Former Chelsea midfielder turned pundit Frank Lampard has stated that Manchester United manager José Mourinho will not be to blame if they fail to lift the Premier League, stating that it will be down to the "quality of the players".
Certainly won't be down to the manager
United are the most successful club in the league's 25-year history having won 13 titles in that time, but it has been four full campaigns since that last triumph in 2012/13.
Mourinho was brought in last summer to bring league glory back to Old Trafford after David Moyes and Louis van Gaal tried and failed, and it has been good start to the campaign for The Red Devils.
However as good as United have been their bitter rivals Manchester City have been even better, with Pep Guardiola's side having a seamless start in which they are yet to taste defeat and already scored over 50 goals.
They also hold an advantage over their city rivals with Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea seeing United eight points off the mark, Lampard won two titles under Mourinho at Chelsea and he stated it won't be no fault of Mourinho's if they fail to secure the league title come May.
"Mourinho is a manager that likes to win and he has a way of winning," Lampard told Omnisport. "It's different to Pep Guardiola, different to Antonio Conte and that's his way."
"If Manchester United don't win the Premier League," the midfielder turned pundit stated. "For me it's the quality of the players."
"Manchester City have a very strong squad this year," the 39-year-old proclaimed. "Chelsea still have a very strong squad and I think particularly the first XI, if everybody's fit, Chelsea are very strong."
"When I look at Manchester United, they're there around that area," he said. "But maybe the other teams can be stronger."
"I certainly don't think it'll be the manager," Lampard added. "And I actually do think that Manchester United will be competitive towards the end of the season, so we'll see."
Don't know what could have been
It has been fair to say that United haven't found anywhere near the same amount of success since the exit of legendary manager of Sir Alex Ferguson, but despite being the club's most successful manager the Scotsman's tenure also started with a lack of success.
Ferguson move to the North West back in 1986 but would have to wait four years until they won the FA Cup in 1990, with story going that Ferguson would have been sacked if they failed to win their third-round cup clash with Nottingham Forest.
Mark Robins' goal paved the road to success for many years to come, however former club chairman Martin Edwards stated that he didn't know how long he could of supported Ferguson if results hadn't improved.
"I used to get a lot of letters and reply to letters but all I could say was 'I hear what you say but he is working very hard and we have just bought these players and were hoping it is going to come good'," Edwards told Stretty News TV. "Sometimes chairmen used to go out and give a vote of confidence in a manager and really it is the death knell."
"So I steered away from votes of confidence but I did answer the private letters," the former chairman proclaimed. "And all I could do was just hope and pray that it turned around sooner rather than later."
"I have always been honest," he admitted. "And said that although I supported him that season and I told him that his job wasn't on the line at Forest away."
"I don't know whether if we had gone out of the cup that game and our league position hadn't improved how long more I could've gone on supporting him," Edwards concluded. "I don't know."