David Moyes

Manager-in: Meet Manchester United’s new boss – Louis van Gaal

Manchester United have signed Louis van Gaal (LvG) in a 3 year deal. He is the first Non-UK (United Kingdom) Manchester United manager. He is very much in contrast to David Moyes. He has managed at the clubs (Barcelona and Bayern Munich) at the highest level, has won trophies (La Liga, Bundesliga, Champions League and UEFA Cup) which are at the highest level and has succeeded a manager (Bobby Robson at Barcelona) at the highest level & coped up well. These 3 factors (none of which David Moyes possessed) are a great fit for Manchester United currently. His signing was supposed to happen 12 years back (2002) when Sir Alex Ferguson thought of retiring (before a change in his decision). After 12 years, it’s happened. Let’s have a look at his managerial statistics.

Louis Van Gaal Managerial Record

Louis Van Gaal Managerial Record

LvG has got a better winning record at every club he has managed. He has even surpassed the record of Sir Alex Ferguson (58.14 % wins in career) in winning percentage with 61.33% career wins. David Moyes was never near both of them at just 44.58%.

LvG vs SAF vs David Moyes

LvG vs SAF vs David Moyes

Sir Alex Ferguson is famous for delivering trophies consistently at Manchester United. David Moyes on the other hand doesn’t have any major trophies to add his name to. Louis van Gaal has the experience winning key trophies like Dutch Eredivisie, Spanish La Liga, Copa del Rey, German Bundesliga, UEFA Super Cup, Inter Continental Cup, UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League. This will prove to be a key factor in turning around things at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal Trophy Cabinet

Louis van Gaal Trophy Cabinet

He is one of the philosophers of attacking football and his impact at the clubs is on a positive side. His sides in most of the cases have focused on scoring more goals. AFC AJAX had an instant impact of him. They had an average of 73.5 goals per season in the four seasons before he came. In his first 5 seasons, he managed an average of 91.8 goals per season.

AFC AJAX - GOALS SCORED PER SEASON

AFC AJAX – GOALS SCORED PER SEASON

In Barcelona, he managed an average of 78.33 goals per season. In the 3 seasons before he was signed, they had an average of 78 goals per season. There wasn’t much impact in terms of average, but he was consistent in goals and won the league two times & came second once. In Bayern Munich he has managed the team to score the highest number of league goals (81 goals in 34 games) in 23 years. Hence his footballing philosophy always revolves around scoring more goals, which is a very good trait for a Manchester United manager.

Do you know that, Louis van Gaal’s AFC Ajax side lost only 1 match (in KNVB Cup) in the entire 1994-95 campaign in 49 matches.

The concern about him is that he is very stubborn and arrogant. This might help or prove bad for United. He has been sacked by Barcelona in 2003, has resigned as Technical Director from Ajax in 2004 due to internal conflict and has been sacked by Bayern Munich in 2011. He has had highs and lows in his managerial career. Whether he will prove to be a success in United is yet to be seen.

Do you think he will be a success at Manchester United?

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8 statistics that haunted David Moyes’ United tenure

1. POOR TABLE POSITION

Manchester United are not going to finish in Top 3 for the first time in Premier League

Manchester United - First time out of Top Three

Manchester United – First time out of Top Three

2. LOW POINTS EARNED

Even if United wins the remaining 4 games, they will be able to earn only 69 points, which is 6 less than their lowest in Premier League

Manchester United - Lowest Points Tally ever in Premier League

Manchester United – Lowest Points Tally ever in Premier League

3. OLD TRAFFORD’S PRESTIGE PUT AT STAKE

Old Trafford has become a 3-points gifting stadium. Apart from the top 6 clubs, Stoke City, Southampton, Crystal Palace, Hull City, Norwich City, West Ham United, Swansea City and West Bromwich Albion have all performed better than United at their respective home stadiums in one aspect or the other as depicted below.

Premier League Home Table 2013-14 Season

Premier League Home Table 2013-14 Season

4. HUMILIATIONS GALORE

Humiliations have been so common that so many teams recorded their first wins against Manchester United in the recent times

David Moyes' Humiliations at United

David Moyes’ Humiliations at United

5. VERY POOR PERFORMANCE AGAINST THE BEST TEAMS

Manchester United performance against Top 5 teams have been so abysmal in the last 5 years. Incidentally, this table shows a decline in form against Top teams during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure itself.

Under David Moyes, United against top 5 teams

Under David Moyes, United against top 5 teams

6. INABILITY TO ACHIEVE STABILITY

Even towards the end of the season, David Moyes had never finalized on his preferred starting line up. Manchester United have the maximum number of players utilized in the league (28) among the Top 7 teams.

David Moyes - 51 Starting Line Ups at United

David Moyes – 51 Starting Line Ups at United

7. LACK OF TRANSFERS ACUMEN

Sir Alex Ferguson always have spent less money to get high output from the players he has signed. David Moyes failed in that miserably as his signings Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini didn’t actually contribute as much as expected.

Money Spent per goal and assist - Manchester United

Money Spent per goal and assist – Manchester United

8. VERY POOR INTENT IN FRONT OF GOAL

Basis of scoring is to show more intent by having more shots per game. This key indicator has steeply decreased this year and it’s noticed that even under Sir Alex Ferguson last season, this dip was noticed.

Manchester United - Shots per game over seasons

Manchester United – Shots per game over seasons

Share your opinion on what all went wrong for David Moyes at Manchester United.

Premier League Analysis: Big Clubs have high Player Longevity

Attrition (Rate of employees leaving an organization) is always low at the bigger organizations and institutions. This fits the scenario for Football players in the Premier League Clubs too. The table here shows the average years spent in the same club by its top 11 appearance making players. Observations from this analysis are as follows:

Average Years Spent at Club by top 11 appearance making players (2013-14 season)
Average Years Spent at Club by top 11 appearance making players (2013-14 season)

1. Longer the players stick around, Better the team performs

Top 5 clubs in retaining their main (Starting XI) players (Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal and Liverpool) are placed in Top 7 in the league table. In fact, none of the top 10 teams in the top half of the league table are in the bottom 6 in this list. Reverse is also true: Big and successful clubs retain their main men.

2. David Moyes didn’t stamp his mark in the club yet (whereas his peers did at their respective clubs)

Manchester United, Chelsea and Everton are the clubs with high average player longevity. All these clubs had a managerial change this season too. None of the players signed by David Moyes played regularly enough whereas Jose Mourinho had Willian break into the starting XI and Martinez had Barry, McCarthy and Lukaku break into the starting XI. Considering the recent 5 players from the main squad, the average time spent in the club is still very high for United at 3.4 years whereas for Chelsea and Everton its just 1.8 years. Hence, Chelsea and Everton are fresh teams with very old stalwarts supporting them whereas Manchester United is only a old team which needs fresh faces.

Top 11 appearance making players in United, Chelsea and Everton
Top 11 appearance making players in United, Chelsea and Everton

3. Arsenal is neither a young team nor a fresh new team anymore

Arsenal’s main XI has been sticking together for a long time too. Szczesny, Sagna, Gibbs, Ramsey and Wilshere have been in the club for around 6 years or more. And the average age of the club is also at 26.5 which is higher than 8 other clubs (notable among them where Liverpool and Tottenham). Arsene Wenger can’t use that as an excuse for not winning anymore, but on the same hand Jose Mourinho is wrong in saying his side is young as well. Chelsea main XI’s average age is 27.5 which is lesser than only 6 other clubs. Both Arsenal and Chelsea have a well balanced side with young, old, new and experienced players.

Arsenal Main XI Average Years Spent at club
Arsenal Main XI Average Years Spent at club

4. Longer a club stays in the league, more the club retains its players

There are 7 clubs (Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton, Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham) which have never been relegated in Premier League and 6 of them have the main XI stick together for more years than the other league clubs. The clubs which are recently promoted are the ones to have more new players playing for the team and they are clubs which are predominantly in the bottom half of the table.

PL Clubs - Player Longevity and Current Spell
PL Clubs – Player Longevity and Current Spell

Share your thoughts with us.

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100 Jose Mourinho’s Premier League wins – An analysis

Jose Mourinho became the 15th Premier League manager to record 100 Premier League wins with 3-1 win against Manchester United. He is the first manager who has managed Chelsea to have achieved this feet. Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger, Rafael Benitez and Jose Mourinho are the only Fantastic Four to hold this record by managing a single club in Premier League.

Managers with 100 Premier League wins

Managers with 100 Premier League wins

Trying to analyze these 100 wins, the following intriguing observations have been noticed:

1. Saturday is better than Sunday: Mourinho has had 78% wins and 8% losses in Saturday league games whereas he has had just 55% wins and 13% losses in Sunday league games. This is predominantly due to scheduling of tough and interesting fixtures on Sundays.

2. Stamford Bridge is Fortress: His formidable unbeaten home league game record of 71 matches is widely known. He has 79% wins and no losses at home whereas has 62% wins and 18% losses away from home.

3. One-Goal-More is enough for a Win: 31% of Jose’s league matches were won by 1 goal difference. He has drawn One out of every Five games.

League Games split by Goal Difference

League Games split by Goal Difference

4. Avoiding Defeat against Big Teams is his style: Against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United he has lost only 3 out of 30 matches. He has 56% wins and 33% draws against these four teams in the League.

5. Defense is his Forte: His teams have kept clean sheets in 54% of the league matches. His teams have conceded more than 2 goals only in 3 occasions. The only 3 clubs to scored 3 goals against his teams are Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Stoke City.

6. Jose Mourinho is the master of 1-0 victories: One out of every Five games, Jose has won by 1-0. One out of every Three games, he has won by either 1-0 or 2-0.

7. Stoke City is so far Special: There are 29 teams that he has played in Premier League so far. Stoke City is the only team he hasn’t won so far in league. Only Newcastle United and Middlesbrough have won two league matches against him. Against 12 teams, he has 100% win percentage.

Jose Mourinho 100 Premier League wins Club-by-Club

Jose Mourinho 100 Premier League wins Club-by-Club

Share with us the Jose Mourinho moments you like.

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Premier League Analysis: Solid First Half & Leaky Second Half

Goals conceded by Top 9 teams in different time periods of games

Goals conceded by Top 9 teams in different time periods of games

Time analysis on the goals conceded by the top 9 teams of Barclays Premier League tells us:

  1. Predominantly, most goals are conceded in the second half. This could be because the top teams generally are difficult to break and it takes a good amount of time for the opponent to build up and break the defense. These teams’ defense are mostly solid in first half and leaky in second half.
  2. Arsenal, Manchester City and Everton conceded almost 30% of their goals in the last 15 minutes of the game. Including the injury time as well, Arsenal and Manchester City have conceded 35% and 39% of their goals after 75 minutes of the game.
  3. Interestingly, 72% of goals conceded by Liverpool are from second half. Either they are very solid in defense in the first half or they are very ruthless in attack in the first half.
  4. Chelsea and Manchester United have been conceding many goals in the start of second half. It seems the half time pep talk of Jose Mourinho and David Moyes is counterproductive.
  5. Southampton is the only team to have conceded more than one-fourth of the goals in the first 15 minutes of the game.
  6. Liverpool and Southampton haven’t yet conceded in 31′ – 45′ and Manchester City hasn’t yet conceded in the first 15 minutes.

Combining this analysis with the Time Analysis on Goals scored by Top EPL teams gives interesting insights.

  1. For Arsenal and Everton, whenever they attacked more, they were more vulnerable and conceded more goals too.
  2. For Liverpool, the first half is for their attack and the second half is for their opponent to attack.
  3. For Chelsea, the last 15 minutes is the golden period for scoring as almost 30% of goals came from that.
  4. Tottenham’s 33% of goals came in the start of second half. Surprisingly, it seems Andre Villas Boas didn’t do bad in the half time talk, but he couldn’t help his defense conceding goals in all the periods. And Spurs haven’t yet scored in the first 15 minutes of the game.
  5. Newcastle United, Manchester United and Southampton have almost a similar pattern of goals scored in different periods. Their mid 60 minutes had most goals spread almost evenly.

An updated analysis diagram in shown below:

Goals scored by Top 9 teams in different time periods of games

Goals scored by Top 9 teams in different time periods of games

My opinions on EPL 2012-13 Gameweek 6

Gameweek 6 with 3 home wins, 2 home draws, 5 home losses, 2 clean sheets and 34 goals was indeed a disastrous week for the home teams. The following are my opinions about this disastrous week for the home teams:

1. Though Fernando Torres scored with a wonderful flick and contributed well to the defense, his one-on-one miss opportunity in the first half should have been converted and that could have been a killer. Support for the defensive solidness by the attacking midfielders Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar is the character required from a team fighting out for the title.

2. Though Gervinho scored an awesome goal, the number of missed opportunities was disappointing. I almost got the feeling that it was the same old Adebayor who was playing.

3. Goddess of Luck, Fortuna, was on Manchester City‘s side. It’s good for them at the time when they are struggling defensively.

4. Spurs won at Old Trafford after 23 years and André Villas Boas showed his capability and acumen to the Premier League.

5. Manchester United‘s defense was pathetic. The defenders couldn’t even hold the opponents in any of their counter attacks. With so many injuries, SAF has to invest on buying some solid defender to avoid what Arsene had done over the past few years.

6. Rooney is still the King of Old Trafford. His sheer presence uplifted Manchester United’s game in the second half. Van Persie might not be able to inspire in such a way.

7. With just 16 matches played, Nikica Jelavić became Everton’s top scorer last year. Both his goals this week were complete target man materials. And he is turning out to be another brilliant signings of David Moyes. I think that David Moyes deserves to be among Alex Ferguson’s succession candidates.

8. Liverpool‘s win against Norwich doesn’t guarantee anything. They need to fight it out with mid table teams at the least if not the top teams to prove that they are still a tough team in the league.

9. Newcastle’s dependence on Demba Ba is increasing every gameweek. So far he has scored six out of the eight goals Newcastle has scored.

10. Peter Crouch is still the man to watch in set pieces (in the matches he plays) and his presence in Stoke supplements their brilliance in set pieces.

Let’s wait for more exciting things to come out of this best league in the world in the upcoming games.

The real boss

The world sees Chelsea FC as a Football Club, whereas the owner Roman Abramovich sees Chelsea FC as his new costly toy. In particular, the managers of Chelsea FC. When he gets bored of a manager, he throws him out. Almost everyone who follows Football knows this by now. As a fan of Chelsea FC, I see Manchester United, Arsenal, and Everton with envy. How it works for these clubs to have a consistent manager even though the managers of these clubs don’t add trophy to the club every year? Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson are almost synonymous. But to create such a legacy is not what Chelsea needs now. A stint of three reasonable years isn’t asking for much. Also the fans of Chelsea FC needs to understand that even Fergie was very close under the axe four years into his tenure. Had they not won the FA cup third round against Nottingham Forest, thanks to the goal from Mark Robins, their history over the past 22 years would have been altogether different for Manchester United. And Manchester United finished thirteenth that season (1989-90). It took a long seven years for even the mighty Fergie to win the league title. Persistence with the same manager is the key to set up a world class football club. Injecting the cash from oil well into the club might win trophies in the short term but it is not a sustainable mechanism.

Arsene Wenger’s story is more than just a case of Football Management. He is one manager who earns profits to the management rather than spending millions freely. Not many football coaches will be ready to carry the financial debt stress due to building a stadium on his shoulders. After their Emirates stadium project, the period saw very less but futuristic signings from the `professor` which helped Arsenal to post a 56 million pounds profit before tax during the year 2010-11. Though this resulted in Arsenal not being in a position to compete for the league title, they always qualified for the Champions League. Support from the board and the fans are crucial as winning trophies alone does not define the success of a club. Sustainable presence, pride and growth does.

Everton’s manager David Moyes is another commendable manager who has had a tenure of more than ten years now with the club. Before he took charge of the club, the club hasn’t finished in the top 10 of the league table for six years. And after he took over, the club has finished below top 10 only in 3 of the 10 years. They qualified for UEFA champions league once and qualified for UEFA cup thrice. A manager with a record of just over 40% wins has made a statement on sustainable presence and development in the premier league. This is not possible without the support of the owner and the fans. 

It is very much a possibility of building a club by dropping into the mid table in the early years. The owner just needs some patience to give the manager a minimum of three year spell to form a stable squad when the dressing room is so powerful with experienced players. These experienced players are stuck in some system they have followed over years. In my honorable opinion, Andre Villas Boas is not a manager who should have been sacked but who should have been given full support. Had the owner supported the manager instead of the aging players, he would have turned the club’s fortune in two or three years. Finally, I envy Inter for the support shown by Moratti on Ranieri even after the Champions League exit. I am hoping that the mentality of Roman and the Chelsea fans change.