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Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton has revealed that he is ‘stunned’ by United’s best start to a league campaign. United have picked up maximum points in their opening five games, scoring twenty one goals in the process. United have recorded victories over London clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham – whilst beating Bolton and WBA on their travels. Sir Bobby admits that it is a fantastic, if unusual, start for the Champions. We’ve looked back at the previous twenty seasons and documented the number of points United have obtained within their first five games.
Below are Sir Bobby’s comments from earlier today, including praise for the Premier League’s top goal scorer Wayne Rooney:
You never know at the start what’s going to happen but United have got off to a flier. It’s a very unusual start for Manchester United but it’s fantastic. The fans are enjoying it and even those who are just general football fans because of the way we play. Even the goals we are scoring are dramatic. He is (Rooney) a marvellous player. You can tell he is very happy at the moment and he will score a lot more goals this season and beyond.
The following chart highlight United’s total point accumulation from the opening five fixtures in the league over the past twenty years (click to enlarge):
United’s amazing start has been reflected in Sir Bobby’s comments, however I believe the manner that the results were achieved has been most pleasing. United have swept aside a Tottenham side (who played Liverpool off the park at the weekend), humiliated a decimated Arsenal and beat last season’s runners up (Chelsea) 3-1, having missed a penalty and hit the post/bar in a thoroughly entertaining fixture. United’s ball retention and one touch passing has been exceptional at times, with Wayne Rooney being the obvious star performing, scoring nine goals in those five fixtures.
Looking at the history books, United’s worst start to a season was in the 2004/05 (in which United ended the season trophy less), losing to Chelsea on the opening day of the season. The second worst start of a season was in 92/93, when United lifted the league title for the first time since 1967. United lost the opening game to Sheffield United and then went down 3-0 at home to Everton. Many fans may also have forgotten the slow start United got off to in the 98/99 treble winning season , which included a 3-0 hammering at rivals Arsenal in the September (which saw Nicky Butt getting a red card).
Although no one should be complaining about United’s unbelievable start to the season, including the style of football United are playing at the moment, any levelled headed fan will appreciate that nothing is won in September – something that was reiterated by Sir Alex in his pre-match comments against Chelsea. United started the 1997/98 season with four wins and a draw, only to go and squander a the league title to Arsenal. In the two European Cup winning seasons of the past twelve years, United obtained eight points – seven less than this season. As I mentioned previously, the football has been first class and Ferguson’s men have stepped it up a notch from last term. The signings of Jones and Young look to be superb business, whilst the maturing of Anderson, Smalling, Welbeck and Cleverley have been pivotal in this fantastic start. United travel next to Stoke City, can the Champions make it six out of six?