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Manchester United’s Defense Is Worst In 11 Years

man united defense Manchester Uniteds Defense Is Worst In 11 Years

The current Manchester United defense is the worst in 11 years. In the first 19 games of the 2012-13 Premier League season, Manchester United have conceded 28 goals, an average of 1.47 goals per match. The last time United had a worse defensive record was in 2001 when they conceded the same number of goals in their first 19 matches.

While United’s defense has been woeful this season through a combination of poor performances by Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, as well as occasional goalkeeping lapses by David de Gea, the club is still seven points ahead in the Premier League title race. A large part of the reason for has been the impact that new signing Robin van Persie has had on the club, scoring 27% of United’s league goals this season.

To illustrate how long ago United equaled their poor defensive record, United came third in the table in the 2001-2002 season while Arsenal won the title and Liverpool finished in second place.

Manchester United’s lapses in defense have been numerous this season, but most Premier League teams haven’t been able to take advantage of them due to poor defending themselves. Matches that were there for the taking, but where the opposition failed to take advantage included Reading, Newcastle, Fulham, Southampton, Aston Villa and Manchester City.

As long as van Persie remains fit and keeps on scoring the goals, while opposition teams are unable to take advantage of United’s weaknesses, Manchester United will be fine this season in the Premier League but will be quickly exposed in the Champions League where simple mistakes will be punished more severely.

Here’s Manchester United defensive record for the past 11 years:

Gameweeks 1-19 GA Avg GA
2012-13 28 1.47
2011-12 17 0.89
2010-11 18 0.95
2009-10 18 0.95
2008-09 7 0.37
2007-08 9 0.47
2006-07 10 0.53
2005-06 16 0.84
2004-05 13 0.68
2003-04 13 0.68
2002-03 18 0.95
2001-02 28 1.47

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About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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7 Responses to Manchester United’s Defense Is Worst In 11 Years

  1. Dean Stell says:

    Yeesh….pretty grim. They really need to figure out if Vidic can be healthy or not. If he’s going to be constantly injured, they’ve got major trouble. If he can be healthy and reliable for the next couple years, they’re okay as they can mix and match Evans/Smalling/Jones/Rio based on form/fitness.

  2. Frill Artist says:

    What is even more bothering is why transfer period comes by and SAF is still looking for more attacking players! Besides the obvious CB to replace Vidic if he cannot remain fit, we need to look for the strong CDM that we haven’t had since Roy Keane.

  3. Bishopville Red says:

    I didn’t remember being that porous in 01/02. Also the second year for a foreign GK. Patterns say things will get progressively better in the next few years.


  4. MG says:

    And yet they’ll still win the league.. so what does it matter

  5. Harry Cee says:

    Vidic and Rio are getting slower and this is what needs to be addressed before next fall

  6. Dan Kajwang' says:

    It is worrying how the defense especially the left back has become porous, however, what needs to be addressed asap is the mid-field. Wanyama should be seriously brought on board this window period. I have watched Vidic pick up and his full come back cannot be overnight. Rio has been trying his best lately and hopefully things will get better in future.

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