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How statistics show Mourinho’s lack of consistency in Manchester United team selections was costly last season

Date Posted,June 30, 2017

The figures didn’t add up for Manchester United in the Premier League last season – and Jose Mourinho’s number might be up if he continues to tinker with his side.

Chelsea used 24 players as they marched to top-flight glory last season.

That’s one more than the 23 employed by Claudio Ranieri during Leicester City’s fairy-tale title charge in 2015/16.

Mourinho, in contrast, used 31 players in the Premier League as his new side spluttered to a disappointing sixth-place finish – a distant 24 points behind Chelsea.

It’s not so much the number of players used that sets the Londoners apart, though.

United used a host of players in the Premier League last season (Photo: PA)
Champions Chelsea had consistency in their squad (Photo: Michael Regan)

It’s the stability of the champions’ starting line-up that served Antonio Conte so well in his first season at Stamford Bridge.

According to statistics compiled by the European Football Observatory (CIES), Chelsea’s 11 most used players were on the pitch for 85.5 per cent of the league minutes played by the club last season.

That’s the highest percentage of any club in Europe’s 27 top divisions.

Tony Pulis’s West Brom and runners-up Spurs also feature high up on the run-down, with the Baggies ninth and the North Londoners 11th.

Pulis’ West Brom side used a small amount of players (Photo: Getty Images)
Tottenham had a consistent squad during last season (Photo: Action Plus)

Manchester United, though, are way down that list.

The 11 players fielded most by Mourinho during their Premier League campaign played just 62.8 per cent of United’s minutes – a figure which puts them in the bottom 50 of clubs across Europe.

That figure is only marginally higher than the 62.6 per cent recorded by relegated Hull City and the 58.6 per cent of Granada, who Tony Adams managed for a brief period before their La Liga relegation.

David de Gea was the only United player to play more than 30 Premier League matches last season.

De Gea was the only United player to make 30+ league appearances (Photo: REUTERS)
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Chelsea, meanwhile, had eight, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante and Marcos Alonso all playing 30 top-flight matches or more in their triumphant season.

In the past 10 years, only two clubs have used 30 players or more when winning the league – Chelsea in 2009/10 and Manchester United the season before.

Since 2011/12, the champions have used 25 or fewer. They are figures that Mourinho should note if he wants more League titles.

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