18/07/2011 18:01 +0100 – Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing to send Manchester United on a Champions League revenge mission.
Throughout the summer, Ferguson has been forced to endure analysis of May's final, when Barcelona brilliantly ripped his team apart.
So clinical was the Catalans' victory it has almost been forgotten United went into the game as champions for a record 19th time, have secured four Premier League titles out of five and were featuring in their third European Cup final in four attempts.
It should be one of the club's most notable periods. Instead the Red Devils are being written off as inferior.
"Barcelona are the team of the moment," reflected Ferguson. "It is a cycle. It is the same players. They can dominate any game and could have probably done that to any other team.
"But it is not the kind of thing that makes you think 'let's not bother with European football any more, we are never going to beat Barcelona'.
"Manchester United are bigger than that. We have a better philosophy than that.
"The challenge will be can we improve enough to get to the final next season - and win?"
Those who know him best claim Ferguson has the Champions League at the forefront of his mind.
It is Europe that dominates his thoughts and shaped the rapid team strengthening exercise that has come amid such huge change, considering Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes have retired and other players of significant experience were allowed to leave.
In their place have come Ashley Young, David de Gea and Phil Jones and the return of Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck from loans.
After nursing one of the most experienced squads through last season, Ferguson is now presiding over a young one.
"I view it as an evolution. A new team is emerging," he said. "We have 12 players aged 22 and under. We have lost five players in their 30s.
"Javier Hernandez will improve. Wayne Rooney has come into his mid-20s, we expect big things there.
"They should be hungry to try and match the achievements of the others.
"If we get to the cup final next year, maybe it will be a different United."
Ferguson also has domestic matters to contend with with Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool breathing down United's necks.
"Let's be honest, you hate losing to any of them," he said.
"One of those four will always be a thorn in our flesh. They are our immediate challengers. History doesn't change.
"Okay, one or two may go off the radar for a spell. But long term you know they are going to there.
"Liverpool went off the radar for a bit. They are now back on it.
"Arsenal have been on the radar since I came down here. They have always been a challenger to us. Maybe not as much as they were eight years ago but Chelsea had a lot to do with that.
"It was the same last season. Chelsea were chasing us hardest. Arsenal looked as if they could get there but they just faded towards the end.
"No matter where it comes from, somewhere along the line we are going to be faced with a big challenge from one of those four great clubs."