FanPost

Man Utd 2011/12 Depth Chart By Minutes Played

Editors Note - Shuddertothink once again has supplied some great stats in this fanpost. So I have decided to frontpage it! Keep u[p the good stuff man!

None of the opinions here reflect the Busby Babe blog.

Whilst arranging my end of season numbers, which I'll be posting around the SBnation football sites over the next week, I came across the percentage of minutes played for each player.

The usual method used of telling us, the fans, of how much any given player played for his side is total minutes played, I think those numbers can be taken and turned into a percentage using the total minutes the team played in the season. By using this we can come up with a depth chart for each position and this can tell us a few things.

-Who was used the most

-who was available for selection considering injuries and suspension

-Who was trusted by the manager

After the jump I'll introduce you to something I'll call ToP(time on pitch) %

Manchester United played 3591 minutes in the EPL for an average of 94.5 minutes per game.

Each players % is of the total mins they individually played against the total number of minutes the team played. An example X player plays 359 minutes of the 3591 minutes Man Utd played this season and thus has a ToP of 10%

So the Man United depth chart looks like this

GK

De Gea 2741 Mins 76.3% ToP%

Lindegaard 756 mins 21% ToP%

Amos 94 mins 0.026% ToP%

I had to adjust this slightly for GK only have mins listed in 90 minute blocks. So it's slightly out.

Defenders

Evra 3209 mins 90% ToP%

Ferdinand 2561 mins 71% ToP%

Evans 2427 mins 67% ToP%

Jones 2124 mins 59% ToP%

Smalling 1293 mins 36% ToP%

Rafael 916 mins 25% ToP%

Vidic 502 mins 14% ToP%

Fabio 246 mins 0.6% ToP%

We can clearly see here what the favoured partnership was once the highly influential Vidic was injured. The Smalling ToP% suprised me slightly. I thought he had played more than this but you guys should be able to fill in the gaps, injuries etc.

Evra was a work horse here. I know he has his doubters but this is the highest ToP% I have come across so far in the 2011/12 EPL season. Considering, also, Man Utd's lack of cover at left back he had to play this much.

Evans is the big shock by this measure, not by how much he played but the fact that he managed to establish himself over more recent and more expensive shiny new toys in the form of Jones and Smalling.

Midfielders

Carrick 2513 mins 70% ToP%

Giggs 1466 mins 41% ToP%

Scholes 1169 mins 32% ToP%

Anderson 694 mins 19% ToP%

Fletcher 643 mins 18% ToP%

Cleverley 435 mins 12% ToP%

Carrick is the work horse here, he was rarely injured, never really lost his form and was trusted by the manager quite heavily. Injuries change the landscape of this group of players. One imagines Anderson and Cleverley would have continued their development with more minutes. Flectcher would have featured heavily here if not for the cruel and possibly career ending illness.

Looking at Scholes' and Giggs' numbers here by the ToP metric, I would guess they probably played more heavily than they were able to effectively do so, or than the manager would have hoped. As much as I respect the two elder statesmen of this United squad, a team of the stature of Man Utd should probably not be running players of that age as their #2 and #3 midfielders.

Injury forced the managers hand in that respect, though. I'd expect at least 1 midfield addition in the summer.

Wingers

Valencia 2120 mins 59% ToP%

Nani 2111 mins 59% ToP%

Young 2572 mins 43% ToP%

Park 925 mins 25% ToP%

Not much to report here. I included Park in this column as I have never seen him play central midfield. I was a little suprised here to see Ashley Young as the 3rd choice winger, he was a recent signing and maybe could have been expected to feature more, Valencia became the standout winger for Man Utd during the season and this is reflected in the ToP% metric.

Strikers

Rooney 2839 mins 79% ToP%

Welbeck 2018 mins 56% ToP%

Hernandez 1476 mins 41% ToP%

Berbatov 512 mins 14% ToP%

Owen 79 mins 0.022 ToP%

Rooney was the dominant player in this metric, and, he has had to be. He was the main goalscorer, the standout player and the one striker the manager could trust in every game situation. Hernandez regressed slightly year on year, but a probable (un-reported) post-concussion injury was due to this. Welbeck continued his development with 56% ToP%, I still think that is probably too many minutes for a player at this stage on his development curve, Only 9 goals and 4 assists to show for his 2018 mins and 56 ToP% is, if we are honest, too low a contribution for a #2 striker and a Manchester United team 1 year removed from a CL final and an EPL title win. My Welbeck definition; fine all round striking prospect-won't score enough.

Owen is a ghost of a thought, a non-entity. Berbatov probably could and should of played more, but no-one knows the politics, the behind the scene issues. However, Berbatov was signed for £32.5 million or thereabouts 4 years ago, this summer he will probably be allowed to leave for around 25% of his original signing fee, ditto for Anderson. Ferguson has soured on something to do with Berbatov, we may have to wait until his transfer to another club to discover just what that was.

Thanks for reading. I write for Bitter and Blue on the SBNation network.

Twitter @ Benjamin Pugsley

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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