As most football managers will tell you: “You need to win your home games in order to have any chance of success in the league.” Recent statistics would show that this view does have validity.
In the Premier League era to date (1992 to December 2013): Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool have played 414 BPL home matches and have won more than 60% of the time (United-74.6%, Arsenal- 63.5%, Chelsea-62.3%, Liverpool-61.1%); the next closest team is Newcastle at 53.4%.
(Writer’s note: In recent years, Manchester City has entered the picture following their well-publicized infusion of money from Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. But prior to the change in ownership the club was dwelling in the mid-table and had suffered a long trophy draught.)
Those are some telling statistics for what many experts have long considered a truth about the Premier League’s ‘top four’ clubs. And a look at the current table (as of Dec.27th) shows that the theory of home success is holding true once again.
After nine home matches, the current top four’s home win totals are: Arsenal (6 wins), Manchester City (9 wins), Chelsea (8 wins) and Liverpool (8 wins). These are the team which many feel will be fighting for the Premier League title and European competition right up until the final day of the season.
But it seems after their slow start, Manchester United is trying to buck the trend of home wins equating to league success.
This season, United has four wins in their nine BPL home matches (4W 2D 3L) and five wins on the road (5W 2D 2L). Their current home statistics (44.4%) are a far cry from the club’s all-time BPL home winning percentage of 74.6%. Of course we have to bear in mind that the majority of United’s home success took place under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson; the Scot won 305 of his 405 BPL home matches.
David Moyes has only just started his tenure and has the responsibility of managing one of the biggest clubs in world football, as well as replacing a legend of the sport. He also wasn’t aided by the club’s failings during the summer transfer window, underperforming players and numerous injuries to his already weak midfield/defending options.
But regardless of those points, while not performing to their expectations at Old Trafford, Manchester United has remained in striking distance of the top four by almost ‘thriving’ on the road this season