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STATS | Jaap’s unbeaten season start record

Manager and player, Stam has enjoyed starting as he means to go on…

2 August 2017

QPR away is just a few days away and Jaap Stam will be hoping he can repeat the feat of last season and pick up three points on the opening day.

The Royals boss masterminded a 1-0 win over Preston North End at Madejski Stadium last season and, as a player, his opening day of the season record is not too shabby either.

His Premier League debut for Manchester United came on 15th August 1998 at home to Leicester City. Stam, starting alongside Ronny Johnsen at the back, and in the same Sir Alex side as David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane and Ryan Giggs, earned a 2-2 draw with the Foxes at Old Trafford.

Emile Heskey broke the Old Trafford deadlock only seven minutes into the season and Tony Cottee seemed to seal the points with a 76th minute second. But Teddy Sheringham halved the deficit before Beckham levelled in injury time!

The following season he also got off the mark with a point, this time picked up with a 1-1 draw at Goodison Park. Dwight Yorke had given the visitors the lead that opening day, but Stam’s afternoon took a turn for the worse when he headed past his own keeper, Mark Bosnich, to draw the opposition level.

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In 2000, his unbeaten opening day record continued however. Stam was in the Manchester United side that won 2-0 on the opening day of the Premier League season at home to Newcastle.

A clean sheet for Stam, playing against the likes of Alan Shearer that day, helped Johnsen and Andy Cole steal the headlines with the match-winning goals.

And it was three more points for United in Stam’s fourth and final opening day encounter as a Red. On 19th August 2001, goals from David Beckham and a Ruud van Nistelrooy brace earned the home side a 3-2 victory against Fulham – a Louis Saha double not enough for the Cottagers in front of 67,534 fans at Old Trafford.

So in England, Jaap remains unbeaten in opening day meetings to date. Let’s hope that record remains intact after our trip to Loftus Road next weekend.

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