Reprieves for exiled duo? Man Utd stars ranked by pressing success

Date published: Tuesday 30th November 2021 7:56 - Ian Watson

Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesse Lingard, Paul Pogba in action for Manchester United.

Four of Man Utd’s top five pressers this season have either been sold or look set to leave. Or maybe not now Ralf Rangnick is at the wheel.

Here are the Manchester United players ranked for successful pressures per 90 minutes this season, with all numbers provided by the wonderful fbref.com

 

1) Jesse Lingard – 10 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 30
Success percentage: 33
Defensive third: 6.67; midfield third: 10.0; attacking third: 13.3

Sign him up, Ralf.

 

2) Donny van de Beek – 7.14 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 12.9
Success percentage: 55.6
Defensive third: 4.29; midfield third: 7.14; attacking third: 1.43

Play him, Ralf.

 

3) Fred – 6.70 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 26.2
Success percentage: 25.6
Defensive third: 7.87; midfield third: 15.0; attacking third: 3.30

And you all thought Fred was sh*t. You’d be right, but at least he’ll chase.

 

=4) Paul Pogba – 5.71 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 19.4
Success percentage: 29.4
Defensive third: 4.14; midfield third: 9.71; attacking third: 5.57

Just imagine how many presses he could achieve if he wasn’t pretending to sprint.


Ian King: Rangnick to Man Utd feels like an outbreak of common sense


 

=4) Daniel James – 5.71 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 22.1
Success percentage: 25.8
Defensive third: 3.57; midfield third: 9.29; attacking third: 9.29

Have United made a terrible mistake? Probably not, but…

 

=6) Bruno Fernandes – 5.00 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 18.5
Success percentage: 27.1
Defensive third: 3.31; midfield third: 9.68; attacking third: 5.48

And 97.5 per cent of his presses ended with Bruno throwing his arms in the air.

 

=6) Edinson Cavani – 5.00 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 12.5
Success percentage: 40.0
Defensive third: 2.50; midfield third: 4.58; attacking third: 5.42

There’s the Rangnick centre-forward.

 

=6) Alex Telles – 5.00 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 12.5
Success percentage: 40.0
Defensive third: 6.67; midfield third: 5.00; attacking third: 0.83

That’s Luke Shaw f***ed.

 

9) Nemanja Matic – 4.72 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 13.2
Success percentage: 35.7
Defensive third: 5.28; midfield third: 7.36; attacking third: 0.57

Creditable numbers for a bloke who is precisely 10 per cent as mobile as he once was.

 

10) Eric Bailly – 4.67 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 10.7
Success percentage: 43.8
Defensive third: 6.67; midfield third: 3.33; attacking third: 0.67

No numbers for how many of these presses were attempted head first or two-footed, sadly.

 

11) Anthony Martial – 4.55 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 12.3
Success percentage: 37.0
Defensive third: 2.27; midfield third: 4.09; attacking third: 5.91

Tony Martial, no doubt, is entirely non-plussed to find himself surprisingly high in this list.

 

12) Jadon Sancho – 4.36 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 16.4
Success percentage: 26.7
Defensive third: 4.36; midfield third: 8.00; attacking third: 4.00

It’s Sancho time, Ralf.

 

13) Scott McTominay – 3.33 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 16.1
Success percentage: 20.7
Defensive third: 6.07; midfield third: 8.81; attacking third: 1.19

Man of the match in the first game of the Rangnick era. No matter what Michael Carrick will have you believe.

 

14) Marcus Rashford – 3.21 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 15.0
Success percentage: 21.4
Defensive third: 2.86; midfield third: 8.21; attacking third: 3.93

Too busy chasing Boris to harass defenders. Good lad.

 

15) Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 3.08 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 10.8
Success percentage: 28.4
Defensive third: 5.08; midfield third: 3.54; attacking third: 2.23

Will pressure as long as there’s the prospect of a slide tackle at the end of it. Otherwise, not interested.

 

16) Luke Shaw – 2.97 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 9.73
Success percentage: 30.6
Defensive third: 4.23; midfield third: 3.69; attacking third: 1.80

“I think they could do with a new left-back,” said Rangnick of United and Shaw last year. All the best, Lukey lad.

 

17) Raphaël Varane – 2.67 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 7.33
Success percentage: 36.4
Defensive third: 5.33; ; midfield third: 1.67; attacking third: 0.33

Varane doesn’t go to the ball. The ball goes to Varane.

 

18) Mason Greenwood – 2.50 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 10.0
Success percentage: 25.0
Defensive third: 2.05; midfield third: 3.75; attacking third: 4.20

‘Half-hearted’ is the kindest way to describe Greenwood’s pressing. It was always said he’d learn a lot from Ronaldo.

 

19) Harry Maguire – 1.90 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 5.24
Success percentage: 36.4
Defensive third: 3.81; midfield third: 1.33; attacking third: 0.10

Most of his pressures seem to have been in the direction of Shaw.

20) Victor Lindelof – 1.51 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 4.52
Success percentage: 33.3
Defensive third: 2.47; midfield third: 1.51; attacking third: 0.54

Perhaps unsurprising that Lindelof’s numbers are low since he spends most of his time covering for Maguire and Bailly while they hurtle towards wherever the ball was a second or two ago.

 

21) Diogo Dalot – 1.00 successful pressure per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 11.0
Success percentage: 9.1
Defensive third: 6.00; midfield third: 3.00; attacking third: 2.00

With each game Wan-Bissaka plays, the question gets louder: how bad really must Dalot be?

 

22) Cristiano Ronaldo – 0.94 successful pressures per 90 minutes
Pressures per 90: 5.18
Success percentage: 18.2
Defensive third: 0.35; midfield third: 2.59; attacking third: 2.24

Ronaldo just scores the goals. Which we all know now is far less important that running after defenders.

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