But a humiliating 6-1 loss to Manchester City today, cleared away all doubt that the 2011-12 season is going to be a tough one for United, who have been off their game lately. They were lucky to avoid loss in their last three league games and their Champions League campaign has also had a very disappointing start.
Although the City game was a big disappointment, United should see this game as a way to change things because Mancini's side exposed all of United's major problems.
The first and the biggest problem for United is their defense, which was just terrible in today's game. De Gea did all he could to save United, but he was left all alone for the most part.
Nemanja Vidic is badly needed in the United lineup not only to strengthen the defense, but also to keep the morale up in a game because United just gave up in the dying hours of the match and conceded three goals in four minutes.
Secondly, Manchester United need Wesley Sneijder. Ashley Young and Nani are great, but Young still needs time to really hone his skill and develop into a well-rounded attacking midfielder. United could not get past City's defense throughout the game and Nani can't do the job all by himself, so Sir Alex should go after Sneijder come January.
And lastly, United are misusing a great striker in Dimitar Berbatov. Berbatov saved United last season and he led them to their 19th title. He has said that he wants to stay at United and he wants to be a valuable member of the squad again so why not give him a chance?
Chicharito and Welbeck are promising talent, but they need time to improve on their game and show consistency. After all, you don't become the highest scorer in the league by slacking off and the Bulgarian is just the technical player that is missing from United's attack.
Manchester City have undoubtedly shown that they have arrived and United have got themselves another big contender. It's not too late for United to close in on their 20th title, but to do that, they need to find their form fairly quickly.