It is fair to say that Manchester United have struggled since the retirement of former manager Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013. But the questions to ask are, what has happened since and where are they now?

The success of Sir Alex

Sir Alex ruled Manchester United for twenty six years and was arguably the best manager that the sport has ever seen. The 75 year old won an array of trophies, including 13 league titles, the FA cup 5 times and the Champions League twice, as stated in the Independent newspaper. But what has happened since? Let us investigate.

That of David Moyes

David Moyes was appointed as the 'chosen one' yet only lasted in the job for ten months. So what went wrong? One major problem was that he was unable to motivate a team that had just won the Premier League. Even with the likes of Robin van Persie, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra as reported in the Express newspaper, Moyes failed to have an impact which contributed to their "slump" in the league. Another major problem for Moyes was his inability to make any significant transfers. United were interested in Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale Toni Kroos but only signed Marouane Fellaini. It was clear that Moyes was in over his head. Although he led the team to the quarter finals of the Champions League, he was unable to have an effect domestically, with United eventually finishing seventh; their worst ever finish in a premier league season.

Van Gaal

Next up was Louis Van Gaal, the manager who had been successful in Holland, Spain and Germany. However, he was unable to stem the tide. Although the team did win the FA Cup in his final season (2016) he failed to have any real impact. His arrival was heralded as the return to the established order, but things did not work out.

So what happened? One major problem was that he simply failed to stamp his authority on the premier league. The Mirror newspaper noted that after two years of "trying to instill his philosophy, it didn't work". Another problem, like Moyes, was that he made some "bad signings". Players such as Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao and Memphis Depay simply failed to have an effect on the team despite early promise.

What is worse is that Van Gaal spent close to 250 million pounds sterling, yet the best he was able to finish in the league was fourth (in his second season). After much discontent and disillusionment, the Dutchman was sacked in the summer of 2016.

Enter Jose Mourinho

Enter Jose Mourinho. Many expected that he would instantly return United to the top. His previous work in Portugal, Spain, Italy and England before suggested that that would be the case. But after three consecutive wins at the start of the season, United stumbled. It seemed that the hangover from his sacking by Chelsea in 2015 was still having an effect. Draws against Stoke, Burnley and West Ham, all at home demonstrated this. This was reflected in the comments recently made by Sir Alex Ferguson, as reported on the BBC sport site.

Ferguson stated that "there was a period earlier in the season when he wasn't getting the decisions and his emotions boiled over". However, in the past couple of months things have changed. United have a settled team now, the players are performing, illustrated by the fact that they are now unbeaten in seventeen games in all competitions. There has also been a change in Mourinho. Sir Alex noted that "you see him now- he is calm and in control" and that "he has got to grips with the club".

Where are they now?

So where are United now? They are definitely on the up. Their performances have been good, they have that 'new say die' attitude that is synonymous with Manchester United and their players have bought into the Mourinho way. What they will achieve under Jose I do not know. But what thing is for sure, the future is bright and very exciting.