How the Mighty Have Fallen
An alarming goal stat for fantasy football managers
When Manchester United hosted Aston Villa last weekend it had all the hallmarks of a goal-fest. The relegated Villans were surely there for the taking and fantasy managers could easily have been forgiven for stacking their line-ups with United forwards. However, things didn’t pan out as expected – the Red Devils made hard work of it – only claiming victory courtesy of a solitary Marcus Rashford strike.
The result epitomised United’s season, in which a cutting edge has been sorely missing with pedestrian football leaving the Old Trafford faithful far from satisfied. But just how far have United fallen this season under Louis van Gaal? The Oulala infographic below examines United’s goal tally in each Premier League campaign to date.
A return of 42 goals from 34 Premier League is dire by United’s high standards. In fantasy football terms it is pretty catastrophic – goals and assists are the bread and butter that wins contests – if you have made a habit of selecting United’s offensive players this season you probably won’t have been figuring highly on too many leader-boards!
There are two big questions to be addressed in the summer – will Louis van Gaal remain in the hot-seat and will the Manchester side sign a new forward or rely on the emerging talent of Rashford. Only time will tell and on a positive note they still have an outside chance of securing Champions League football and the small matter of an FA Cup semi-final to negotiate.
FA Cup goals
But are they faring any better in the Cup? A return of 10 goals in 5 games would suggest so, but the opposition has been relatively poor, with no disrespect meant to Derby County, Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield United.
Everton stand in their way at the semi-finals stage and we previewed this tie earlier. The Toffees have some defensive concerns which might persuade some fantasy managers to give the likes of Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial a shot but the bookmakers have still been fairly cautious.
The other tie – Crystal Palace vs Watford promises to be a very cagey affair and a single goal could sway it either way.
So bearing in mind that Manchester United haven’t won the FA Cup since 2004 one question needs answering – will their goalscoring woes derail their latest campaign?