No matter which way you look at it, David Moyes needs to make big changes to the current Manchester United side if he is to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor.
There's flaws aplenty at Old Trafford at the moment, but it's not all doom and gloom.
Moyes has reportedly been promised a warchest with which to hit the transfer market in January and, providing he plays his hand correctly this time around, United could have a much stronger squad.
Here's a potential United XI if David Moyes manages to get it right in January.
GK: David de Gea
Has become much stronger of late and is now one of the more consistent members of the Manchester United setup. De Gea deserves the no.1 spot and with a strong team in front of him, he's more competent than most 'keepers in Europe.
Having made the right-back berth his own after the retirement of Gary Neville, Rafael offers a safe, solid option at the back and is also good going forward. A dead cert to remain the first-choice.
CB: Nemanja Vidic
He may be getting on a bit now, but the United skipper is still stronger than the majority of centre-backs in football. His partnership with Rio Ferdinand no longer provides a harmonious balance in which the two can co-exist, but out of the two Vidic is definitely the better defender. Capable of leading the back line for a good while yet.
CB: Ezequiel Garay
The former Real Madrid centre-back has impressed massively at Benfica, and has been targeted by a number of top clubs as a result. At 26 he provides an option for the future and could well provide the pace and athleticism the United back line need. A far cheaper option than Eliaquim Mangala.
LB: Patrice Evra
Despite many people favouring the purchase of Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw is a much more viable option for the future. Bringing in the Southampton youngster would allow him to be mentored by Evra, who definitely has a season or more left in him at the highest level, before allowing Shaw to grow into the role. Evra provides experience and Shaw provides a competitor for the role who wouldn't mind sitting on the bench.
Having just penned a new five year deal, one would expect Nani to be given the chance to shine over the coming months. I expect Valencia and Young will be shipped out at some point, and Nani on his day is better than both of them. Wilfried Zaha will provide competition in the long run but for this season at least Nani could make the spot his own.
CM: Lars Bender
The German midfielder brings versatility and strength to a United midfield that's in dyer need of it. He's got more top level experience than Fellaini but is just as effective at breaking up play and moving the ball forward. Available for around £20million, Bender is a bargain buy who prove to be a revelation in the Premier League.
CM: Michael Carrick
The pass master who acts for all intents and purposes as the glue in the current United side. Carrick's experience and ability is vital if his side are to provide any sort of challenge for their rivals this year. Partner him with the durability and awareness of Lars Bender and the centre midfield looks a lot more composed and assured.
LM: Angel di Maria
In stark contrast to the right midfield, United currently have no natural wingers who can make the grade on the left flank. Di Maria may end up losing his place to Gareth Bale when the winger returns from his injury problems. If he becomes available for any reason then it's imperative that United move for him. He provides excellent skill, goals and a very good final delivery more often than not.
AM: Wayne Rooney
One half of a devastating strike force, Rooney has adapted his game to pick up the ball from deep and connect with Robin van Persie to good effect. The England international looks set to stay at Old Trafford for the long-run, and Moyes must ensure he remains on form.
CF: Robin van Persie
Arguably the most potent and lethal goalscorer in world football, Van Persie is a shoe in for the strikers position. There's not much he can't do when it comes to playing up top, and without him United look significantly weakened.
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