So David Moyes' perhaps inevitable departure has come, and whilst there is undoubted sympathy for the Scot, there a few who really surprised.
There are plenty of those who would have liked to see Moyes given at least a whole season in charge, but at the same time no one expected a capitulation quite as spectacular as the one the Premier League Champions have undergone this season.
The reasons for the club's decline, and Moyes' exit, will be splattered across newspapers and social media for days and weeks to come; his lack of experience, summer signings, the departure of certain backroom staff, and the quote of day, not playing 'the United way'.
The key results are obvious, league double losses to both Liverpool and Everton for the first time in the post WW2 era, losing to title contenders Chelsea and Manchster City, as well as poor defeats to the likes of Newcastle, Stoke and West Brom.
But as much as the whys and wherefores will be discussed, who will take over from Moyes will be an equally debated matter.
One thing the club need to do is learn from their perceived mistakes in appointing Moyes.
One of the first is finding someone who knows the club. Whilst it was always expected that Moyes would bring in his own staff from Everton, and with former United player Phil Neville one of them, keeping the existing staff on board seemed imperative.
But the likes of Mike Phelan quickly departed the club once Moyes arrived, and even though appointing Ryan Giggs as a coach seemed to be a straight forward transition, it did little to breach the gap between the two regimes.
And now with Moyes departed, Giggs seems the ideal solution to lead the club in the short term, and try to finish a calamitous season on a high.
But the early favourites to succeed Moyes permanently are both foreign coaches, with no experience of the Premier League, let alone any first hand experience with United.
So the question now becomes how the club want to approach appointing their next manager.
Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp seems to be at the top of the fan's wishlist, but as previously stated, he has no experience in English football. He has won much praise over recent years for his side's style of play, and having won the German League and reached the Champions League final during his tenure, he does have success on his C.V.
He has of course immediately ruled himself out of the running for the job, but his stance could massively change during the summer.
But can the club really afford to risk bringing in a foreign manager who presumably will need at least one season, as many expected Moyes would get, to adjust to life at one of Europe's biggest clubs?
Van Gaal also, at 62 does not suggest a long term solution for United, he has had a distinguished career no doubt, but he has also failed to cut it at the likes of Bayern Munich, a club many at United believe they should be on par with.
The idea when bringing Moyes in, as Sir Alex Ferguson's hand picked successor, was to create a new dynasty based on the Ferguson mould, a long term plan to bring continued to success.
Following 'Fergie' was probably a thankless task for any manager, and indeed some more pessimistic comments have suggested that Moyes was set up for a fall by his predecessor. However, it is very hard to believe a man of the stature and class like Ferguson would never make such a vindictive move, though that is not to say he is blameless in this.
If there is one man who is anywhere he as impeachable as Ferguson with United fans, that man is most certainly Ryan Giggs.
His 20 year career at the club has mage him their most successful player of all time, and you imagine that even in United lost all four of their final games, the fans would not hold Giggs responsible.
Appointing Giggs on a permanent basis does present significant risk for the club, as he has never managed before, let alone at a top club. But what better training than to study the greatest United manager of all time for two decades?
Several former United players are already successful managers, and would nod doubt cite learning from Ferguson as big factor in developing their managerial skills.
The next few seasons, whilst United continues to get over Ferguson's departure, will be unprecedented no matter what decisions the club make, but should they give Giggs the job full time, excuses like not knowing the club, or playing the 'United way' can not be used for a man who has defined United in the Premier League era almost as much as Ferguson himself.