Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he doesn’t pay much attention to assists, saying he thinks that’s a bit of a social media phenomenon.
We’ve certainly seen a real shift in the way football is analysed in recent times, with the internet and social media meaning we have so much more data at our fingertips than even the best managers in the world used to be able to work with.
Still, it seems Solskjaer isn’t that fussed either way about Paul Pogba’s incredible assist record so far this season, as he thinks it’s hyped up slightly by people on social media, pointing out that there are different ways an assist can be recorded…
? "I don't count assists at all."
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he is uninterested in assist statistics despite Paul Pogba delivering seven in his first four games pic.twitter.com/abVW8PTPzf
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 14, 2021
There is certainly a tendency to over-analyse some aspects of the game these days, with Solskjaer presumably also not the biggest fan of ‘expected assists’ or ‘key passes’ either.
It’s a slightly odd argument, however, as it’s also the case that some goals are far more skilful than others, with some coming as two-yard tap-ins into an open net, while others can involve dribbling past several players or firing in a long-range effort, and yet all are counted the same.
It would be interesting to hear what other managers think about assists and how they’re counted…