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STATS: Spurs vs United

Wayne Rooney had a passing success rate of just 50% and only 3 successful passes going forwards in the opposition’s half.

Darren Fletcher (80%) and Michael Carrick (82%) had surprisingly high passing completion rates. Although what caused the worry during the game was that 45% of the unsuccessful passes came from our own half.

Spurs attempted 116 more passes than us and completed 103 more passes than us. Their success rate was 75% compared to our 71%.

Rafael da Silva vs Gareth Bale

- Attempted 28 passes, was successful with 22 of them. 79% success.
- Made 4 interceptions, all in our half.
- Won 7 tackles, lost 4.

- Attempted 40 passes, was successful with 26 of them. 65% success.
- Made 3 interceptions, all in their half.
- Won 2 tackles, lost 4.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. devilnani says:

    Go raphael…
    United legend in the making…

  2. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Im going to get grief for this but Ive said many a time that Rooney passing is atrocious and i was saying that all of last season as well. You cant fault his enthusiasm, you cant face his stamina and you cant fault his will toi win and be at the center of thing – In that regards hes in the Keane catergory. BUT his passing is the reason why Berbatov plays as often as he does. Im not dissing either player as they are what we have and I love them to bits, even though we are certainly over the honeymoon period with Rooney (due to his screwing the wedding singer – trouble over contract) but to me it seems an opposition of great ability (Barca Milan Munich) would find it easy to counter these two players.
    Rooney runs, full of energy and hard to knock off the ball so let him come deep to get the ball because his passing is terrible.
    Berbatov doesnt run as much, likes to twist and turn and do his stuff on the edge of the penalty area where there is a glutt of worried defenders, a good team would just push him wide and give him space to run.
    I would like to see Berba teach Rooney to pass and then Rooney take Berba to the gym. If they learned from one another they would be the best pairing in the world. As it is at the moment we would struggle against the absolute elite.
    But yeah Scott spot on Rooneys passing is poor. Admittedly most of his passes have to happen in the top half of the pitch but still its not always the difficult passes that are the ones that fail. Give the boy credit he tries and he puts himself in possitions to try. Practice makes perfect, I’d stick with these two and Cameos by Hernandez and Wellbeck.

  3. spacemanspiff says:

    Rafael > Bale. FACT!

  4. Dave Malaysia says:

    @Goatina : Valid point but actually Rooney is a very good passer of the ball when he is on song.

    He looks terrible when he is struggling ,looks almost lazy.

    Good work from Scott.

  5. vika09 says:

    Had a similar analysis on my blog :)

  6. jespermoses says:

    I thought Rooney did show glimpses of the kind of form he had last season but again he just comes up short and its becoming frustrating.

    He looks as if he’s trying hard but then his head goes down if it dosen’t work out for him.He owes us fans and SAF bigtime for what he did and if he dosen’t strat coming up with good soon we should sell him on.On current form I couldnt see us getting 20 million for him

  7. King Eric says:

    Goat – Agreed with some of your posts but Rooney in certain games this season has been playing Scholes like balls 50 yard switching play to feet hence people discussing him becoming a midfielder.

  8. Costas says:

    You forgot to mention:

    - Got about his job.
    - Hasn’t got any recognition by the pundits.

    - Looked to the Spurs fans to suck in the adulation after a good cross.
    - Got his balls licked by Efan Ekoku, Peter Drury and co..

    Rafa > Bale.

    Other than that, Rooney as a winger isn’t cutting it. The sooner we get Park and Tony V back, the better.

  9. Dazbomber says:

    I think Rooney could Play in the centre of midfield . He would be more involved ,playing behind the front two . What would we loose we are struggling to find the right two give it a go see what happens. It would also give Hernandez a run in the team.

  10. jespermoses says:

    @costas…..nothing new there mate….the media fucking hate us and will never give us praise.Thats what we as United fans have always had to put up with………if we win the league its ”expected”…if we dont win the league our ”era is over”

  11. mattbw7 says:

    People keep talking about putting Rooney in midfield are we really thinking that? the new scholes?
    Seriously guys its gotta be a non starter, hes just massively off form, injured when going into the world cup, injured when he got back, unfit, head busted, write this season off for him I reckon, though I hope he can hit some form towards easter and beyond, I really do think it will take that long

  12. Dazbomber says:

    In the past we had goals from every where ,not any more .Rooney has to come good soon .We will have goals from midfield . Some thing we don’t have now . Some times it’s hard to see where the next goal is coming from. It looks like we are not buying anyone ,we need to score from midfield what are the other options?

  13. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    I think it might be an idea putting Rooney in midfield, allbeit temporarily. Alot of strikers you dont have that option of playing in midfield as they are notoriously lazy and self centred, the same cannot be said of Rooney. It might be a way of getting him back to form without loosing the bite in midfield or lack of goals up front. Tell you lot something there wouldnt be a better midfielder in the game for Bryan Robson style runs into the box.
    How about a team of VDS, Rafael, Ferdi, Vidic, Evra. The midfield paring of Scholes Anderson. Attacking midfield of Rooney and the trio of Wellbeck Hernandez and Nani. That would screw Barca.

  14. Lovin' United says:

    Off Topic –

    Read what Balotelli have to say:,-but-eyes-manchester-city-stay?cc=4716

    Smells like another This is how to it feels to be city series…

  15. Vilhelm28 says:

    In a 4-4-2 along side Berbatov, Rooney is for the most part out of position. Either down low or out wide. Just like back 2 years ago. Last year he was spear headed up front poaching.

    So take into account that he is totally out of form and often far away from goal (and back towards goal) and its not going to be pretty.

    I feel we need more speed up top, United have turned into too slow of an attacking team. Would be fun to see Valencia, Nani and Chicka up top together in a game with anderson right behind and Carrick/Fletcher patrolling.

  16. valencia2010 says:

    I don’t know why you are all praising rafael.Yeah he played good but he has to grow up and stop making these silly fouls in half pitch were there should be no danger.Even last year he made the same mistake against Bayern Munich which eventually cost us the game because we had to fall back.After watching the totenham game twice I realized that we are very poor in imagination and creativity in the centre of midfield.I think that is the position we should invest in the summer

  17. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    rooney needs valencia back imo. tony v was a great provider last season and not just for wayne. nani would replace valencia in the latter stages and that fight for the position spurred nani on i think.valencia isnt the sole reason for rooneys drought but i bet wayne was one of the first to send him a ‘get well soon’ card!

  18. Lovin' United says:


    I agree to some extent of what you are saying, despite his consistent fouling and yellow cards and his temperament, he does deserve our praise.

    He got Bale on his back pocket for crying out loud, which maicon failed to do.

    You have to realise that he is still developing and I am sure Sir Alex will fix his consistent unnecessary fouling…

  19. willierednut says:

    It’s all double Dutch to me lads.

  20. juneaubrad says:

    One of the aspects I loved about Rooney before was his ability to hold on to the ball 9/10. He just seems to have lost that fire in him that said, I’m not gonna be beaten on strength no matter what. Thought he was starting to get it back over the last few games as he battled through a few players, but lost it again on Sunday. Almost forgot about the top tackle from chicharito the other day at the back, loved it

  21. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    @willie. like the De Boer brothers? :)

  22. juancullo says:

    anyone else think we should have taken a punt on pienaar for 3mil?

  23. willierednut says:

    betterthedevilsweknow – Yeah mate lol.

  24. Red till i die says:

    Its apples and oranges Scott. The majority of Rooney’s passes are in the final third of the pitch where he trying to make something happen. You can compare his passing ability to a midfielder who’s playing consistently playing short 10-20 yard passed to retain possession. Neither Fletchers or Carricks passes in the final third are any better according to those stats above.

  25. Isaac says:

    Chicharito needs more minutes, i mean, i love Berbatov, but he has never been consistent and it eventually wears my patience out.. Chicharooney will work better than Chichaberba!

  26. Red till i die says:

    Cant believe people are actually suggesting we put Rooney in Midfield, how the hell is that going to help him out of his current goal scoring slump.. Here’s a crazy idea how about are current midfielders step up and start scoring some goals. With Anderson showing good form he now needs to start banging in some goals, 5-10 goals from him a season would make a HUGE difference.

  27. Giggsy says:

    When Rooney is in form he is a very good passer of the ball. He sometimes reminds me of Scholesy with his long balls though he does’nt do it as often as Scholes! But none the less he can pass the ball as well as anyone on his day :)

  28. LORD GAGA says:

    The obvious fact is : ROONEY IS PAST HIS SELL BY DATE.

    200K a week buys you a goal a week. You dont pay 200k a week for a “good effort” some “near misses” “promising glimpses” or any other excuse for the fact that he hasnt scored a REAL goal since last March (his last one was an accident that was only intended to be headed down towards Berba)

    THIS DOES NOT DO WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN – Strikers score goals, some scrappy, some spectacular. Rooney hasnt scored a goal in a long,long,long time and we need to get rid and realise you are only as good as your last game.

    High time he was dropped indefinitely and replaced by Chicharito as the little Mexican scores goals – he does exactly what it says on the tin.

  29. Onside says:

    The only one surprised by Fletcher’s successful passing rate is you.

    Darren has been United’s top passer and top successful passer all season. He’s the only United player in the Top 10 of the Premier League for both categories. Also, he is in the top 3 United players in the Actim Index.

    So, no, it’s not surprising, unless you happen to be one of those ‘fans’ who will turn a blind eye to any goo d thing that Fletcher does.

  30. smartalex says:

    Onside is edison backwards. Switch the light on, mate.

    Most commentators on RoM feel that the midfield struggled.

  31. DaveYid says:

    I still don’t rate Rafael.
    Saw Bale skin him a fair few times in the match,
    Plus he’s a petulent little t*rd imho.
    Such a late challenge on Palacios.
    Looked edgy and rightfully got sent off.

    Needs more training…

  32. five says:

    You dont rate Rafael cause you dont see him week in and week out, he’s one of the best modern full backs in the league and he’s so young he’s only going to get better.

    Maybe Bale went by him cause Rafa’s a bit slow carrying around Robinho in his pocket

  33. smartalex says:

    Rafael has only 36 league appearances.

  34. hammons says:

    what is amazing is that spurs completed 378 passes – compared to our 387 attempts.

    hate to admit it but their possession was far better than ours – which is why they only misplaced 13 more passes in 116 more attempts. our man of the match was vidic, and theirs was modric, which magnifies where our problems currently are….

  35. United says:

    Carrick and Fletcher only work when the fullbacks and wingers are playing well, otherwise they are both immobile and dont offer as much going forwards as Scholes or Anderson


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