6 Reasons Why It's Not All Doom and Gloom for Manchester United
There's no easy way to say it.
Whichever way you look at it, it has been a disastrous season for Manchester United.
David Moyes' first season in charge will finish without a trophy and, in all likeliness, without Champions League football.
It is a nightmare scenario.
But it's not all doom and gloom.
It wasn't long ago that United reached three Champions League finals in four years. And it was only 11 months ago that they were lifting a record 20th title.
The foundations are in place for United to get back to that level.
Here are six reasons why United's future is still bright. Feel free to use the comments section below to add your own. Or disagree entirely.
The Manchester United Job Is Still a Desirable One
David Moyes has struggled in his first season as Manchester United manager.
Many expected it after following Sir Alex Ferguson's trophy-laden 26-year spell in charge at Old Trafford.
But the extent of United's collapse this season is worrying. And it's still not certain whether the former Everton manager will survive the summer.
If Moyes was sacked, the United board should still be able to attract a top-level coach.
It's an attractive job. And, arguably, more attractive if you're the one to take over from Moyes rather than Ferguson.
They Can Still Splash the Cash
Sir Alex Ferguson left David Moyes an ageing squad.
And, whoever is in charge, the squad are set to undergo an overhaul this summer.
It's proof that United can still compete financially with the biggest clubs in the world.
It's a good bullet to have in the chamber when you're looking to re-establish yourself as one of Europe's elite clubs.
Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie
Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are two of the finest strikers in the Premier League.
And at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers has shown what can happen when you get two forwards playing well together and scoring goals.
Moyes still has work to do to discover how best to use Rooney and Van Persie together.
But if he can, it's guaranteed goals. And goals win games.
They Still Have Some Very Good Young Players
If Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Patrice Evra follow Nemanja Vidic out of the door in the summer, United will lose a lot of experience.
But United still have a lot of good young players.
Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Rafael, David De Gea, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck are all internationals and Premier League title winners.
And one of the only few positives to come from this season has been the emergence of Adnan Januzaj.
There aren't many clubs with a better core of talented young players.
The Academy Is Reliable
United have had a lot of luck with producing their own players in the past.
And although it's disappointing for many fans to see Paul Pogba and Ravel Morrison flourish elsewhere, Adnan Januzaj is proof that there is still a route from youth team to first team at Old Trafford.
Jesse Lingard and Michael Keane are probably the closest to a first-team breakthrough, while Tom Thorpe and Will Keane are both England Under-21 internationals.
James Wilson, an 18-year-old striker who has scored goals for the Under-21s this season, was on the bench for the win at Newcastle.
...And Liverpool Have Shown You Can Get Back to the Top
United won't like taking lessons from Liverpool.
And there's no real need because United's collapse is unlikely to be as pronounced as Liverpool's demise since 1990.
But without the distraction of Champions League football, Liverpool have mounted an unlikely title challenge.
If they win their remaining four games, they will be crowned champions next month.
United will start next season in a far stronger position than Liverpool started this one.
And if Liverpool can finish seventh and then win the league the following season, there's no reason why United can't do the same.