Manchester United confirmed a dreadful start to the 2018/19 Premier League season with a 3-0 defeat at Old Trafford against Tottenham. Having already lost at the AMEX Stadium against Brighton & Hove Albion and scraped an opening day win against Leicester City, this is the worst start to a league season for the Red Devils in recent memory.
However, before pundits, fans, and journalists start writing off United as a team in crises and spouting knee-jerk reactions regarding their chances of finishing in the top four this season it is worth remembering a couple of things.
Firstly, and most importantly, the Premier League season is a marathon and not a sprint. The title has never been decided at the end of August and there remain 35 games in which anything can happen. Sure, United's performances to date do not inspire confidence in even the most optimistic fan, but fortunes can change very quickly in football.
The second thing to keep in mind is history. It has been more than 25 years since the Red Devils endured such an awful August, however, the last time they lost two of their opening three games in the Premier League things turned out rather well.
In August 1992, the maiden Premier League season kicked off. Alex Ferguson's Manchester United had something bubbling under the surface but had yet to truly fulfill their potential domestically. The season before, Leeds United had pipped them to the last ever Football League Division One title.
The new season was full of optimism around Old Trafford. Fans believed this was the year they would finally win the English top flight after 26 years of watching their rivals dominate domestically and in Europe. However, things did not go to plan in the beginning.
United began the season with a poor 2-1 defeat away to Sheffield United. The Blades were an obscure midtable team at the time and the nature of the defeat could draw parallels with United's recent 3-2 loss against Brighton.
Worse was to come as the second game of the season at Old Trafford ended in a second straight defeat. This time it was Everton inflicting the damage in a dominating 3-0 win. Once again, parallels are easy to draw with United's 3-0 defeat against Spurs at Old Trafford.
The third game of the season saw an insipid performance by Ferguson's men as they drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town again at Old Trafford. Ipswich was another lower- to mid-table team who the Red Devils would have expected to beat comfortably at the time.
After three games in 1992/93, Manchester United had just a single point. However, at the end of May, the Red Devils had won the league title by an enormous 10-point margin over Aston Villa. That season kickstarted Ferguson's dynasty at Old Trafford and witnessed the arrival of a certain Eric Cantona who remains revered on the Stretford End today.
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While times have changed and the Premier League is a different beast when compared to its 1992/93 incarnation, it worth taking a step back and remembering that only three games have been played in this Premier League season so far.
If history is anything to go by, this campaign is far from a foregone conclusion for Manchester United yet.