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7 damning Dream Team stats that prove Man United were right to sack Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

A hapless 4-1 defeat to Watford was the final straw but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal as Man United manager was at least two months in the making.

The Red Devils started the new season in good form with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo (£7.7m) prompting mass excitement and hope among fans.

However, defeats to Young Boys and Aston Villa in September proved to the start of a steep decline that eventually led to Saturday’s mess at Vicarage Road.

In an attempt to view the full scale of the problems the club have faced in recent times, here are seven damning Dream Team stats…

Farewell, sweet prince

Farewell, sweet prince

1 Man United have just three players with 30+ points

Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes (£6.2m) and Mason Greenwood (£3.3m) are the only Old Trafford residents with 30+ points to their name at this stage.

For comparison, Man City and Chelsea both have 15 players with 30+ points while even Southampton have six…

2 Ronaldo and Fernandes account for 47.3% of Man United’s total points

It was often said that Solskjaer relied on individual brilliance to cover his tactical failings time and time again.

The Portuguese pair have 155 points between them which equates to nearly half the entire squad’s total – a total outlier in terms of reliance on the top two performers.

Even Liverpool’s top two, which includes runaway leader Mohamed Salah (£7.9m), only account for 25.6% of the club’s overall tally.

Chelsea have shared the points around evenly with Thomas Tuchel happily rotating his in-form assets – their two players make up just 18.5% of the Blues’ total.

There’s no doubting the talent of the squad

There’s no doubting the talent of the squad

3 Greenwood is Man United’s third-best player this season but just 82nd-best overall

Another fact that underlines the heavy load of Ronaldo and Fernandes.

Greenwood’s tally of 35 points is enough to put him on Man United’s podium but a grand total of 81 players are ahead of him in the rankings when you include every club.

In comparison, Man City’s third-best player Gabriel Jesus (£4.5m) is rank 23, Chelsea’s third-best asset Antonio Rudiger (£4.7m) is rank ten, and Liverpool’s third-best player Sadio Mane (£5.4m) is rank eight.

In fact, Greenwood has the same number of points as Callum Hudson-Odoi (£2.5m) who is only the Blues’ 14th-best player.

4 Harry Maguire has the same number of points as Jaden Philogene-Bidace (£1.7m) and Lukas Rupp (£1.4m)

If you’ve never heard of those two players, that’s exactly the point!

Philogene-Bidace is an Aston Villa teenager who has played just 151 minutes this season, all but four of them in the Carabao Cup, while Rupp is a bit-part player for relegation-threatened Norwich.

Both have mustered just seven points in Dream Team but that’s enough to match Maguire after the England international was sent off against Watford.

The big difference is that while Philogene and Rupp both feature in 0% of teams, Man United’s club captain is the 23rd-most popular player in the game.

That fingers-in-ears celebration against Albania look sather silly now, doesn’t it?

That fingers-in-ears celebration against Albania look sather silly now, doesn’t it?

5 Luke Shaw (£2.7m) is the tenth-most popular player in the game despite having produced just ten points all season

The widely-selected left-back was utterly brilliant for Dream Team Euros gaffers during the summer and was consequently the most-popular defender in the game ahead of Game Week 1.

However, much like Maguire, his personal form has dropped off a cliff since switching the Three Lions for club colours.

Incredibly, Shaw is still the tenth-most popular player overall despite mustering just ten points.

The only other players in the top 40 most-selected with fewer than 20 points to their name? Maguire, Jadon Sancho (£2.8m) and Paul Pogba (£3.4m).

6 Three of Man United’s first-choice defender average less than one point per game

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£2.6m) joins the aforementioned Maguire and Shaw in the doghouse here.

The defensive right-back is trundling along at a rate of 0.8 points per fixture this season.

Maguire (0.5) and Shaw (0.7) possess and even weaker average while the injured Raphael Varane (£3.9m) boasts a comparatively epic rate of two points per outing.

Man United have kept just two clean sheets in all competitions this season.

An expensive pair that contributed very little under Solskjaer

An expensive pair that contributed very little under Solskjaer

7 Sancho has zero points

We’re tempted to just let that stat breathe without a follow-up but, unfortunately, it gets even worse for the former Borussia Dortmund starlet.

With all excitement surrounding Sancho’s transfer, he was slapped with a £4.5m price tag but his underwhelming start to life at Old Trafford has seen his value plummet to £2.8m – no other player has dropped in price more this season.