It's not completely unrealistic to suggest Manchester United will miss out on securing a top four Premier League finish this season.
If the Red Devils do miss out on a place in Europe's elite competition, many will expect that to be the end of David Moyes, after just one year at Old Trafford.
And, while not achieving a top four finish will be a disaster for Moyes and the United faithful, it doesn't necessarily mean the club will go dramatically down-hill.
Some have suggested the Red Devils could go the way of Liverpool, but comparing the two rivals at this stage or even at the end of the season would be wrong.
United still have the foundations in place to stay at the top and the club, under Moyes may struggle for a year or two, but the new Red Devils boss will eventually get it right.
He has to be given time, even if failure occurs in the meantime, to get it right as replacing Sir Alex Ferguson was always going to be the ultimate task.
Fans of United may even lose patience with the Scot - especially if they do miss out on Champions League football - but the United board have to stay strong and keep looking towards the long-term project.
Some may argue that Moyes is out of his depth at the Theatre of Dreams, but he will only gain experience and become a success if given the opportunity to shine.
Ferguson and the United hierarchy pin-pointed Moyes as the right man to lead the club forward and they must, no matter what, stick by their man.
They will eventually be rewarded.
Of course there will be some that believe ending fifth will be the start of a downward slope. But this doesn't have to be the case.
Look at Juventus - they were playing in Serie B a few seasons back - they are currently champions of Italy.
United are seemingly clearing their debts, securing huge financial sponsorship and have a number of very special youngsters on their books.
United should never be written off, and even if they fail this season, there is no reason why they can't comeback stronger than ever in the future and still succeed.
It's crucial they give their manager the time he needs to succeed as even if in a few years it proved Moyes was the wrong man, United can still get back to the top of England.
Players will always be attracted to joining the Red Devils and success can be sustained for many years yet, but patience is key.