As the start of the season has developed and Man Utd having one of their best ever starts to a Premier League season; fans appear to be falling foul of the media’s spin and misleading headlines. However, the stats don’t lie and I’m here to shed some light on the progression made so far this season.
This time last season, Mourinho had the fan’s full support. We understood the situation and the gravitas of the task that Jose had to undertake to turn our team around. Three years of backwards pedalling, poor transfers and negative tactics ingrained in the players DNA, of course it was going to take time. As Jose said at the time, ‘It would be easier to have 22 new players and start from zero.’
He had to delete LvG’s ‘philosophy’ and then start putting his own tactical awareness into the players, and not default to the negative tactics we saw under Van Gaal. Fans completely understood and appreciated it, and supported the manager fully both on and off the pitch regardless. It resulted in Man Utd’s worse ever start in the Premier League Era, but it was about longevity and long term progression; we knew progress was being made and results would turn around in the next few seasons.
How does this season’s start compare to seasons since we last won the title?
This season we have won double the matches compared to the same point last season. 11 more points on the table, higher position, better form, less loses and a lot less draws. We’ve gone from being fully behind the manager during the worst ever start, to (some fans) slating him during our best start to a season since we won the title; and we’re not even far off that!
Is it the ‘negative tactics’?
Let’s compare goals for and against over the same period:
Our goal difference is eight times better than this time last season and one of the best we’ve ever had at this stage of the season during the Premier League Era. The last time this was surpassed was during the 2000/01 season when the GD after 14 matches was 26; 17 years ago!
We have conceded half the goals compared to last season, scoring 13 more goals. What more do fans expect? You only have to look at last season to see how far we’ve come. Quite literally the worst start to the season last year in terms of points, goals scored and goal difference, to the best we’ve seen since Ferguson.
Just to drive home the point, let’s look at the team’s discipline in recent years:
Not only are Man Utd winning more, scoring more and conceding less this season; our disciplinary record has also drastically improved. The disciplinary points over the first 14 games has almost halved in the space of one season: Once again, going from the worst start to the best over the last 6 seasons. This proves our defence is not only conceding less, but they’re more clinical in their tackling and positioning.
I hope that the Man Utd fans out there who have been crying for Mourinho’s departure, start to realise that despite what the press are saying, Jose is doing a fantastic job. The title will be back at Old Trafford soon with him at the helm. For those looking over the road, remember; it’s a marathon not a sprint. Their momentum is unsustainable and it’ll catch up with them; if not this season, then next.
Jose has delivered better attack, better defence and better discipline. Start fully supporting your team, start backing our world class manager!