Getting the right time today is not optional. A lot of important things (i.e Kerberos...) won't work if your machine has not the correct time since the very beginning. Logs too need to have the correct timestamps since the beginning if you need to correlate them. Unless you have an hardware device to feed the correct time, you'll need NTP to get the time ASAP.
It looks to me many complains about systemd is from people who wish to manage systems as if it was still 1970 and nothing changed in the past forty years. There are a lot of things that were optional back then, and are no longer.