term. His has big time potential. Might not be ready to fulfill it just yet.

Dimitar Berbatov has had a trying season. Only 533 mins of EPL action must be personally vexing. That vexation has been kept private which is to his credit. One day somebody may well be able to explain to me how a £30+ signing in 2008 can be allowed to leave on a free or for a low transfer fee only 4 years later. As gene um and sweet science said to me in an earlier thread. Square peg round hole.

From an outsiders perspective (Man City fan, sorry) I think an astute buy for Manchester United in the summer would be a quality #2 striker to compliment Rooney. Thus allowing Hernandez to be an above average #3 striker and allow Welbeck to continue his development.

Thanks for reading.

This FanPost represents the view of the member who posts it and does not necessarily reflect the views of <em>The Busby Babe</em> or <em>SB Nation. </em>

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