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Flashback to the last time Manchester United started a league season worse than this one

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The last time the Old Trafford club had fewer points at this stage was back in 1986-87, a season that would ultimately prove one of the most pivotal in United's entire history.

The opposite of the previous season's quick start materialised as United lost their season-opener 1-0 at Arsenal before losing their first two home games against West Ham and Charlton Athletic.

Charlton were a newly-promoted side and the 1-0 loss meant United's worst start to a season in 14 years.

Surely United's season had been jump-started? Nope.

Above all else, despite being United's most successful boss since Matt Busby, he'd failed to deliver the league title United craved.

What is often forgotten is that Fergie only won one of his first six matches in charge and that United dipped to second bottom again before a slow and steady climb to an eventual finish of 11th.And in the context of the immense pressure that was placed on Atkinson's shoulders, it would take Ferguson three-and-a-half seasons to deliver silverware of any kind and a further three to win the league.

The decisions made during United's autumn crisis of 1986 - the last time things were worse than they are presently - would be judged by history as a masterstroke.

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