Off The Ball: All the hard evidence says United should sell Wayne Rooney
Increasingly, watching Wayne Rooney makes me think of applied mathematics and Messrs Kuper and Syzmanksi.
In their acclaimed book Soccernomics, Simon and Stefan use irrefutable data to illustrate the mistakes which are so often made in management.
Football culture has always prized received wisdom - even in the face of new-age fango-dango statistics.
Certain nations are overvalued, for instance, Brazilian and Dutch players in particular.
Goalkeepers are undervalued. Arsene Wenger's claim that Peter Cech could be worth 10 points a season was not plucked from the sky.
And, as Rooney's case shows, older players are simply overvalued. "You can't beat experience," says the received wisdom. Well, two goals and no assists this season suggest otherwise.
At £300,000 a week, the lumbering Rooney represents very, very poor value.
Louis Van Gaal has a political problem. Consigning Rooney to the bench will be a tricky process. Ripping the plaster clean off in the January transfer market might just swing him the league.