While the new may not come as too big a shot for Old Trafford regulars, we were surprised to read today that Manchester United leads the league in back-passes to a goalkeeper.
So far this season Louis van Gaal’s team has passed the ball back to David De Gea a startling 442 times, proving the point that the Dutchman needs to make defensive spending a priority this summer.
The figure is even more shocking if you compare it to Arsenal whose players have only passed the ball back to their keeper 261 times, leading to van Gaal saying that this habit must stop, and that he agrees with the fans and their dissatisfaction.
“I agree with the fans that we don’t have to use so much the goalkeeper because I have seen also moments that we can play in a higher tempo without interfering with the goalkeeper,” said the United boss.
The Dutchman also denied that his players were worried about being able to secure a top-four finish.
“You can always say that, but every player is at a different height of pressure,” he said. “And every player has to manage that pressure.
“You cannot, in general, say it is a nervous team because maybe six or seven players are always playing arrogantly and they need to play arrogantly to be good.
“And the other players need to be tense to play good. You can say about individual players that they are nervous.
“Then, OK, we have to talk about individual players, but I don’t want to talk about individual players.”