Manchester United has had the poorest start to a season in 25 years gathering a measly 13 points. Even though many argue that the team is improving and while there are valid signs of growth, the injuries list has grown to epic proportions. Is there even an available central defender today with more than 9 Premier League starts above the age of 24?
McNair was excellent against Everton and shows real promise as a Central Defender but his inexperience will show against seasoned league veterans. The likes of Carrick and Fletcher technically “CAN” play in central defense but what message does that display to opponents preparing to devilishly feed on tactical masterpieces to confuse the unlikely backline. What message does that show to fans who watched the most expensive side ever fielded by a Premier League team but no routine backup players to properly fill the gaps?
There is one fit and seasoned striker in Van Persie who briefly showed some passion after his equalizer against Chelsea but definitely not looking like a 20+ goal year for the Dutchman. Where is Falcao? Rooney is playing too much box to box to get near the posts and Chicharito is vacationing at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. Is there even an additional central forward today with more than 9 Premier League starts above the age of 24?
The math is pretty simple to figure out after the first 10 games and there is enough data at this point to begin calculating the Could Be’s and Should Be’s. To be comfortable with a top four finish and have MAYBE +/- 3 points leverage, United will need to acquire a total of 80 points. Thanks to statsbomb.com for compiling the last 10 years of top four points averages, the average finishing totals for 3rd and 4th place is 75.8 and 68.8 respectively. Why 80 points then? To be absolutely sure that United make top four and overtake unlikely teams such as Southampton (2nd) and West Ham (5th).
United have a total of 13 points after 10 games leaving them with 67 points left to get to the magic number of 80. There are 28 games left in the season leaving United with a daunting challenge of achieving an average of 2.392 points per game. Best case scenario for that means the remaining 28 results have to be 20 Wins- 3 Losses- 4 Draws. Statsbomb.com also shows that the average PPG for the 1st place champions over the last 10 years is 2.33. End result? Manchester United must perform better than any champion has over the last ten years in the next 28 games. The following outlines the next 28 games, opponents, and necessary result. There is no room for surprises or mistakes.
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play.
Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99.
The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.