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STATS: How Do We Compare At This Stage To Other Seasons?

It’s interesting to see that, despite all our complaints, that we’ve only bettered our current points total on 21 games on just one occasion in recent years, back in 2006/2007. Even if you didn’t take in to account the fact our injury list has been far worse than our title rivals, Manchester City, to be three points off the top at this stage in the season is a good position to be in. When you think even in 2007/2008, when we had that magical team we always rave about, our points total was identical to what it is now with a worse goal difference to the one we’ve amounted this season, it’s fairly incredible.

This doesn’t mean an awful lot where this year’s title race is concerned and I’m not trying to argue that because we’re three points better off than we were this time last season that we’ll certainly go on to win the league this season. Whether you win the title is obviously dependent on the strength of your title rivals, which is why 80 points was enough to win it last season but we needed 90 points to win it two seasons earlier.

However, for all our moaning, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to take a step back and give this current team the recognition they deserve. We’re not at full strength, there are areas we want to see new signings put in to, yet here they are on a level with the 07/08 team in terms of points.

It does make you wonder where we would be without the likes of Nemanja Vidic and Tom Cleverley out for months, or if we had bought that special midfielder we were all hoping for in the summer…


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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49 Comments

  1. mancstan says:

    Still rue that penalty Newcastle won that never was.

  2. sayyidhashim says:

    The Blackburn game may cost us the title

    Looking very likely that we need wins at Emirates and the rent boys to keep the pace up

    Probably going to be decided at Wastelands, 3rd last game of the season I believe

  3. CedarsDevil says:

    Morning all

    Fantastic stats STR, so this is our second best start for five years, pretty impressive if you ask me. I could only imagine where we would be had it not been for all the injuries we’ve suffered. Yes the bitters have had an excellent season so far but they will not last the pace, one injury and wankini is already moaning.

    If we keep our players fit and with wee Thomas to come back its ours for the taking

  4. philco says:

    We should all admit to being spoiled by the success of our team in the recent past. If your old enough to remember the dark days of the 70′s and 80′s the last 20years has been living the dream. For which I am feeling truly blessed.
    If this team goes on to win the league this season it will rank up there with the best of them. Overcoming hurdles is one thing but to be where we are after all the disruption to the team is incredible. The red machine grinds on, and I for one f**kin love it.
    Roll on 20.

  5. lordrt says:

    keep the points coming and we’ll surely overtake the bitters and move ahead, tough matches awaiting us however these days

  6. CedarsDevil says:

    philco

    I share the exact same sentiments, well said.

  7. kanchelskis says:

    @sayyidhashim

    I have full confidence we can get six points from Emirates and SB.

    Arsenal have no fullbacks, Nani looooves the Emirates, Valencia is on fire and their CBs won’t be able to handle Welbeck. We’ll probably need to outscore Arsenal as RVP will surely bag his customary goal, but I don’t see why we can’t do that.

    Chelsea a bit more tricky and will probably be a tighter game. But with Drogba away and the Tranny misfiring, I think we need to aim for a clean sheet and hope to nick one at the other end. I think we can do it.

  8. PLT says:

    Very interesting – I was thinking about how we compare to previous seasons the other day and thought that we’d actually done pretty well so far in terms of total points, which proves to be correct. The issue is that City have had one of the best ever starts to a Premier League season – their first 9 or 10 games were ridiculous in terms of the points they earned and to still be in contention is credit to the current United boys. The one concern is that we have a lot of tricky games coming up – starting with Arsenal, and then Chelsea away, Liverpool at home – how we come out of these games will really shape the season. I think we’ll be OK though!

  9. Arni says:

    Doesn’t tell the whole story unfortunately. In a lot of those seasons, we’d gotten the toughest fixtures out of the way early and were still in a good position. Maybe that could be something that’s added to to the table? Number of top 4 teams played away at this stage?

    We currently still have:

    Arsenal (A)
    Man City (A)
    Chelsea (A)
    Spurs (A)

    So I’m not too optimistic. Thankfully we beat 3/4 of them on our own turf.

  10. Stenis says:

    We’re on track.

  11. zino says:

    Arni- That’s the slightly disturbing thing. The fact that we still have a lot of tough away matches against the top teams to come. But the thing is that points will be dropped-by everyone-and we just have to take it a game at a time (cliche ryt? Lol). Still a lot to play for though and I’m looking forward to enjoying every minute of it

  12. thundercats says:

    wow

  13. samuel - united WE stand says:

    It will be a tougher game than some will imagine at arsenal. United have to turn up for the game, be compact defensively and ruthless if chances fall our away. Can’t afford to be sloppy, gotta respect arsenal.

  14. zino says:

    Plus, United don’t like doing things the easy way. Roll on Sunday… Hoping for a full squad or something similar, lol.

  15. philco says:

    Good morning Cedarsdevil, hows you.

    I just feel that some of the posters on here tend to get a little hysterical sometimes, especially on match days. We should enjoy the success we are having but always remember that its not a god given right. Football usually goes in cycles and our club is the only one in the prem to have had continuous success. The efforts of the squad so far have been exceptional, yes there have been low points, ie Blackburn, but overall they have been great. What im really looking forward to is how they develop over the next two or three years. Now that could be worth waiting for.

  16. Dave Malaysia says:

    Talking about that elusive midfeilder signing.

    Gary cahill ,was avaliable,english, very good defender,can play as full back,7 mil.

    We needed cover ,we cud have signed him.

    But we didnt. I think its cos Fergie and his team do like this kid, have a file on him since his villa days

    but decided he was not the quality in the long run for us.

    Chelski have signed him, and its going to be interesting to see how he does.

    It will speak volumes of how the different clubs analyze and pick players.

    Example: United signed Jones, liverpool signed henderson.

    Fergie dosent always get it right but I feel our success rate is getting better.

    So if Fergie is right here, then Jones,Smalling are better than cahill and henderson.

  17. Dave Malaysia says:

    @philco: Its one of the greatest achievements of Fergie. The culture of renewal.

    That and a lot of other things he has done for the club.

    He has put us on a brilliant and stable platform.

    He said a few times about the bayern munich culture of recruiting thier ex greats to work for the club.

    Now, He has done it with United, picking them greats ,and most of them learn from him and keep the culture going.

    This is important if we are to maintain that continious success.

  18. smartalex says:

    “I have been reading that Dimitar (Berbatov) would have flown over to Frankfurt and that we would be in for him there to negotiate a transfer. That was interesting news to me,” Bayer Leverkusen executive Wolfgang Holzhauser told Express.

    “I am clearly out to never say never, but this is nothing we are looking forward to at this point in time. And from today’s point of view I would also say we are not after him in the coming summer.”

    Berbatov’s agent Emil Danchev has also confirmed no deal is on the cards, after Anzhi Makhachkala and CSKA Moscow were also linked to the striker.

    “Usually I don’t comment on speculation from the press. They can say whatever they want,” Danchev told Sovetski Sport. “But the only thing that I can say is that at this moment the eventual transfer of Berbatov to another club is not on the agenda.”

    http://www.football365.co.za/story/0,22162,14341_7441811,00.html

  19. smartalex says:

    Good day Reds!

    Come on United! 20 beckons!

  20. kanchelskis says:

    I would contest the argument that Cahill is a ‘very good defender’.

    Also, say we sign him. Then next season we have Vidic, Ferdinand used (sparingly), Jones, Smalling and Evans available, and Cahill – for me – becomes 6th-choice CB. Why would we sign? And why would we buy him?

  21. philco says:

    Dave Malaysia

    on the evidence so far this season, Jones and Smalling are better than any other young players in the league. They’ve had more impact and certainly have had greater reviews, not just from UTD fans but from the wider footy community. Fergie knows best!

  22. Dave Malaysia says:

    @jay: Usually the papers like printing bull, hence yr reaction. But some of the stories are the results of leaks that agents get up to ,to push thier negotiations.

    Its happened with most of our players,sometimes Fergie will say thier agent is the problem.

    Its part of the negotiatians. Wellbeck will sign a new contract .

  23. CedarsDevil says:

    philco

    Doing well pal, again agreed… I never read nor post on the blog during or straight after a game, just drives me mad. I am in no way belittling our younger fans, far from it and the more we get on board the better. Like you said though we by enlarge have been spoiled with the success, more so I would imagine the younger lads who say started supporting the club in the 90′s on wards.

    Personally its so much sweeter as I endured those dark years in the 70′s and 80′s when going to OT most of the time you would hope not to get beat and our best aspirations as fans every season was a decent run in the FA Cup.

    So I am pretty much accustomed to United being trophy less and if that is required every few years in order to rebuild then so be it. I do not love United for the trophies, I just LOVE United

  24. Doghouse says:

    I think ever since City did us at home, given their form and the strength of their squad, the title has been theirs to lose. I believe that more than ever now. We must do our utmost, but I’d say that in any situation, United must always be relentless, it’s what we are it’s as much a part of the identity of the club as the colour red. So while I expect United to compete for every blade of grass this season, we are still looking to City to choke.

    And I think they probably will. At the start of the season they looked impervious, but they are tiring, they’re getting dirty, bruised, understood. Teams are working out who the danger men are. Teams are finding the holes. Referees are wise to the mean streak and sick of their bullshit. The second half of this season is going to be hard for City. And if we stay on them we can win it.

    It would be a travesty if City can buy the title, and I hope that the rest of English football can summon up the pride to stop that happening.

  25. Dave Malaysia says:

    Walter mitty, stop coughing, the air aint that bad! Just open da windows. Bart stop farting!

  26. philco says:

    Cedarsdevil

    Thats all that needs to be said. Utd without trophies is still UTD.
    Red til i die.

  27. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Interesting stats, and yes we have done bloody well. Out of all our injuries Smalling, Evans, Jones, Ferdinand, Raphael or Fabio and Cleverly have to stay fit between now and the end of the season. If those players can stay fit I’d be surprised if we’re not top at the end of the season.

    Because I’m bored the following is a list of who we had left to play out of the rivals after Jan 19th season by season just to put it in perspective

    06/07
    l’arse (A) – Lost 2-1
    Spurs (A) – Won 4-0
    vermin (A) – Won 1-0
    cit-eh (A) – Won 1-0
    chelski (A) – Drew 0-0 ALREADY CHAMPIONS BEFORE GAME

    07/08
    Spurs (A) – Drew 1-1
    cit-eh (H) – Lost 2-1 – Back to Back Results
    vermin (H) – Won 3-0
    l’arse (H) – Won 2-1
    chelski (A) – Lost 2-1

    08/09
    vermin (H) – Lost 4-1
    Spurs (H) – Won 5-2
    cit-eh (H) – Won 2-0
    l’arse (H) – Drew 0-0 – CHAMPIONS AS A RESULT OF THAT DRAW

    09/10
    l’arse (A) – Won 3-1
    vermin (H) – Won 2-1
    chelski (H) – Lost 2-1
    cit-eh (A) – Won 1-0
    Spurs (H) – Won 3-1

    10/11
    cit-eh (H) – Won 2-1
    chelski (A) – Lost 2-1
    vermin (A) – Lost 3-1 Back to Back defeats
    l’arse (A) – Lost 1-0
    chelski (H) – Won 2-1

    That should put it in perspective, 06/07 looks really impressive looking back. As someone already pointed out we have

    l’arse (A)
    chelski (A)
    vermin (H) BACK TO BACK GAMES with chelski
    spurs (A)
    cit-eh (H)

    If on previous seasons I’m not wrong in saying we will need at least 10 points from them especially when taking in the reverse fixture’s results into account. The crucial period starts Sunday add to that we have a cup tie with the vermin and have chelski northern supporters rentboy club AKA stoke city to follow before the crunch ties with chelski and vermin to play. Now is the time to go on a winning run.

  28. smartalex says:

    Meouw … pfffft .. cough …. choke … aaaaaaaah ….

    Some inhale views and exhale poisonous gas. Others breathe United.

  29. CedarsDevil says:

    NRD

    How are you pal? Some belting stats and sort of puts things in perspective….. Your digs at Stoke always crack me up but this one tops the list

    ‘ chelski northern supporters rentboy club AKA stoke city ‘

  30. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    I’m well mate, just praying I get Ajax and vermin tickets!!! Fucking hate stoke went to uni and there and locals just after a scrap. Most of them have criminal records and are hell bent on taking everyone down with them.

    Will never forget the last home in 2010 and how they were cheering chelski goals even though their team was get raped on the pitch. Then after the game quite a few of them I would say at least 100 singing Munich songs. Cunts hate them with a passion, the sooner they get relegated the better.

  31. TheGloryDays says:

    Contrary to what history states, I’m pretty sure that we need more points this term than any other for the simple fact that the league is getting more competitive with other teams on an equal footing in terms of money required to buy players. But, as we all know, money doesn’t win trophies. This will go down right to the wire, methinks. With Cit-eh finally stuttering and Cleverley due to come back, things are looking up for us. Glory! Man United!!!!!

  32. CedarsDevil says:

    smartalex

    Hello my friend, well said at 11:29

  33. CedarsDevil says:

    NRD

    Hope you get them tickets, a trip to Amsterdam should be a cracker…. This is for you…

    Fuck off stoke, you Munich chanting cunts

  34. smartalex says:

    CedarsDevil

    Good morning sir, and thanks!

  35. Alom says:

    wow big props to our current heavily injured crop of players!

    didnt realise this!!

    thanks for the stats Scott ;)

  36. phildo79 says:

    What does the column RANK refer to?

  37. smartalex says:

    phildo79

    In 06/07 we had 53 points after 21 games, our highest in the last 6 seasons – rank 1
    In 11/12 we have 48 points after 21 games, our 2nd highest in the last 6 seasons – rank 2

    … and so forth.

  38. phildo79 says:

    Oh aye. Cheers.

  39. Arni says:

    Good effort NRD :) Yeah you’re right Zino…what we have to take into account is that the top teams still have to play each other, so all to play for really.

    Also can’t wait for every minute of it, in a sick to my stomach, disturbing kind of way. It does make it all the more sweeter when we win the league against the odds and also when Fergie has defied critics/fans by not signing everyone they want us to sign. I just hope his stubbornness doesn’t come back to haunt us come May. It usually doesn’t.

    To think after all the complaints and bitching from myself included, just imagine we’re going down Chelsea/Arsenal’s route now. Battling to get into Europe. It would just be unacceptable. Yet it seems quite normal and acceptable for them. That’s the difference. Form is temporary, class is permanent etc.

  40. WillieRedNut says:

    We just recently resigned that special midfielder Scott? ;) He scores goals! Coming into this stage of the season, requires bottle. Whoever has the bottle to see it through, will win the league. And some luck as well, I may add. By the end March, we’ll have a better idea who’s in the race, and who ain’t. United have a tough run of games next few weeks. And a potentially explosive FA cup tie at anfield to contend with. At least city don’t have a clear run at the league. They have Europe on their minds too.

  41. bobkoh says:

    We had some tussle with Arsenal and took care of them. Then came Chelsea and we took care of them too. Now its City and the only way we can get our 20th title is to take care of them.
    The stats by STR showed we’re on track. GGMU.

  42. Costas says:

    Like Arni says. Doesn’t tell the full story. We still have to go to some very tough grounds. For me the real disappointment has been out Old Trafford form. We’ve dropped 8 points there. More than we have on the road. And that’s why we are really in the same stage we were last season. 48 points after these specific 21 games. It will take something special to go beyond 80 points and win the title this season imo.

  43. smartalex says:

    bobkoh – and all the while we took care of liverpool too.

    We’re on the high road, United.

  44. Legend22 says:

    so looks like daniel drinkwater is gone…. a couple of others have left.. i might be wrong but does anyone else think fergie might be freeing up wages for that special midfielder? hmm i hope so!

  45. onside says:

    Hey fellas

    If you like to see some stats, pointless or otherwise, here are some regarding our forgotten midfield maestro, Darren Fletcher.

    In the last 4 seasons, there has been a wide gap in defeats between games he played in and games he didn’t. Here goes:

    2011-12: Fletcher started 9 games, lost only 1 (loss percentage: 11%)
    Without Fletcher: 23 games, lost 4 (loss %: 17%)

    2010-11: Fletcher started 31, lost 2 (loss %: 6%)
    Without Fletch: 29 games, lost 4 (loss %: 14%)

    2009-10: Fletcher started 39, lost 7 (loss %: 18%)
    Without Fletch: 17 games, lost 4 (loss %: 24%)

    2008-09: Fletcher started 37 games, lost 2 (loss %: 5%)
    Without Fletch: 29 games, lost 5 (loss %: 17%)

    So, in total Fletcher has lost only 12 of his last 116 starts, percentage anout 10%. Manchester United have lost 17 of 98 matches without Fletcher, at a percentage of 17%.

    What does that mean in English? With Fletcher we lose once in every 10 matches. Without Fletcher we lose once in 5 to 6 matches.

    P.S.: Flecther we miss you!

  46. Fergie's gum says:

    I luv United

  47. izzy says:

    Another good stats for the HATERS!

  48. YorYor says:

    This puts things in perspective, dedicated to all the moaners and whiners.

  49. cell phone numbers go public says:

    Very nice write-up. I certainly appreciate this site.
    Stick with it!

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