1986-87: Sir Alex takes over; 2-0 loss at Oxford is his first game
1987-88: Brian McClair and Viv Anderson are his first signings
1987-88: McClair becomes the first player to break the 20-league goal barrier since Best
1987-88: United finish runners-up to Liverpool and exit the FA Cup at Arsenal
1988-89: A 5-1 derby defeat to City is a real low point
1988-89: United can only manage 11th place in Division One
1989-90: A spending spree brings in the likes of Paul Ince and Gary Pallister
1989-90: United win the FA Cup, Sir Alex's first trophy as boss
1990-91: An on-field brawl with Arsenal leads to United being docked 1 point
1990-91: Ron Atkinson beats his successor in the League Cup final
1990-91: On a glorious night in Rotterdam, United win the European Cup-Winners' Cup
Rome wasn't built in a day and, when Sir Alex took over in 1986, he inherited a team that was struggling near the foot of the old First Division.
Keen to give the existing staff a chance to prove themselves, the boss took his time to assess the players and waited before stamping his authority on the club. Nonetheless, small signs of progress were evident with a Boxing Day victory against Liverpool in front of the largest league attendance of the season an obvious highlight. A disappointing FA Cup defeat to eventual winners Coventry, however, provided proof that an overhaul was needed at Old Trafford. Ron Atkinson's team may have lifted the famous trophy only a year earlier but a culture of success was required and a shake-up would take time to deliver. A 4-0 thumping at Tottenham was a harsh lesson and the reality was United only won once away from home all season in the league and finished 11th behind the likes of Norwich, Wimbledon, Luton and Watford.