I don't think you can really quantify it unless you get off to a good start and keep it up.
You could win the first 3, be top and say it was a good start. Then lose the next 6 and plummet.
Or you could lose the first two then win 12 on the bounce.
It's a stat that annoys me a little. "A good start"
Once I would have said the period between the season starting and the transfer window closing. That's not a thing anymore.
Always annoys me that people point to the late transfer window business & the inability of new players to be 'Poch' fit as THE reason why we start slowly.
As if no player in any other team is fit enough for our first XI, regardless if he's been training for a month with a top side until his (late) transfer to us - and vice versa,shouldn't any player we sell late in the window then go on to stand out like a shinning beacon in his new sides opening games,due to his super human fitness levels ?
Hardly ever see mention of the fact that Poch used to work our players almost too hard pre season and in between early games (double sessions) so that our players were a little off the pace through tiredness in the early games, BUT come the Christmas fixtures and tough run of games in 2nd half of season, we were capable of putting a run together and gaining points on the leaders due to our stronger fitness conditioning.
Doubt very much that we can have a stronger start fitness wise without a slight drop off from our high fitness standards in the 2nd half of season, so i personally don't think it makes much difference to our overall total.
Of course the best way to overcome both is a) get lucky with the early fixture list and be able to outclass weaker or ill prepared opponents b) have even better players and more of them.
It is important to get going quickly. We tend to dismiss the early games and play a season of catch up from there. In some ways, it's very difficult to keep anywhere in touch with a team like City - in their first 20 games last season they had 19 wins and a draw! But it matters now just like it does at the end of the season that we play Newcastle at home, while Arsenal play City, for example. Most top sides will beat Newcastle this season and if we want to be one of them, we need to do as we did last season and follow up with a good run. Our first 8 games include Man U and Liverpool and 6 mid-lower league sides. If we want to stay as good as we've been and get better, we need to rack up early points.
It's all very well to say what we "should" or "must" do, but this season is ideally suited to a really shit start. Previously, we've had nearly the entire squad fit, in both senses, and ready to go, with only late new signings behind the curve.
This year, we have 9 players who reached the semi-finals or the final of the World Cup and who are likely to combine a slight lack of match-fitness, having just had three weeks off, with a general fatigue, having played football for nearly the entire last year.
They have also missed weeks of rehearsal and teamwork with the squad. Unsurprisingly, these are 9 of our best players, first-team starters all.
We'll have to find out whether our improved squad-players and talented younger members of the first team can garner some points until the others get back into their stride. Players like Kyle Walker-Peters, Harry Winks, Lucas Moura (who has looked exciting in pre-season), Cameron Carter-Vickers and the much-loved Moussa Sissoko.
And we'll be familiarising ourselves with a new home at the same time. I think people ought to adjust their expectations a bit.
On the other hand, the new stadium could turn out to be the cauldron we all want it to be and the buzz could carry us through a few matches. Winks, Moura and KWP could show that they have become mature players.
I'm not sure it's much use announcing what we "should" or "must" do. I prefer to look at the squad options and explore the possibilities of what might influence our early results.
This is all about hindsight relating to our finishes, because had we had better starts then we may have been closer to the title on two occasions. That doesn't take into account how the team is geared, to finish strong and not fade away at the end.