Van Gaal v Moyes after 10 Premier League games – who’s better?

David Moyes Interview - 23/02/2014

We take a look at which Manchester United side performed better during the first 10 games of the season.

Following Manchester United’s rather unlucky 1-0 defeat to Manchester City boss, Louis Van Gaal has now been in charge for 10 Premier League fixtures.

This time last season former boss David Moyes was feeling the pressures of managing such a big club as the Red Devils and many felt the warning signs were there from within the first few months of his tenure.

Today the signs from within Old Trafford appear to be encouraging and in stark contrast to last season despite United's mixed start to the season.

Is that unfair on David Moyes. Or have the perfomances under Van Gaal simply been an improvement? Here we assess how both managers got on after 10 Premier League fixtures at Old Trafford.

  SeasonWonDrawnLostPointsGoalsGoals ConcededAppearances
Man Utd 2013-2014 5 2 3 17 17 13 10
  SeasonWonDrawnLostPointsGoalsGoals ConcededAppearances
Man Utd 2014-2015 3 4 3 13 16 14 10

As per the table provided by Opta Stats, former United boss Moyes performed better from a results perspective. His side won five of their first 10 games of the season, scoring 17 goals and conceding 13.

Van Gaal’s new-look United side, on the other hand, has struggled in comparison, winning just three matches and recording a plus two goal difference – two fewer than Moyes.

The Dutchman has had the luxury of spending more than £150 million this summer and in players like Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao they now possess an attacking edge which was often lacking under Moyes.

The encouragement around Old Trafford stems from the performances on the pitch – But how has Van Gaal’s team performed compared to Moyes in terms of attacking intent?

  SeasonShotsKey PassesDribblesFwd PassesPossession PercentageAppearances
Man Utd 2013-2014 138 102 102 1,615 56.2 10
  SeasonShotsKey PassesDribblesFwd PassesPossession PercentageAppearances
Man Utd 2014-2015 138 108 100 1,599 56.9 10

From an attacking perspective, both managers appear to have strikingly similar attacking results in terms of shots on goal, possession stats and forward passes.

One area where Van Gaal’s men have improved is in creativity, recording six more key passes this season that at the same stage last season.

Moyes, rather harshly, was often labelled a defensive manager and many observers felt his teams were far too cautious in their attacking intent. But according to the stats, his side played more forward passes than Van Gaal’s group of players – though the differences are very slim.

The next 10 matches before the FA Cup break in January may provide a more balanced assessment but one can only speculate as to why the feeling at this stage is much more upbeat in comparison to last season.

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