Even the blindest of optimists would have realised that this season was always going to be a transitory one for Manchester United.
The club have struggled this season and are now facing the ignominy of the Europa League next year. United have had to rebuild under David Moyes rather than to hold onto some semblance of Ferguson’s regime and this is only going to be frustrating for a fan-base used to routine success.
The Premier League travails so far have highlighted the need to dispense with a number of players that just aren’t fit to don the famous shirt. Moyes’ summer clearout may well be a ruthless one, but given the current predicament it is probably necessary as well.