Man United have won just FIVE of 14 matches at the beginning of last two seasons. Sir Alex Ferguson’s title-winning sides never started so badly… Solskjaer is RIGHT that ‘you can lose the league in your first seven games’ – they must fly out of the traps
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called on his stars to get off on the right foot next month
- Manchester United won just three of their opening seven league games last term
- In Solskjaer’s first season they got off to a worse start, picking up just nine points
- Sir Alex Ferguson’s title winners never started as badly as Solskjaer’s charges
Manchester United got off to the perfect start in pre-season, sealing a 2-1 victory over Wayne Rooney’s Derby in their opening warm-up game over the weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s outfit finished 12 points behind rivals Manchester City in second place last season and the United boss has called on his stars to get off on the right foot when the season commences next month.
‘We have to start better than last season. We didn’t get off to a decent start at all and now it’s the first one under the belt,’ he told the club’s official website.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (L) is looking to emulate his former boss Sir Alex Ferguson (R) and win the Premier League at Manchester United
Solskjaer has called on his stars to get off on the right foot when the season begins next month
‘I think the Premier League is more competitive [than it used to be]. We had [when I was a player] maybe one competitor every season so, of course, the first six or seven games, it’s very important to stay there.
‘You don’t win the league in the first six or seven games, but you can lose the chance of winning the league.’
United won just three of their opening seven league games last term, losing their opening game of the season 3-1 to Crystal Palace.
The Red Devils were also thrashed 6-1 by Tottenham at home and were defeated 1-0 by Arsenal as they were left playing catch-up.
United did beat Brighton, Newcastle and Everton, meaning it wasn’t the club’s worst start during Solskjaer’s tenure.
In fact, that came the season before – his first full season at the helm. United picked up just nine points from their first seven games in the 2019-20 season.
Ferguson’s title-winning sides never started as badly as Solskjaer’s charges in last two seasons
They failed to kick on from an impressive 4-0 victory over Chelsea on the opening day and went on to drop points against Wolves, Palace, Southampton, West Ham and Arsenal.
Their only other win came courtesy of a Marcus Rashford penalty at home to Leicester.
In Sir Alex Ferguson’s trophy-laden spell as United manager, in which he claimed 13 Premier League titles, the most his side ever lost in the first seven games was two matches before going on to success.
Just the 1992-93, 2002-03 and 2012-13 sides lost two out of the first seven matches, while his 10 other title winners lost just one or no games across the same number of fixtures.
United won just two out of their opening seven games in Solskjaer’s first full season in charge, with a Marcus Rashford penalty sealing a 1-0 win over Leicester (pictured)
MANCHESTER UNITED’S FIRST SEVEN LEAGUE GAMES
August 14 – Leeds (home)
August 22 – Southampton (away)
August 29 – Wolves (away)
September 11 – Newcastle (home)
September 19 – West Ham (away)
September 25 – Aston Villa (home)
October 2 – Everton (home)
Ferguson’s 1999-00 side got off to the best start in his 27-year tenure, winning six of their opening seven games to rack up 19 points out of a possible 21. They ran away with the title, amassing 91 points.
Solskjaer guided United to the same impressive start when he took over from Jose Mourinho in December 2018. The Red Devils responded to a new leader and felt the managerial bounce as they lost no games in his first seven matches in charge.
The fewest points one of Ferguson’s title-winning outfits accumulated out of the opening seven games was 11 after winning just three matches. However United went on to win 25 games and pip Arsenal to glory by five points.
Ferguson’s title-winning sides, therefore, never started as badly as Solskjaer’s charges. The current United boss was right to issue a word of warning ahead of the new season.
United get their 2021-22 Premier League campaign up and running by welcoming Leeds to Old Trafford on August 14. They then travel to Southampton and Wolves before hosting Newcastle.
Solskjaer’s side then face West Ham at the London Stadium, followed by two home matches against Aston Villa and Everton as their first seven matches.
A strong start could make all the difference as to where the Premier League title ends up next year… and Solskjaer is all too aware of it.
A strong start could make all the difference next season… and manager Solskjaer knows it
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