Manchester United, despite sitting fourth in the Premier League, have been roundly criticised for playing ‘dull’ football this season. Prior to Wayne Rooney’s winner against CSKA Moscow in their most recent Champions League clash, the Red Devils had gone 404 minutes without scoring a goal, which had led to chants of ‘attack, attack, attack’ from the fans who have grown more and more frustrated with Louis van Gaal’s approach.
In recent weeks the Dutchman has made an attempt to react to the issues being raised, with Memphis Depay having been dropped out of the XI following his slow start to life in English football, and Jesse Lingard has stepped in. Although, as is the case with youngsters, the 22-year-old has been guilty of giving the ball away – only Memphis has been more slack in possession this term losing out each 26.1 minutes – he has given the club a more direct approach, ranking first in the United squad for minutes-per-dribbles.
WhoScored’s stats show that Lingard, who scored a vital goal against West Brom recently, is the third most proficient ‘shooter at goal’ available to LVG, and also gets involved in his defensive duties, averaging a tackle every 42.4 minutes.