How Manchester United made unwanted history with their worst Premier League season ever
Manchester United’s 4-0 humiliation against Brighton on Saturday ensured that this will be seen as their worst Premier League season in more ways than one.
The Red Devils will finish outside the top five for only the fourth time in the Premier League era while also setting club records for fewest points, fewest wins and most goals conceded during that period.
Here we look at United’s unwanted history.
When Alex Ferguson retired and his chosen successor, David Moyes, signed a six-year contract, United felt the club’s future was in good hands.
Instead, Moyes’ tenure shamefully lasted less than a season – during which United’s 64-point total was the lowest in the Premier League era and has remained so throughout the ensuing procession of unsuccessful managerial appointments.
That record is certain to fall this season, however, as United have 58 points ahead of their final game against Crystal Palace on May 22 – albeit one defeat would see them match this season’s record of 12 defeats.
Moyes’ side, managed for the last four games by caretaker Ryan Giggs after his sacking, finished seventh, another low for the most successful team of the Premier League era.
They are currently sixth and another slip against Palace could put them seventh or even eighth, although West Ham would need to win at least one of their two remaining games or Wolves all three of their three.
The fewest wins
Only twice before have United won less than half of their games in a Premier League season, with 18 wins in 2016-17 and 2019-20 being their lowest up to that season.
Last Monday’s win over Brentford was their 16th this season and at least left open the possibility of reaching that mark – but defeat by Brighton ensured it will be another new low.
Caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick will end his tenure with the lowest win rate in all competitions of any post-Ferguson manager at United – since at least Dave Sexton, who won 40.3 per cent of his games between 1977 and 1981.
Rangnick is currently below that mark at 39.3 percent, United’s worst winning percentage since Frank O’Farrell’s reign in the early 1970s.
Most goals conceded
United’s defensive record has come under scrutiny throughout this season, particularly in the last few weeks leading up to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking in November.
And when Pascal Gross scored Brighton’s third goal on Saturday, United surpassed their previous record of 54 goals conceded in a Premier League season.
That mark was set in the 2018/19 season when Solskjaer took over from Jose Mourinho mid-season and led a relative recovery to sixth place.
They’ll go into the Palace game at 56, as will relegation-threatened Everton and with an unwanted club record already on the books and at risk of more damage from veteran United boy Wilfried Zaha and co.
Their 57 goals scored will avoid another new low in this category, although only their 49 in the 2015/16 season and 54 the following season are below their current total. In 2004/05 they scored 58 goals.
The fact that Mason Greenwood remains the league’s third-top scorer and has been suspended for legal reasons since late January doesn’t reflect well either.
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/premier-league/how-manchester-united-created-unwanted-history-with-clubs-worst-ever-premier-league-campaign-41630315.html How Manchester United made unwanted history with their worst Premier League season ever