Manchester United won the Premier League by nine points last season, scored nine goals more than any other team and lost fewer than half the games of their nearest rivals, Chelsea and Manchester City.
This with a squad some ''experts'' thought lacked substance and depth and felt their collapse at the end of the 2009-10 season to hand Chelsea the title meant they may even miss out on Champions League football this season, with Paul Wilson from the Guardian citing their inability to seize a game from midfield, a potential over-reliance on Dimitar Berbatov and an ageing defense.
How wrong could he and fellow Guardian writers have been?
Berbatov was the league's top scorer. The midfielders performed consistently well and showed balance and poise. Edwin Van Der Sar, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra were, at times, impenetrable forces.
So where to now for the club, which has won an unprecedented 19 titles?
They moved quickly to sign one of the hottest young goalkeepers in world football to replace Van der Sar, who has since retired. Rio Ferdinand's ongoing injury concerns should be of less worry to manager Sir Alex Ferguson now that he has signed the impressive young centre-back Phil Jones from Blackburn Rovers. And United have added another real goal threat to the team in former Aston Villa winger-cum-striker Ashley Young.
But there have been other rumours. Some of these may never materialise, but given Ferguson's determination to evolve his squad and United's financial power, some may still be on this horizon.
Here I countdown the top eight players linked with a move to Old Trafford.