The king is dead. Long live the king.
Manchester City's reign as Premier League champions did not last even a year. Sir Alex Ferguson's side clinched its title with four games left to play on its slate.
Ironically, while United now has nothing but even more pride to play for, City's final five league games plus its upcoming FA Cup final date with Wigan Athletic will all bear on how the club's management views this season.
If City wins the FA Cup and locks down a second-place finish, the season will be viewed as a mild disappointment with a few positives to reflect on.
But if City blows the FA Cup final to relegation-threatened Wigan, or if the Sky Blues somehow manage to let Chelsea or Arsenal sneak into second place in the table, well, the resultant trouble could be terrible.
So while this season is not (yet) an abject disaster, some planning now could go a long way toward avoiding a repeat of the present disappointment. Or, heaven forbid, even worse.
Some of this work must be done in the summer; some of it can only be done once the games start to count again in August.
As that shot of satisfied United players above shows, August sort of cannot come soon enough for Manchester City.