Manchester United: How are the Red Devils doing compared to last season?
Seven games into the Premier League season is still early to be making judgements, but if compared to last season's opening seven games, we can reflect on how the team is doing. Highlighting the fixtures and who United faced is taken into consideration, as is the goals against tally and the goals for.
Manchester United this time last year, had a record of W6 D1 L0 and were off to a flying start. The run of seven included a 3-0 win over Tottenham followed by the demolition of Arsenal a week later. Of the four games at Old Trafford, United won each in convincing fashion. The one draw came away to Stoke at the Britannia, a fearsome place for any visiting team.
This current United squad have a record of W5 D0 L2 and stumbled right out of the blocks, falling to a much more cohesive Everton. The next two games both ended 3-2 with United on the winning end. The one against Southampton particularly memorable, celebrating Sir Alex’s 1,000th game in charge with a fitting win, Robin van Persie scoring in stoppage time to complete his hat-trick and secure three points.
A difficult win at Anfield was a positive note before losing to Spurs at Old Trafford yet again to a 2-3 scoreline. Going into the international break, United beat Newcastle soundly at St James Park 3-0.
Goals against is not always reflective of the defence, but it is a useful stat. This time last season, United only conceded five times. An impressive number considering they played Spurs, Arsenal, and Chelsea in the seven match span. Ferdinand and Vidic were still both in the centre and there was consistency in the back four.
This year, United have shipped eight goals, five of them conceded at home. Old Trafford isn’t the fortress is once was and away teams aren’t afraid to attack United. The defence has been chopped and changed from the start due to a lack of fit centre backs. The goalkeeping rotation Ferguson is applying doesn’t help either. The amount of goals allowed isn’t a problem right now, but it could be down the line if it continues.
Losing on goal difference was one of the most emotionally painful experiences in my life. Sir Alex has promised it won’t happen again and I believe him. United spent big money on Van Persie and he has already paid back his worth, netting five goals for the club. Rooney hasn’t scored for United yet, missing a chunk of the season already, but his goals will come.
Last season, United had scored 24 goals. The games against Arsenal and Bolton, ending 8-2 and 5-0 respectively. Currently, United have scored 17 goals. The wins that stick out are the 4-0 against Wigan and the 3-0 against Newcastle, mainly because United kept clean sheets in those games. If United can work out the defensive kinks, the goal difference will speak for itself.
Seven games into the 2011/2012 season, Manchester United were top of the table, on goal difference, with 19 points, equal with City. This current season, United are second, with 15 points, and a goal difference of 8, only second to Chelsea, who are also four points ahead.
Comparing the current team to last season's shows what we know, United are scoring goals but conceding too many.Click here for more Manchester United articles