Zero wins, zero draws, two losses, zero goals for, and six goals allowed; this is not the start that Manchester United or its fanbase would have ever dreamed of in their worst nightmare during the opening stages of the 2022-23 Premier League season.
In a summer that started full of optimism, the Red Devils have rapidly plummeted back down to the earth’s surface despite the arrival of Erik ten Hag and all the excitement that surrounded the notion that the club was finally going to build a project the right way for the first time since the departure of Premier League legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
But United’s second loss on the bounce to begin Ten Hag’s tenure in earnest has laid multiple negative markers that have not been touched on for decades at least, which in the end led to a contingent of United players to offer their apologies to those that made the trip south from the northwest of England to witness the unthinkable.
David De Gea, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Donny van de Beek, Diogo Dalot, and Anthony Elanga were all seen near the away fans’ end to accept responsibility for what was otherwise another nightmare performance from England’s biggest club.
With their 4-0 loss to Brentford in the books, Ten Hag not only became the first Man United manager since 1921 to lose his first two matches in charge, but it has been the first time since 1992-93 that United have lost their opening two league fixtures.
Additionally, it is also the first time - since 1992 once again - that United has finished a matchday bottom of the league table, with the scriptwriters now scrambling their way back to the drawing board after a hopeful start to the season has completely gone missing.
And if those were not bad enough, tonight’s loss - United’s seventh consecutive loss away from home - is the first time the club has failed to secure points across that period since 1936.
Given the fact that United will have to come to grips with bitter rivals Liverpool next Monday at Old Trafford, the situation could go from bad, to worse, to catastrophic should the Reds force United to succumb to three defeats on the spin, with questions sure to hit Ten Hag from all sides in rapid successful should another loss befall the club so early on in the year.