A third place with a 33-point gap is the worst United have accomplished in 41 years

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In terms of the gap between them and Liverpool, the newly-crowned Premier League champions, it would perhaps be needful for the powers that be at Manchester United to be mindful of the glaring fact that they have just completed their worst ever Premier League season, and their worst ever, in the top flight for 41 years.

It was 33 points this season, only one more than last term. Hardly anything to shout about. If anything, this should serve as sufficient cause for alarm flags to be raised at the club. Just consider the harsh reality of the situation that the stats reveal.

Mourinho had them within 19 points of Manchester City two seasons ago. Even Louis van Gaal finished his two seasons 15 and 17 points shy of the summit. Back in the 1989-’90 season when United finished 13th, they were still just 31 points behind Liverpool.

The 33-point gap is on record as the largest to ever separate United and the top-flight champions.

Even when they were relegated in 1973-1974, the gap between Leeds United at the top and the Red Devils in the second from bottom spot was just 30 points. And that’s not even a fair comparison because there were two points for a win in those days. When you convert the old system to the new, the last time United were this far off the pace was actually in 1979-’80 when they finished ninth under Dave Sexton in the season and Trevor Francis became the world’s first £1 million-pound player.

So while a certain Norwegian is busy patting himself on the back and flourishing broad grins, it behooves him to take stock of the situation and get back to work on the drawing board without any delusions of grandeur and self-accomplishment.

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