Arsenal stand firmly on the top of the league with 25 points after ten matches, so I decided to compare Arsenal with the teams that have won the Premiership since our last title in 2003-04.
After ten matches played, Chelsea had 23 points – seven victories, two draws and one defeat. This record-setting team had averaged just a little over one goal per game in the opening ten matches (12) but had also showed tight defending and conceded just two goals.
The biggest spenders in the world at the time had made an astonishing start to the season by winning the first nine matches they played. Everton had been the first team to avoid defeat against Chelsea in the Premiership in 2005-06 – the Toffies grabbed a point. Chelsea had 28 points and a goal-difference of 23:3 after ten matches.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2006-07
The Red Devils had the same number of points as we have right now – 25. They had lost just one game in the opening ten matches – the one against us at Old Trafford thanks to the late goal from Adebayor. In the same period, they had scored 23 times and conceded just five goals.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2007-08
Ferguson’s side defended the title in 2007-08 but their start didn’t suggest that things would go into that direction. They had just two points after three matches but after United won seven consecutive games, they had 23 points. Also the Red Devils scored fifteen goals and conceded just three after ten games.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2008-09
Only a few would predict that United would collect a massive 90 points after they had opened the season with just 5 points in the opening four matches. United collected 19 points from the first ten matches of the season, scored 19 goals and conceded eight.
Eight victories and two defeats – 24 points. Ancelotti’s free-scoring team had paid for every point with one goal as they had scored 24 goals in the opening ten matches while the opponents had found their net on eight occasions.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2010-11
This Manchester United side had been arguably the worst of all from this article- they won the title with the fewest number of points of all teams – but that didn’t stop them from winning the Premiership and reaching the Champions’ League Final. They had won only half of their ten opening matches of the season but they hadn’t lost a single one in that period. Before the eleventh match of the season their goal-difference had been 22:12.
MANCHESTER CITY 2011-12
After the worst champions, here we have the most impressive. Or at least they had been before Mancini almost managed to shoot all his toes off with his managing. In the opening ten matches of the season, The Oilers from Manchester had won nine (including two impressive thrashings: 5:1 at White Hart Lane against the Spuds and 6:1 at Old Trafford against their bitter rivals) and drew only once – against Fulham. They would have had a perfect ten if they hadn’t let a two-goal-lead slip through their fingers. They scored 36 goals and conceded eight.
MANCHESTER UNITED 2012-13
The reigning champions and our next opponents in the Premiership had opened their campaign with a defeat against Everton. However, thanks to number of Van Persie’s goals Manchester United had 24 points after ten games. A brief look at their goal-difference at this moment suggests that the attack was a much better part of their team – they had scored 26 and conceded 14.
Conclusion: We have had a better season so far than six out of nine champions had in the period between 2004-05 and 2012-13. Although that guarantees us nothing, our recent form and future campaign looks very, very promising.