2010 may have been viewed as a season of frustration but the manager's annual aim of bringing home a trophy was still fulfilled thanks to the Carling Cup triumph at Wembley.
The Reds challenged for the title until the final day of the campaign with Wayne Rooney displaying a clinical streak in front of goal and deservedly earning the Player of the Year gongs.
Fittingly, it was Rooney who headed the cup final winner against Aston Villa even though his nod past Shay Given in the semi-final against emerging rivals Manchester City was probably just as important.
Chelsea pipped United by a solitary point, thanks largely to a controversial winner from an offside Didier Drogba at Old Trafford, but the trophy was only to have a temporary stay in the capital.
The media were underwhelmed by the close season captures of Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling and few gave the Reds too much hope of winning a record 19th title, particularly after Chelsea won their opening two games 6-0.
Yet the team gelled to upset the odds with Mexican marksman Hernandez a revelation in attack and Smalling quickly proving to be an adequate stand-in for the best centre-half pairing in the business in Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. From the retiring Edwin van der Sar through to a revitalised Rooney, who put a poor spell of form and dramatic transfer U-turn well behind him, to score the penalty that clinched the title at Blackburn, this was a genuine squad effort.