Manchester United find themselves in free-fall after another disappointing season of uncertainty. The club have been in disarray since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson left his post of 27 years in 2013, with a series of successors failing to live up to expectations at Old Trafford. Things were always going to be difficult at United after such a long period of dominance in English football's top flight, but six years on and the situation at the club has started to become laughable.
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have all tried and failed in the hot seat at arguably the world's biggest football club, and while former striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did initially look as though he would be the one to restore the belief at Old Trafford after picking up a string of impressive results in his opening 10-15 games, things dropped off massively towards the tail end of the campaign, resulting in the club finishing sixth - an astonishing 32 points behind fierce rivals Manchester City who ended up winning the division.
Blame ultimately lies with not just the manager, but the playing staff and it is clear that this current crop of footballers are quite simply not up to the standard required to meet the demands of top flight success. United are streets behind both City and Liverpool at the moment, and it is difficult to see when they will return as genuine rivals to the two clear front runners who so evidently dominated proceedings in the Premier League last season.
Players like Paul Pogba were scapegoated last season but it was at times for good reason, too often the France international went missing and failed to do his bit for the side when they really needed him to help out. The story of Alexis Sanchez is one of the most tragic in recent times; a player of such quality for years at Arsenal joined a club in turmoil on an obscene contract and seemingly just lost all of his confidence, and with it went all of his ability. Marcus Rashford has a long and promising future ahead of him but even he started to falter throughout the back end of last season and that again is down to a severe lack of confidence pulsating through the whole squad.
The same can be said for Jesse Lingard, who was a standout performer last season and stepped up to the plate so maturely for England last summer - he has faded well and truly into the background now things have got really tough which signifies the level of character in this United dressing room at the moment. Reinforcements have to be brought in this summer if the Red Devils are to even attempt at returning to their former might next term, though there is no point in bringing in the type of superstar that has gone before them in recent seasons.
The squad is already bursting at the seams with ego-driven young pre-madonna's who have no idea how to deal with a fight, there is no room for any more. The personnel introduced this summer have to possess not just quality but a willingness to grind results out, a willingness to try something new and above all else, a willingness to give their absolute all for the cause. At the moment you'd struggle to highlight a single player who does that at the club and that is why something needs to change - Leicester City's James Maddison is exactly the type of player United need.