Manchester United are hugely underperforming again this season, but in among the doom and gloom lie a few key reasons to be cheerful.
From youngsters thriving in the spotlight to the potential for a managerial upgrade in the summer, causes for optimism do exist. The green shoots of a spring time of attacking football have even been seen around Old Trafford.
Perhaps this is all too little too late for Louis van Gaal—whose side looks likely to miss out on a Champions League place—but in the medium term, things should get better.
Of course, next season will bring plenty of challenges for United.
Pep Guardiola is arriving at Manchester City. Jurgen Klopp will be doing his best to reinvent Liverpool. Tottenham Hotspur have built an effective squad and will be looking to build on their impressive season. Chelsea will keen to right the wrongs of this season.
And, of course, Leicester City will have offered hope to every club in the division that the elite are conquerable—or they will have at least given it a good shot.
However, United do look like they are moving in the right direction, both in terms of the rest of this season and beyond.
Let's take a look at why...