Manchester United's inconsistent form towards the end of the season signals a need for new signings.
When Nani saw red in the Champions League last 16 second-leg, United's season began to wind-down and a feeling of content towards settling for one trophy seemed unlike other Fergie teams of previous years.
Although they had not won the league by that point, there was little doubt that Sir Alex Ferguson's men would go on to lift their twentieth Premier League title after Manchester City's disappointing attempt at retaining their Premier League crown realistically withered away by Christmas.
After conceding two goals against Jose Mourinho's side which saw the Reds depart from this seasons European competition; United still had the chance to record a fourth league and FA Cup double under Fergie, starting with the game against Chelsea at Old Trafford.
What followed a Chelsea comeback from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 was a woeful display at Stamford Bridge in the replay that saw United lose 1-0 as well as the decision by Ferguson to drop Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney.
This decision angered many United fan's who, like stand-in club captain Patrice Evra, saw it as an opportunity to win the trophy that has eluded many of the United squad.
On top of that, it was a chance to meet their city rivals in the semi-final and gain revenge for the loss at Wembley that potentially denied United the same double in the 2010/11 season but it evidently seemed a bridge-too-far.
It was not only a performance that revealed the tiredness within the United squad at that point but it also signalled the need for new players to come in and support the front four that many have stated is United's main advantage over their rivals.
United have since got over that disappointing week and a half to win the Barclays Premier League and outfit the PFA team of the year with four of it's best players however the need for new signings is evident if United are to retain their crown next season.
Proof of this is their 'lack-luster' end of season form which has seen them lose pride in home losses to both Manchester City and Chelsea. Chelsea have also played United five times this season; winning three and losing one.
This not only shows that United's rivals are still fit and ready as the season closes but that both of these sides will not sit still in the transfer market in order to challenge the Champions next season.
Gareth Bale has been linked to Old Trafford on numerous occasions but will come at a hefty price with Real Madrid keeping a close eye on the Welshman.
Players like Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling and Alexander Buttner are promising youngsters but are unlikely to come-of-age by next season.
Phil Jones and David De Gea are showing great promise but with Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Ryan Giggs likely to play fewer and fewer games as their careers reach their latter stages; it seems timely that United must sign one or two top players in defence and midfield to keep setting the domestic benchmark.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://bit.ly/12nAsNY
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeFootball Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeFootball.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeFootball.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.