Things have been bad before at Old Trafford, but not quite like this.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had his fair share of tough times already during his short tenure as Manchester United manager, but one of the worst starts in Premier League history is now starting to bite hard.
Three games and only three points is the current standing, with a quite astonishing 11 goals conceded already.
But it was Sunday’s fixture against Spurs, at the hands of their former manager Jose Mourinho, that United came undone in spectacular fashion. All the uncertainties came bursting out at the scenes, exposing United as a club with copious amounts of work to do.
The early signs are enough to send waves of terror through the fan-base, as Sportsmail takes a closer look at some of the recent damning statistics and figures from their embarrassing campaign so far.
Dark clouds are gathering at Old Trafford after two humiliating defeats from the first three
Most goals conceded after three games… ever
It is the simply not good enough for Manchester United to concede an average of just shy of four goals every game. The club have now shipped the most goals ever after three Premier League matches played.
United have become completely porous, and appear to have lost all the confidence which carried them to a third-placed finish last season.
Much of Solskjaer’s early reign at the club was crafted on slick counter-attacking play, whereby goals were scored at a relentless rate regardless of the response of the opposition.
The scoreboard beamed misery down upon the famous turf on one of United’s darkest days
The 11 goals in three games United have conceded so far this season can be put into context when placed against that of Fulham. The west London club are the early favourites to be relegated, 메리트카지노 yet have only conceded the same amount of goals as United having played one game more.
Solskjaer’s side, worryingly, seem to be out of answers when it comes to tightening the ranks. The goals aren’t flowing in the opposite direction and it now looks as though defending as a collective is out of the window.
It’s not far short of a century since we last saw United concede in this manner. The club’s 11 goals conceded is the most they’ve had against them in the opening three games to a top-flight league season since 1930-31 (13 goals).
A historically bad Old Trafford start
Solskjaer will be all up for finding places in the record books, but this isn’t a stat which reflects kindly at all.
The poor start we have observed is quite unique. It is only the fifth time in United’s storied history that the club has lost the first two home games of a league campaign.
We have to look as far back as the 1986/87 season to observe the last time Old Trafford staged two defeats from two matches.
This marked the start of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign, whose dismal beginnings are often and rightly overlooked due to the incredible periods of glory which would later follow.
Solskjaer is desperate to receive the same sort of time and patience, though in the modern game this is scarce indeed.
Players stood around dejected against Tottenham, barely able to take in what was unfolding
Shooting boots gone
When times get tough, the elite teams usually come out firing and simply outgun their opponents due to a sheer superior calibre of players.
So far, for United, this simply hasn’t happened.
A vastly reduced pre-season certainly cannot have helped matters, but so far United are registering alarmingly fewer shots on target per game than their rivals – or indeed much of the top flight.
At present United have only nine shots on target to their name, from three fixtures played.
United are shooting less, and will now be without Anthony Martial following his red card
Only West Brom, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace and Newcastle have made fewer, with the first two of these sides yet to win a game.
Struggling Fulham are out-performing United with 13 accurate shots to date, causing even greater concern.
For further comparison, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have registered 28 shots on target so far, an average of seven per game. Manchester City, despite a poor start of their own, have produced 16.
Failing to pass
Within his ranks Solskjaer boasts some of the finest passers and football brains in Europe, yet the figures show that in the decisive areas United are very much lacking.
Observing the passes made into the final third of the pitch – where the business really happens – United have racked up just 152 so far, giving them an early average of 50.7 per game.
United have two pass masters in Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, but the stats are damning
In relation with the rest of the top flight the Red Devils are well below average, sandwiched between Sheffield United and West Ham.
Despite having a fully fit Paul Pogba pulling the strings with Bruno Fernandes alongside him, United are coming up short.
Liverpool top the table of passes into the final third with 269 (67.3 per game), while Manchester City sit second with 190 (63.3 per game).
The summer signing of Donny van de Beek may well soon address this area for United, though it speaks volumes that the big money players already in the squad are failing to spark a side which showed capabilities last season of slick, cohesive play.
Paying the penalty
When Paul Pogba chopped down Ben Davies to leave the ref with no option but point to the penalty spot, United became just the seventh side in Premier League history to concede penalties in three successive home games.
United began the campaign with a controversial handball allowing Crystal Palace to sow up all three points from 12 yards, and the play has got sloppier.
Pundits debated after the Spurs game that the creeping errors are as a result of United having no cohesive plan across the pitch.
Responsibility appears to be relinquished in various areas, causing players to take on additional risks and pay the price as a result.
Pogba’s rash lunge on Davies saw United concede yet another penalty at Old Trafford
Worryingly for United, when it comes to penalties, David de Gea has simply stopped saving them.
Once considered the finest goalkeeper on the planet, De Gea remains out of sorts and stats now show that the Spaniard has failed to save the last 18 penalties that he has faced in the Premier League.
The last time De Gea successfully thwarted an opponent from the spot came in October 2014, against Everton’s Leighton Baines.
United are now handing out penalties, and David de Gea’s record from the spot doesn’t inspire; Harry Kane gave David de Gea no chance (left) and Wilfried Zaha scored too (right)
Six, six, six
As the net rippled again and again at Old Trafford on Sunday, United registered only their third instance in the Premier League era when six goals have been shipped.
Per Opta, the three times in which the Red Devils have been on the sore end of six goals have always come in the month of October, including Sunday’s disasterclass.
In 1996 against Southampton and in 2011 against bitter rivals Manchester City six goals were conceded. Solskjaer, however, 메리트카지노주소 joins esteemed company, with United being under the tutelage of legendary boss Ferguson on both previous occasions.
Nonetheless, Ferguson’s United were at the best of times completely peerless, and such results were merely anomalies, albeit concerning.
Even during the dark days of David Moyes or the directionless wanderings of Louis van Gaal, United never conceded so badly. Perhaps this is a sign of things to come.
Defensive errors were rife against Spurs, with United conceding six for only the third time
The £200m defence in 16th place
Ferguson’s glorious United teams were always built upon a solid back four and, most importantly, an impenetrable centre-half pairing.
It cannot be said that the club have not invested in defenders, having wielded the chequebook frequently to bring some of the most exiting players to the red half of Manchester.
Just 12 months ago United flexed their financial muscle to make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender on the planet at £80m. Such was the need for the England international that United shattered the record Liverpool set in signing the imperious Virgil van Dijk in order to get their man.
Maguire has since been made captain of the club, though has looked like a player well and truly lost following his return this season.
Captain Harry Maguire was supposed to solidify the back line but has looked uncomfortable
Against Spurs the 27-year-old appeared to be let down by poor 메리트카지노 communication, with a clip of him hauling down his own team-mate Luke Shaw in just the fifth minute going viral online. Tanguay N’Dombele scored as a direct result.
In recent years each of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof cost £30m, while last summer United forked out an eye-watering £50m for Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
In signing Maguire and Wan-Bissaka, £130m of the defensive spending has been personally sanctioned by Solskjaer himself.
This is without taking into account the other fees paid several years ago for the likes of Shaw (£31.5m) and David de Gea (£18m). The price of United’s defence dwarfs much of that of the rest of the division, yet appears to have gone backwards in its progress.
The back four and goalkeeper that shipped six goals against Spurs cost a combined total of above £200m. And that is perhaps the most shocking stat of all amid this awful start to the season.