Ever since Louis van Gaal arrived at Manchester United in 2013, the Dutchman's ability to restore success at the 20-time league champions has consistently been brought into question.
David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson's predecessor, failed miserably at the helm and for a while it seemed as though Van Gaal had steadied the ship upon bringing Champions League football back to Old Trafford.
Now, the club find themselves cast into the dungeons of the Europa League after a disappointing defeat to Wolfsburg last Tuesday with the fingers pointed at Van Gaal's philosophies.
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The fluid, attacking style of play formerly associated with the Red Devils has seemingly departed whilst new signings have failed to impress.
What will perhaps hurt United fans most, however, is the fact two former players have taken Europe by storm since securing their much-needed moves away from Manchester - Angel Di Maria and Javier Hernandez.
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DI MARIA THRIVING IN PARIS
The Argentine suffered a torrid time during his stint at the Theatre of Dreams, played out of position and often confined to the bench. A player of undoubted class, it seemed strange that a player of Di Maria's calibre could just fade into obscurity.
Under Laurent Blanc at Paris Saint-Germain, though, he seems a player reborn, recording nine assists and scoring four goals in just 13 Ligue 1 games this season; the Argentine winger has certainly rediscovered his mojo in France.
With Memphis Depay struggling to establish himself in England thus far it seems Di Maria would have been the ideal candidate to galvanise United's stagnant midfield.
A proven match winner who can change games with one bursting run, a killer through ball or a sublime piece of skill, Di Maria is the man United are crying out for right now, but they blew their opportunity to make the most of his talent.
HERNANDEZ FIRING ON ALL CYLINDERS
It was something of a striker exodus for United over the summer with Hernandez, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and, most recently, James Wilson all leaving the club, leaving just an out-of-form Wayne Rooney and 20-year-old Anthony Martial to bear the goalscoring burden.
And they've largely struggled. Martial is now almost three months without a Premier League goal, whilst Rooney's season has gone from bad to worse with the club captain now struck by injury.
Hernandez, on the other hand, has been in the form of his life with new club Bayer Leverkusen since being cast aside by Van Gaal. Fifteen goals in his last 12 games is testament to how effective he has been in Germany and the goalscoring ability he possessed all along.
The Mexican recorded a hat-trick in his last Bundesliga outing against Borussia Monchengladbach, further condemning his former manager's decision to release him.
United fans will be gutted to see two players of unquestionable class doing so well post-United. They could have been the players to help revive the Red Devils' dull, possession-based football, but instead, they have found themselves new homes to showcase their talents.
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