Seven games in and still no win. Is there a feeling of anxiety creeping in yet?
Yes, the longer the winless run continues the more it becomes a real monkey on their back. In fairness they were very unlucky in their first few games – deserved at least four or five points, had some awful decisions go against them and had they got what they deserved from matches against Villa, Fulham and Leeds they would be on for a similar start to last season.
Chelsea brings to an end a run that will have seen them play Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea in a five-game period which is a tough ask for any club so United will be pleased to get Chelsea out of the way and have an international break and then try and attack the games up to Christmas and get some much-needed wins.
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What has led to the slow start? Is it simply a case of failing to score enough goals or are there more complex reasons?
A couple of things. United have lost the core of their side. Defender Jack O’Connell is out for the season; he is United’s best player and absolutely crucial to their tactics. He’s been one of the overlapping centre halves from the past four years that has been key to United’s success. John Fleck and Lys Mousset are also big players United have lost. Fleck is out for the rest of the month after an injury in the last international break and Mousetgot injured in pre season and will have missed half the campaign when he returns next month.
Injuries haven’t been kind but United haven’t really performed too badly. They’ve deserved something from every game bar their last one against Man City when they never looked like winning it but other than that they’ve been hard to beat, been competitive but the goals return highlights United’s biggest issue. They’ve scored just three goals and two have been penaltie.
They’re creating some wonderful…