I don't think us starting it so early was the cause of our problems though. We treated them as pre season games anyway. Our problem was so many new faces playing together in a team lacking balance and direction. Oh, and we didn't have a proper striker either.
We may have treated them as such, but we couldn't play them as such. We couldn't chose the opposition, we couldn't play all the players we wanted. We couldn't play without pressure, and so on.
There are other reasons too, obviously. But it can't be ignored the fact that all teams that start their season so early struggle for the remainder of their campaign.