From Manchester United's point of view, the two and a bit seasons since the summer of 2014 have witnessed nothing at all, except a partial rehabilitation of David Moyes's reputation.
There's no doubt Moysey would be feeling a bit embarrassed had his successor made wonderfully music with those Manchester United players.
As we now know he did nothing of the sort and now Van Gaal's high profile successor is doing even worse. Mourinho has amassed less points at this point of the season than David Moyes had in his traumatic 2013-14 season.
Eamon Dunphy unloaded on Manchester United on 2FM's Game On this evening, accusing the club of being in denial about their own predicament.
The rot, in Eamo's view, set in during Ferguson's final days in the job. No one minded much at the time because they were still in the groove and were still mowing down the disorganised Premier League opposition.
But they were storing up problems.
The people who run Manchester United are the people who are responsible. The beginning of the end for Manchester United came before Alex Ferguson left.
In his last successful season, Van Persie scored the goals, a player who was coming to the end of his career, he was a quick fix and he did the job.
Manchester United when Ferguson left had very little. It was a club that needed to be rebuilt from the foundations upwards.
Everyone is looking for a quick fix. David Moyes was given seven months to budget and then they got Van Gaal who was supposed to be a quick fix. He was given some money but he wasted it and now Mourinho has come in.
He was surprisingly tame about Mourinho's failings and played down his responsibility for their current plight. Man United's problems are beyond the capacity of one manager to solve, at least in short-term.
Which naturally begs the question - why pick a notorious short-term merchant to lead them out of the morass. It is in that spirit that Dunphy proclaims him the wrong man.
Manchester United should just accept that they are in for a lost decade and plan accordingly.
I mean the waste in the summer of £100m on Paul Pogba is one example, the centre back Bailly, who some people can offer something, he cost £35m.
They are in denial about where the club is. It's in a downward spiral that is beyond the capacity of one coach to fix unless you give him a couple of billion.
Mourinho is not going to be a success. Nobody could succeed with this team.
While he traces the root of United's current stasis back to the dying days of Alex Ferguson's reign, he does credit with good judgement on the Pogba front. A classic Dunphy-ist gambit here.
Alex Ferguson decided four years ago that Pogba was not good enough to play for Manchester United and he was right.
Ibrahimovic is a folly. He's 35, he can barely run and he's not playing at all.
Perhaps, most intriguingly, he argued that Manchester United need a different kind of manager. What they don't require is some flighty hired gun from Portugal famed for his ability to deliver immediate success.
No, they need a diligent club builder, a man who will patiently put in the foundations for future success. He fancies Eddie Howe as the man to do the job.
Manchester United need to assess where they are and then choose the person who is going to rebuild them into being a great club. They are a mile away at the moment.
There is a young guy at Bournemouth, Eddie Howe, he should have got the England job. He should probably get the Manchester United and say 'this is where we are at, we need four or five years to get back to where we need to be.
In these times, when there are so few players worth going for, United are stuck.
As for 2016-17, he forsees a similiar kind of season to the one's to which Manchester United fans have recently become accustomed.
I think Mourinho is good and he'll keep them in the mix a little bit. He'll do what he has to do, like he did at Liverpool last Monday but he can't make top class players out of the players he's got, they are just pretty ordinary.
They're doomed to mid-table or maybe scrapping for a Europa League place, that's where they fit now.
However, as bad as Manchester United are, they'd beat Manchester City, at least according to Eamon.
Dunphy: I tell you what, if Manchester United played Manchester City now, all things being equal with the two best teams on the field, I think United would beat them.
Cawley: I don't know Eamon. And that's me a United man saying that.
Dunphy: I swear. They're awful.
Cawley: But United are awful.
Dunphy: They're not! United got a draw at Liverpool. If Manchester City go to Liverpool, you'll need a calculator to count all the goals. The way they're defending.
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