October 1 – When Manchester United appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjær as their full-time manager on a three-year contract at the end of March, it was supposed to herald a new dawn for the club.
Solskjær had turned around United fortunes dramatically as caretaker boss since taking over from Jose Mourinho the previous December but now he himself is under severe pressure following Monday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal that condemned the 20-times Premier League champions to their worst start to a season for 30 years.
United’s opening day 4-0 win over Chelsea is already a distant memory with their tally of nine points from their opening seven fixtures the first time since the 1989-90 season they have not reached double figures for as many games.
The result left United in 10th position but perhaps the most salient statistic is that the combined points tally of United and Arsenal combined is the same as Liverpool’s after their seven straight wins.
In their defence United are wracked by injury at an early stage of the season but they still possess more resources, and spent more money, than almost every other team in the country.
Solskjær, however, played down speculation that he might be replaced if things don’t improve.
“There are many things that give me loads of confidence,” he said. “We can talk about performance but it’s results that matter. You can talk about results, I can talk about six out of seven good performances. (But) this is a steep learning curve for us.”
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