From the minute the season started and the first ball was kicked in anger under the reign of newly-appointed David Moyes, there was a sense that there was something not quite right down at Old Trafford. But with a new manager coming in to the club and the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, it was always going to have that feel about it.
However, as the season has progressed we have seen the reigning champions stutter, stumble and eventually fall to their knees. This is all the more surprising when you consider that the season started with a 4-1 win over Swansea City. But it didn't take long for the first dropped points to come as they had to settle for a draw with Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.
September saw the first signs of pressure for the Manchester club. After the close of the transfer window and with only the capture of Marouane Fellaini to show for their efforts, they started the month with a 1-0 loss to bitter rivals Liverpool and a 4-1 thrashing by neighbours Manchester City, followed by a 2-1 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion.
That looked to be the end of the bad form for the Red Devils, with only draws to Cardiff and Southampton marring a perfect record for the following two months. Lately, however, the dropped points have started to catch up with them.
A draw with Tottenham Hotspur and consecutive home losses at the hands of Newcastle and, quite ironically, Everton has seen the red half of Manchester fall 13 points behind the leaders Arsenal who are five points clear at the top of the table and looking untouchable.
So what is the problem area for United? Most fingers are now being pointed solely at the midfield area where in the past there were formidable figure such as Ryan Giggs in his pomp, a young David Beckham, the hard hitting Paul Scholes and the no-nonsense Roy Keane.
The centre of United's team no longer has that edge and that grit and many fans are calling for an anchoring player similar to Yaya Toure to be brought into the team in January.
United now look to games against opposition who, if they are to be title contenders, they should hope to beat to try and close the gap at the top and at least secure a top-four spot by the end of the season.
To all intents and purposes, their title challenge seems to be dead and buried. But even if that is the case, let's not forget that for four years not even Sir Alex could find that winning formula before he eventually turned them into champions.
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