Joey Barton has claimed that Patrice Evra and Robin van Persie have underperformed this season considering their statistics from last year.
"Having looked at the Opta stats for five of United’s key senior players [Nemanka Vidic, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie] and at their performance overall, I’m a bit amazed to discover that there were no major differences in statistical performance between this year and last year under Sir Alex Ferguson," writes midfielder Joey Barton on his official website.
Earlier today, Friday, the Englishman opined that David Moyes - who had his six-year contract terminated earlier this week - may have been "back-doored" by senior players at Stretford and that, perhaps contrary to popular opinion, it is actually a fairly common occurrence in modern football when a manager "loses the faith of the dressing room".
Barton then highlighted statistical anomalies in two accomplished and established senior players who may have contributed to Moyes' falling, perhaps because the Scotsman lost their confidence.
He said: "The only big differences for me are… [Robin] Van Persie who had played 34 games by this time last season and scored 24 goals. He’s scored 11 in 18 appearances this year."
Barton added: "Patrice Evra has won around a 25% less of the tackles he’s gone in for this year compared to last. He won 83.5% last year, compared to 68.1% this term.
"He’s also blocked a lot less shots (four this season, 12 last season). Evra has always been a commitment player, someone who gets stuck in for the cause, and those stats make me question whether he was willing to put himself about quite so much for the new manager."