Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

How the stats add up for Robin van Persie and Manchester United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Cardiff City at Old Trafford on January 28, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 28: Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team-mates during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Cardiff City at Old Trafford on January 28, 2014 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

So Robin van Persie is back in business – and so are Manchester United.

The 30-year-old was back with a bang from his injury lay-off, scoring the opening goal in the 2-0 win over Cardiff City on Tuesday night.

Football fans love statistics and RVP's give his manager David Moyes plenty of hope.

The Dutch striker's United record is a 70% win ratio when he plays, compared with 45% without.

On average, United record 2.2 points per game with van Persie on the field. When he is in the stands, their return is just 1.5.

So all United need to do is keep Van Persie fit and firing and they will qualify for the Champions League? – simple.

In reality, life is much more complicated than that.

Let's not forget that in United's nine defeats this season, Van Persie was involved in three of them.

Is Wayne Rooney equally or more important than his strike partner?

The Gunners fans who idolised Van Persie as the captain and talisman of their club hated to see him leave for United – but has it stopped the flood of goals at the Emirates?

Goals have come from all over the pitch as Arsenal are no longer reliant on one player to hit the back of the net for them.

Whereas van Persie's 30 league strikes carried Arsenal in the 2011-12 season, now their entire team seems to take turns sharing the goalscoring burden.

As Mark Twain observed: "There are lies, damned lies and statistics."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre