For every Cristiano Ronaldo or Ruud van Nistelrooy, there was always an Eric Djemba-Djemba or Bebe. Could David Moyes be of the same mould?
Make no mistake about it, Sir Alex Ferguson's judgement was never infallible.
The former Manchester United coach's success in club management was unquestionable, while he spotted a fair amount of the world's greatest talents over the past 20 years.
But the Scot did have his off-days - and some of his signings have left Man United fans scratching their heads to this day.
Indeed, for every Cristiano Ronaldo, Eric Cantona and Ruud van Nistelrooy, an Eric Djemba-Djemba, David Bellion or Bebe always seemed to be lurking around the corner. And that's without getting into some of Ferguson's player sales - most recently, the ever-progressing Paul Pogba.
The key question is, though: does David Moyes now fall under this category?
After Ferguson's own resounding domestic success last season, the 50-year-old has endured a horrific debut year as United boss. Twenty-five games in, Moyes' side sit seventh in the Premier League, nine points adrift of the Champions League places - and 15 off top spot.
But the most worrying aspect of the Scot's disastrous start at Old Trafford is an ever-growing sense that he simply isn't cut out for the job. The repetitive line that Moyes will improve with time will no doubt be pedalled out over the coming days, while those that continue to back him may of course share the last laugh if he does eventually succeed.
The evidence, however, suggests that the 50-year-old is simply out of his depth.
In yesterday's 2-2 draw with Fulham, Manchester United only seemed to have a plan A - cross the ball. The fact that the grand majority of those crosses came to nothing was added to by the frustrating defensive errors that led to the visitors' goals. Where was Adnan Januzaj when the starting line-up was announced, meanwhile? His introduction showed what United had been missing all game.
At the end, the whole circus seemed to be summed up Moyes' own reaction. The Scot was still smiling - and he deserves all the credit in the world for staying positive - but was more or less lost for any words of real value, using the same old excuses, something a certain Kenny Dalglish kept doing not so long ago before being sacked at Liverpool.
Indeed, an increasing feeling within certain sections of the United support is that Moyes simply isn't good enough. Exactly why will the 50-year-old "come good" if he has shown no signs of improvement of the course of a whole season and, importantly, is at the peak of his abilities after enjoying such a successful long-term tenure at Everton?
Moyes is clearly a good manager - just perhaps not a good United manager.
So it might just be that Ferguson, victim to the same ill judgement that approved the signing of so many disastrous Man United flops, has got this one wrong, too.
Did Fergie make a mistake choosing Moyes as his successor?
image: © illarterate