Jose Mourinho spent over £150million in transfer fees this summer and countless more millions on astronomical wages in an attempt to turn Manchester United back into title contenders.
The aim was to win the club's first Premier League since Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013 with the bare minimum expectation of getting back into the Champions League.
Winning his first four games in charge, it looked for all the world that Mourinho was the man to achieve those targets. United, alongside Manchester City, were favourites to win the trophy with the bookmakers.
Article continues below
But it has all gone south since he met Pep Guardiola at Old Trafford. Mourinho lost three consecutive games for the first time in his managerial career since 2002.
Wins against Northampton, Leicester City and Ukranian side Zorya suggested the Red Devils were back on track but this weekend saw them draw against the league's bottom side Stoke.
Article continues below
Going into the international break, they sit five points behind Manchester City and, more worryingly, are already three points off fourth place, which is looking tougher to get into than ever before.
So how much have Manchester United actually improved since the Special One replace Louis van Gaal?
The squad certainly looks better of paper. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba make up two of the best players in the world and dragged their respective teams to their domestic titles last season.
With so much money spent in the summer and a huge reputation on Mourinho's shoulders, surely United fans can reasonably have expected better but, in fact, they could be in a worse position.
Seven games into the season, Manchester United are actually three points off from their position in the last campaign. Van Gaal's men garnered 16 points in the same time, scoring 12 goals and conceding just five. In comparison, Mourinho has managed just 13 points, scoring 13 goals and conceding eight.
Take a look at the infographic below to see it in more detail…
Louis van Gaal's start 2015/16
- Tottenham Hotspur | Home | 1–0 Win
- Aston Villa | Away | 1–0 Win
- Newcastle United | Home | 0–0 Draw
- Swansea City | Away | 1–2 Loss
- Liverpool | Home | 3–1 Win
- Southampton | Away | 3–2 Win
- Sunderland | Home | 3–0 Win
Jose Mourinho's start 2016/17
- Bournemouth | Away | 3–1 Win
- Southampton | Home | 2–0 Win
- Hull City | Away | 1–0 Win
- Manchester City | Home | 1–2 Loss
- Watford | Away | 1–3 Loss
- Leicester City | Home | 4–1 Win
- Stoke City | Home | 1–1 Draw
The fixtures are, of course, completely different. Only Southampton feature in both sets of fixtures and both resulted in a win for Manchester United. There is a similar away defeat to a mid-tabled team in both campaigns (Swansea & Watford) and a home draw to a relegation candidate (Newcastle & Stoke).
The difference comes in the derby games. Manchester United beat Liverpool at Old Trafford in an impressive 3-1 win while Mourinho's men suffered defeat to City at the same venue.