Anorak News | Manchester United Balls: Gary Neville Would Kill For Manchester City’s Defence

Manchester United Balls: Gary Neville Would Kill For Manchester City’s Defence

by | 31st, October 2014

MANCHESTER United great Gary Neville has made a name a talented TV pundit. His writing , however, is less pointed. In the Telegraph, Neville bemoans the lowering of Premier League defences.

The death of an ex-playing TV pundit is when he continually says: “In my day it was like this – and it was better”. I find myself feeling that the Premier League is a far superior place than when I set out in 1992 – but one area of slippage is defending, as Sunday’s Manchester derby may illustrate.

Manchester United and Manchester City are leaking goals. City have let in 10 in 9; United 13 in 9.

United are in a state of flux at the back. But City remain formidable, and have the better players. Manchester United would break the bank for a Vincent Kompany.

Both clubs have amassed a vast array of firepower. Yet each is currently struggling to balance defence with attack at a time of huge change in the way the game is played. If you look at the Premier League goalscoring chart, it bursts into the thousands from 2010 on. There were 942 goals in 2009 and 1052 last season. That’s a huge shift. Once you have a five-year trend of more goals being conceded and more scored it starts to look irreversible. It points to a permanent change in the sport.

What Neville fails to note is that in season 1992-93, the first Premier League season, there were 1,222 goals; and 1,195 in each of the next two seasons.

A hike from 942 to 1,052 is a rise of 11.68%.

In season 1998-99 there were 959 goals. The next season there were 1,060. That’s a rise of 10.53% in a single year.

Neville’s point of using goal conceded to highlight a defending down turn carries no water.

You can read his entire article here.


Posted: 31st, October 2014 | In: manchester united, Sports Comment | TrackBack | Permalink