Having dominated English football for almost the entirety of Sir Alex Ferguson's reign, much has been made of Manchester United since the legendary Scotsman retired.
In the three full seasons post-Ferguson, United have won just one FA Cup and two Community Shields, they've missed out on Champions League qualification more than once and David Moyes led them to their worst-ever final position in the Premier League era.
It was Moyes who was handpicked to succeed Sir Alex, however his compatriot lasted just nine months at Old Trafford and was replaced permanently by Louis van Gaal, who in turn lost his job after a 2015-16 campaign defined by a slow, un-entertaining brand of football.
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Jose Mourinho took over in the summer, however when Ferguson announced his retirement in May 2013, many people had the "Special One" down as someone who could potentially replace him as United manager.
At the time, the Portuguese coach was all but confirmed to be leaving Real Madrid, however Roberto di Matteo's sacking at Chelsea allowed him to return for a second spell at Stamford Bridge, while Moyes was appointed as Man Utd boss.
Man United welcome Moyes' Sunderland to Old Trafford on Boxing Day, and in his pre-match press conference, Mourinho revealed why he never even considered directly taking over from the great Sir Alex.
Jose replacing Fergie was never on the cards
When asked if he ever thought about being Ferguson's direct replacement, the 53-year-old said, via The Mirror: "Not really, not really. I was in another club. When I am in a club I just think about the (one) club and I don't lose my time thinking about other things, so not really.
"What I knew was the evolution of the Premier League, I knew the direction of the Premier League, and I knew that periods of domination belong to the past because the Premier League was already going in an incredible direction and it is what it is now."
Mourinho on Moyes
As he addressed the media, Mourinho also claimed that he never contacted Moyes for any advice prior to taking the United job, with the Sunderland boss set to make his first return to the Theatre of Dreams since his dismissal in April 2014.
"No, I didn't speak to many people and David (Moyes) was not also a person that I asked for," Mourinho added. "I think when you have United (as a potential destination) and you are in another club, maybe you think twice.
"But when you have United and you don't have a club and aren't working, you don't have a lot to think about.
"I thought about the difficulty of the job and tried to answer why the club was going in a difficult direction in the last three years (in terms of points) but I couldn't think much about United so it was an easy decision (to accept the job)."
While United find themselves in sixth place after nearly half of the 2016-17 season, their fans would tell you that the team's performances under Mourinho compared to that of Moyes or Van Gaal have been drastically improved.
They've only lost three times this season and their current run of ten games unbeaten, which includes four straight wins, suggests they have what it takes to make a real top four push in the new year.
Do YOU think Man Utd would have done better had Mourinho replaced Sir Alex straightaway? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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