The club giving up on the season at the start of December

Stacks

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Standards have gone to shit. They used to be "we are gonna be up there challenging for the league and we'll be in the champions league and we'll compete for it". now it's "I hope we'll make top 4." We are just an expensive Arsenal and have allowed gaffers to make these statements. We are probably the only major European club with these ambitions. It's not as if we haven't spent more than most too. The top brass should set the stall "you must be bold enough to challenge and not be out of the race by November every year, or we are simply not going to back you next summer or get rid as you clearly lack the skills required.
 

giorno

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I mean, the bar for top 4 was set at 75 points last two seasons, and that seems to be a comfortable estimate this year as well. To get there United need 53 points in the next 24 games. For a comparison, last season you got 49 points out of the last 24 games, and that included both games against City and Arsenal
 

Speedy30

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We're a joke of a club, simple. It's almost embarrassing how far we've fallen in the space of 5 fecking years.

You know what's even worse? There doesn't seem to be a way out of this demise. There are no worthy managers available and we have a squad stacked with shit players. In the current market it would take us at least 3 seasons to replace our squad excl. Shaw, Martial, Pogba & De Gea. In those 3 years would we even hold on to 3/4 of those worthy players? Probably not.

While trying to get great players in, we have to compete with much more promising destinations (Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Bayern, City & Liverpool). Which will probably lead to even more overpaid mediocre players.

Its sad but true.
I know that as Liverpool fans, we get hammered with our pre season optimism only to usually see it fall ('slip' before anyone corrects me) down around us but this is at the other extreme.
It's like when you break up from a long term relationship, you have good days and bad days. On the bad days, you don't think it's ever going to get any better but it inevitably will.
Since Fergie left, Liverpool very very nearly won the league, dropped down to 7th, failed to qualify for the Champions League after being dumped out in the group stages and sacked a manager.
Within 3 years, we've got a quality manager in who has signed some world class talent, got rid of the dross, played in 2 European Finals (albeit unsuccessfully) and now we're just about keeping pace with one of the best teams to ever play in the Premier League.
Things change bloody quickly in football. The bad times are shit but they make you appreciate the good times even more
 

Minimalist

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I know that as Liverpool fans, we get hammered with our pre season optimism only to usually see it fall ('slip' before anyone corrects me) down around us but this is at the other extreme.
It's like when you break up from a long term relationship, you have good days and bad days. On the bad days, you don't think it's ever going to get any better but it inevitably will.
Since Fergie left, Liverpool very very nearly won the league, dropped down to 7th, failed to qualify for the Champions League after being dumped out in the group stages and sacked a manager.
Within 3 years, we've got a quality manager in who has signed some world class talent, got rid of the dross, played in 2 European Finals (albeit unsuccessfully) and now we're just about keeping pace with one of the best teams to ever play in the Premier League.
Things change bloody quickly in football. The bad times are shit but they make you appreciate the good times even more
Oh feck off don’t you drag us down to your level!!! :(

/s
 

Wooly Red

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Teams have won the league being further behind.
And that implies title winning form, i.e. if you can do that, you challenge for the title. The further you go down a table, the less likely a team can make up so many points. In the most extreme form, a relegation candidate "only" needs 8 points to not go down, but of course due to their ability the never get those 8 points.

On the 4th placed team? Because thats very different to chasing the title winning team who will win basically every game.

The team in 4th is going to drop a lot more points. I'd be very surprised if that was the case.
See what I wrote above.

It's almost like there's certain reasons why we're so far behind already. Those reasons/causes just don't disappear.
Exactly.

The new Premier League site has a very nice table now, that also lets you look at gameweeks from the seasons past. Comparing the final standings with gameweek 14 (which is roughly where we are at now) over the last 12 years (spoiler used because it's really long):

17/18

Final standings
4. Liverpool 75
5. Chelsea 70

Gameweek 14
4. Arsenal 28
5. Liverpool 26

2 point deficit caught up by Liverpool.

16/17

2. Spurs 86
4. Liverpool 76
5. Arsenal 75

4. City 30
5. Spurs 27

3 point deficit by Spurs to second.

15/16

4. City 66
5. United 66

3. United 28
4. Arsenal 27

No deficit, just goal difference, by Man United.

14/15

3. Arsenal 75
4. United 70


4. United 25
...
6. Arsenal 23

2 point deficit by Arsenal to third.

13/14

Top 4 in gameweek 14 and at the end of the season were unchanged.

12/13

4. Arsenal 73
5. Spurs 72

4. WBA 26
...
7. Arsenal 21

Arsenal makes up a 5 point gap, just about edges out Spurs.

11/12

3. Arsenal 70
4. Spurs 69
5. Newcastle 65

4. Chelsea 28
5. Arsenal 26

Arsenal again, this time with a 2 point deficit.

10/11

No change from the top four from gameweek 14 to end of season.

09/10

No change from the top four from gameweek 14 to end of season.

08/09

4. Arsenal 72
5. Everton 63

4. Villa 24
5. Arsenal 23

Arsenal makes up a single point to claim their top 4 spot.

07/08

4. Liverpool 76
5. Everton 65

4. Chelsea 28
5. Liverpool 27

A single point deficit again, made up at the end of the season by Liverpool.

06/07

3. Liverpool 68
4. Arsenal 68
5. Spurs 60

3. Bolton 24
4. Portsmouth 23
...
6. Arsenal 22
...
9. Liverpool 21

Not one, but two teams! Arsenal and Liverpool catch up with their respective 1 and 2 point deficits.
 

Casanova85

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It ain't over 'till it's over. Still alive in the FA and UChL Cups...Top4 still mathematically possible.

That's why Jose has to be sacked this Xmas...
 

vibe

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Can anyone ever remember another major European club doing the same? As in just completely giving up on achieving anything this season, just 4 months after they've sold their season tickets?
Well there you have it, you answered your own question.

Season tickets are already sold. We stopped being a football club long ago. It's about using the Manchester United brand to make a profit now.

Stadium still selling out. Shirts flying off the shelves. Sponsorships left right and center. Board clearly isn't fecked with what results we show on the pitch, club's still insanely profitable to run just as it is.
 

The Last Jedaiiii

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Yes which is a strong case for him not being in breach but what use is that record revenues and profits if it is mostly going in the pockets of the Glazers and the footballing side of things is diabolical and so clearly being run into the ground. In the short term the glazers are benefiting financially from the club still being a behemoth from the reputation built from the SAF era but once things go down hill and they bring the club to its knees they will cut loose and sail into the horizon without taking a hit. I’m not saying this will definitely happen - I believe they will still want the club to get it right but there needs to be some way of holding that cnut Woodward into account on the footballing front.
Not to mention the creaking stadium as well. You could argue that he's deliberately sabotaging the club by waiting until we can't qualify for the Champions League.

If you don't qualify for it, here are the consequences:

A) Higher transfer fees
B) Higher wages on top of that
C) Risk of losing £25m per year from Adidas if this becomes 2 years in a row not qualifying for the Champions League.

I look at Juventus and think what might have been. They were sent down a League in 06 and won nothing for 6 years only to win 7 titles in a row. We'll never do that because they are run by football people.

Their equivalent to Woodward is Pavel Nedved. Let that sink in.
 
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FootballHQ

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8 point gap between 5th and 6th is incredible at this stage of the season. Basically Man. United need to win 5/6 in a row just to get back in contention and that dosen't look like happening anytime soon with Liverpool away coming up soon.