Despite the arrival of Robin van Persie in the summer, United only managed to muster a meagre 86 goals this season, 3 less than last time around. In reality, this was probably more attributable to the limited contribution from the wings this season because, in reality, it was a fairly positive season for the forwards. Whilst the defence did it’s best to throw away the title within the first few months – as the odds on Unibet suggested at the time – the forwards did enough up front to compensate for the kamikaze attitude on display elsewhere.
Following on from the defence and midfield reports, this report assesses how well everyone actually performed in comparison to their expected performance at the start of August. It is not a quantified ranking of individual ability, as most typical season reviews are:
13(14) PL, 1 goal, 4 assists.
Objective: Establish him self as a regular starter.
What Went Well: Danny became a regular starter on the big occasions, trusted by Sir Alex to carry out his defensive duties diligently and capable of scaring defences with his blistering pace and intricate passing. He scored a memorable goal on the biggest stage of all, the Bernabeau, and went on to win his first Premier League winner’s medal.
What Went Badly: Although he achieved his primary goal and making more appearances, Welbeck’s finishing was unacceptable. Scoring a solitary Premier League goal, against Stoke in October, he had the worst finishing rate (3%) out of anyone to score a goal. If he wants to take his game to the next level, he needs to hit double figures next season, even if he remains on the wing.
9(13) 10 goals, 3 assists. 25 years old.
Objective: Earn more playing time on the pitch.
What Went Well: Chicharito reminded every one of his goal-scoring prowess this season, putting to bed any doubts that he would be nothing more than a one hit wonder, and showed a tremendous improvement in his much maligned build up play. Scoring vital goals against Chelsea, Villa and Newcastle, to name just a few, his goals were arguably some of the most vital to our title-winning campaign.
What Went Badly: Failing to make 10 Premier League starts, Hernandez will be frustrated by his lack of opportunities from the start. Arguably, he makes more of an impact but from the bench, but he’ll believe his improved all round game warrants more time on the pitch.
Robin van Persie:
35(3) PL appearances, 26 goals, 8 assists
Objective: Propel United to the top of the league.
What Went Well: The Premier League’s biggest transfer last season did not fail to deliver. Hitting the ground running, the Dutchman scored a plethora of exquisite goals and, especially at the start of the season, single handily fired United to the top of the table.
What Went Badly: Rivalling Michael Carrick for United’s player of the year, few things went wrong for Robin- minus a 10 game blip near the end of the campaign. However, as he has reiterated many times on TV, he won’t be content with his missed chances and will be looking to surpass his PL tally of 26 next season.
17(3) PL Appearances, 6 goals, 3 assists
Objective: Adapt to the Premier League
What Went Well: Despite doubters questioning his ability at first, Kagawa showed an abundance of quality, during the latter half of the season, that resulted in one of the most aesthetically pleasing hat-tricks of the season against Norwich City.
What Went Badly: Unfortunately, Kagawa struggled with a number of niggling injuries throughout the season, which curtailed his development. He’ll be hoping to find his role in the squad and make the CAM his next season.
Objective: Show he could still be top dog after van Persie’s arrival.
What Went Well: Even though he passed penalty duties to van Persie, Rooney managed to average at least a goal or an assist for every PL start (12 goals and 10 assists in 22 starts). Either alongside or behind Robin van Persie, Rooney scored vital goals against City, Southampton or Fulham before a dressing room fallout seemingly brought his season to a sour end.
What Went Badly: Once again, Rooney tried his best to ruin any remaining rapport he had with the Old Trafford faithful by handing in a transfer request and showing a general disinterest in the game. Although injuries, illness and freak injuries inevitably contributed to his discontent with his season, the falling out with Sir Alex leaves his future at Old Trafford far from certain.
Has Chris been too generous or even too harsh? Share your views by leaving a comment.