Manchester United's faith in manager David Moyes appears to be driven by a feeling that the great Sir Alex Ferguson left his successor a questionable legacy, reports suggest.
According to The Daily Mail, one reason why the club's board are being so patient through what has been such a turgid first season under Moyes is a growing belief that the set-up he inherited from Ferguson was simply not fit for Premier League purpose.
Indeed, the reports further suggests that while obviously no-one at Manchester United wants to speak detrimentally about the great Ferguson's legacy in public, the apparently closed-off way he ran things at Old Trafford means that the task of restructuring the club is proving tougher than expected.
While suggestions that Moyes was left a relatively weak squad in terms of Manchester United's usual lofty standards may indeed have some merit, claims that it is not fit for purpose at the highest-level of English football would appear to ring somewhat hollow given that the Red Devils strolled to their 20th title in Ferguson's last season at the helm.
Let's not forget that they won it at an absolute canter on that occasion, with the eventual margin of superiority over local rivals Manchester City standing at 11 points - a factor that contributed to the summer departure of Roberto Mancini.
However, while last season was such a success for Manchester United, there is certainly no doubt that the club have struggled hugely throughout a difficult 2013/14 campaign.
Not managing to even conjure a half-spirited defence of their crown, Moyes' side's lie seventh in the Premier League table - a full 18 points adrift of leaders Chelsea - and their best chance of securing Champions League football for next season will surely now rely solely on them winning this year's edition of the competition.
That is a task that will be easier said than done, though, with the smaller matter of Pep Guardiola's all-conquering and seemingly unstoppable Bayern Munich juggernaut to come in the quarter-finals.
Manchester United fans, do you agree with this assessment? Was Moyes really left a set-up at Old Trafford that wasn't fit for Premier League purpose?
Do you place any of the blame for your club's current struggles at the door of your most iconic manager? Have your say below...
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