Following yet another fixture that didn't see victory, this time a goalless draw with Chelsea, Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's future looks all-the-more uncertain.
Former Blues manager Jose Mourinho has been frequently rumoured as the Dutchman's replacement, with it increasingly likely such an unprecedented move could come to fruition.
Over the last two or three months, Van Gaal has been forced to endure a plethora of abuse and criticism from pundits, media and fans for his side's uninspiring performances.
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And whilst he is certainly responsible for a large portion of United's recent downfall, it would be extremely unfair and misleading to suggest he is solely at fault.
One particular assault he has been forced to frequently fend off is the suggestion he has overspent on unproven quality which, whilst true, isn't just to blame - his experienced players have let him down too.
Van Gaal has shown tremendous faith in the England captain, handing him the United armband over his former Netherlands captain Robin van Persie last season. Moreover, despite his poor form, he has started almost every game this season.
The Dutchman has consistently absorbed all criticism for Rooney's lack of influence after playing him in different positions and alongside various partners. The truth is, though, the 30-year-old is currently half way through his worst season at Old Trafford.
Rooney's tally of just seven goals so far isn't the only problem - it's his lack of creativity, ambition and pace which is proving the issue.
It's impossible to deny that Rooney is one of United's all-time greats and still possesses quality, but he has failed to hold an impact as one of the club's most experienced and best players.
Tragically overlooked by his country time and time again throughout a fruitful career at Old Trafford, Carrick's positional awareness and intelligence has always covered up for his lack of pace and agility. He's been a class act for the Red Devils.
This season, however, his best traits have abandoned him. Often left isolated and detached from games, Carrick has looked a shadow of the player who United once depended upon to steady the ship and dictate the tempo of games.
Injuries and a lack of game time have hindered his influence, but a player of Carrick's quality and experience should be one to stand up and be counted when the chips are down - he simply hasn't done so.
Perhaps the most talented of the three, Mata is a joy to watch on his day. When it comes to finding pockets of space and moving the ball into dangerous areas with ease, he is one of the best in the Premier League.
However, as this season has grown, Mata has shrunk. Van Gaal has put enormous faith in Mata, much like that of Rooney, but the Spaniard hasn't rewarded him.
What's worse is Mata may well be looking over his shoulder given who could be in line to replace his Dutch manager - Jose Mourinho.
Mata's fluid, creative and fearless playing style - which earned him Chelsea Player of the Year twice - has deserted him this season. He looks restricted, tired and lost.
Van Gaal has taken some harsh criticism in the last three months or so, but given his age and legacy, it's fairly disrespectful from the English media to hang him out to dry so cruelly.
The three aforementioned players have all tasted glory in England, two of which have been nurtured by possibly the greatest manager of all time - Sir Alex Ferguson. It's their job to lead their side forward during times of adversity yet, like their teammates, they've continually flattered to deceive.
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