It's been a positively ghastly season for the Red Devils this year, with the Chosen One managing nothing but his own demise and a record seventh place finish. Louis van Gaal's arrival seems pretty nailed on, though the future for the most successful team in British history remains anything but.
Watching from afar the end of football's greatest love affair has at times been rather heartwrenching. David Moyes walking out at Old Trafford to a fan funded plane protest, Michael Carrick forgetting that he's actually quite good and the failure of Ryan Giggs to continue his Premier League record of scoring in every season, the list goes on.
It is, however, an earth-shattering reality check that the rigours of this league are ever increasing and the window for reestablishing themselves amongst the elite will grow smaller if immediate success is not achieved next season.
United made noises about "budgeting for a season outside of the Champions League". While this may be true, I very much doubt if they envisaged such a fall from grace and consequently such a necessary shake-up of the status quo at Carrington.
Van Gaal will no doubt bring his own unique style and disciplines, though United fans should not be so naive as to think that his name will grant them a return to the top four, as City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal will all be investing heavily to ensure another season of European qualification.
Van Gaal will have a luxury unknown to him though. A season totally out of Europe will allow him to occupy his focus totally on regaining the Premier League crown and therefore a recruitment programme that need not produce a multitude of well traveled stars.
He will have a sizeable kitty at his disposal that is for sure, but his experienced head will not lead him so far as to splash out on singles, rather he will create a blend capable principally of finishing in the top four, then beyond.
Manchester United could well return to the summit of English football, though doing so will require a realistic attitude from both fans and management.
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