Just for fun I thought it would be interesting to try and set a points target for the club for the season.
Below are the points totals of first and second place over the last 12 seasons:
2011-12 CIty 89 United 89
2010-11 United 80 Chelsea 71
2009-10 Chelsea 86 United 85
2008-9 United 90 Liverpool 86
2007-8 United 87 Chelsea 85
2006-7 United 89 Chelsea 83
2005-6 Chelsea 91 United 83
2004-5 Chelsea 95 Arsenal 83
2003-4 Arsenal 90 Chelsea 79
2002-3 United 83 Arsenal 78
2001-2 Arsenal 87 Liverpool 80
2000-1 United 80 Arsenal 70
So on average to beat the second placed team you would need 82 points - though interestingly the average for the winner was 87.25 points (lets just round that down to 87). If we set a target of 82 points then we will be there or there abouts at the end of the season - so what routes could we take to achieve that.
The pragmatic approach
Last season we finished 6th. Therefore I have considered the 5 teams that finished above us to be a tough assignment.
The plan therefore is we aim to draw the home and away games against City,United,Arsenal,Spurs and Newcastle. This gives us 10 points and 28 more games.
Given that the winner on average loses 4 games we then take these out of our 28 games (doesn't matter who these are against as long as not top 5).This equates to a loss every 7 games (from the 28). So we are left with 24 games to get 72 points. Simple - we win them all.
The rip-roaring out of control approach
Under this method we give up the concept of balance in the side and elect to take part in scoring contests with our opponents. Target home wins against the top five and away defeats against the same - 15 points from 10 games. This gives us 67 points to win from 28 games. Using this method we are incapable of drawing and win 85% of our 28 games.