With United apparently going backwards, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City, Spurs and Liverpool are all making inroads. Looking at United and those clubs' transfer dealings in the summer, there is more evidence of shifting tides.
There can be little argument that Alex Ferguson's tenure at Manchester united will be remembered as one in which he took a club that was still trading on past glories ("all fur coat and no knickers") and fashioned it a brand that was dominant on and off the pitch.
After a rollercoaster six months, Ellis Short has - rightly or wrongly - decided the Italian was too close to veering off the tracks, and what's needed is a new man to steer things in a far more upwardly direction. While there's still debate to be had over Short's decision, the question now moves from 'what?' or 'why?' to 'who?' Here's a look at some of the realistic - and not so realistic - candidates
To be sure, scandal has always been with us. The annals of British history are littered with the names of great national hellraisers, from Vinnie Jones to Gazza and beyond. However, there is a difference. Recent distasteful behaviour in sport, whether it be the English rugby team tossing midgets, or the bout of al fresco relief with which I began this article, betrays cultural problems, not individual misdemeanours...
I might as well be honest with you right from the start: this article will contradict itself. It will set off by being one thing but in the end will turn out to be something else, in many ways similar to a Premier League season.
It wouldn't be the first time that a youngish football manager, with illustrious predecessors inconveniently prominent in fans' memories, has appeared as a sheep trying to don the clothing of a wolf. Allan Clarke, after an apprenticeship at Barnsley, returned to Elland Road as manager, and immediately started trying to come over all Brian Clough.
There are worrying signs already for the inheritor of the poisoned chalice that is the Old Trafford hot-seat. David Moyes has been gathering his own people about him as he sets forth to put his own stamp on the Man U machine - but Moyes will be grimly aware that The Ghost of Alex Ferguson Past is the least of his worries.
With the dust only just settling on the most illustrious managerial career in football, it's been hard to find a bad word written about Sir Alex Ferguson. However, now he's officially retired, the time has come to examine some of his lesser moments.
"It just doesn't happen. Unless you're Aberdeen." Willie Miller, the youngest captain in Aberdeen's history, talks about the moment provincial Scotti...
There are many great Britons who in the eyes of Winston Churchill, 'made the weather,' on route to their success. There is only one great Briton though who has been able to make time, specifically 'Fergie time'.
With extra money coming into the club from their lucrative deal with Puma, funds freed up from their deal with Emirates, not to mention increased TV revenue and the likely departure of a certain meerkat-a-like, it could be time for one last hurrah.
For those of you with the insatiable morbidity necessary to have read this far, I don't propose to tax your limited attention spans any further by embarking on a new subject. So instead, I'll sum up the gist of what I had intended to write in one sentence: We gon' be aaiight wiv Moyes.
This weekend can't possibly match the drama of the final day last season, which culminated in Martin Tyler's iconic "Aguerooooo" commentary. However, the 'north London shoot-out' for the Champions League should still be pretty dramatic.
I'm sure managerial consistency plays some part in a club's success. Players like to know who they will be playing under before they sign a new contract. However, I don't believe that the reason for United's success was club's managerial consistency
Olivier Giroud has had a very solid debut season, but he is not Robin van Persie. He is not a player to build around. Rooney, on the other hand, is not as good as van Persie - but he can be that player to build around. If the 27-year-old is craving being the man at a top club, he should seriously consider making the move south to N5.
A year ago I was extremely fortunate to commentate on the dramatic and historic moment when Manchester City grabbed the Barclays Premier League crown with virtually the last kick of the season. I was very proud to play a smaller role in the exceptional Sky Sports coverage of Sir Alex Ferguson's last home game as Manchester United's manager.