We look back at Manchester United’s worst starts to a season following their poor form in 2023-24 so far.
Manchester United have started their 2023-24 campaign in miserable fashion. With nine points from their seven Premier League games so far, this is Man Utd’s worst start to a season to any of their 31 seasons in the competition. Added to this, they’ve started their UEFA Champions League campaign with back-to-back losses versus Bayern Munich and Turkish champions Galatasaray.
Their next Premier League match sees them host Brentford at Old Trafford on Saturday. How much worse could it get if they lose to Thomas Frank’s side? Here, we look at Manchester United’s worst starts to a season.
Man Utd’s Worst Ever Start to a Season
One consolation for Manchester United fans is that this isn’t anywhere near as bad as their start in 1930-31. The Red Devils didn’t win a single point in any of their opening 12 games of that season, losing all 12 matches. That run is still the longest losing sequence to start an English Football League season ever… by any club.
Unsurprisingly, Man Utd ended that season bottom of the league and relegated to the second division, conceding 115 goals across their 42 matches. That defensive record wasn’t the worst in Division One that season, however – Blackpool outdid them with 125 goals shipped but avoided relegation by a single point ahead of Leeds United.
When did Manchester United Last Start a Season so Badly?
The last time that Manchester United won as few as nine points from their opening seven league games in a season was in 2019-20 under Ole Gunnar Solskjær. It got even worse for them in their eighth game that campaign, as they were defeated 1-0 at Newcastle United and ended MD 8 in 12th position and 15 points behind leaders Liverpool. United eventually recovered somewhat that season to finish in third and qualify for the Champions League, but they did end 33 points off rivals Liverpool who won the title.
This season trumps 2019-20’s record after seven games, though, thanks to their -4 goal difference (it was +2 in 2019-20), and if they lose to Brentford on Saturday afternoon, it’ll also be their worst Premier League start after eight games of a season.
The last time that Manchester United won fewer than nine points from their opening seven league games in a season was back in 1989-90 under Sir Alex Ferguson. They picked up seven points from their opening seven games that season, before drawing their eighth game. The Red Devils finished that season in 13th place.
When Did Man Utd Last Start a Season with So Many Defeats?
After losing 3-2 to Galatasaray at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ on Tuesday night in the Champions League, Manchester United have been beaten in six of their opening 10 competitive games of 2023-24.
This is the most losses that Man Utd have suffered in their first 10 games of a season in all competitions since 1986-87 under Ron Atkinson. They also lost six of their first 10 competitive games that season, winning two and drawing two. Atkinson lasted seven more games before being replaced by Ferguson.
Should Man Utd lose this weekend to Brentford, it will be the first time that they have lost as many as seven of their opening 11 competitive games in a season since 1962-63 under Sir Matt Busby (W3 D1 L7). That season saw United narrowly miss relegation (rivals Manchester City went down), but they went on to win the FA Cup with a 3-1 victory over Leicester City in the final at Wembley Stadium.
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