Last time United went winless in seven? They had a banner saying goodbye to Alex Ferguson

Anything but a win today for United could spell the end for Louis van Gaal

We are in the depths of winter but Louis van Gaal is feeling the heat. His Manchester United side are without a win in six games in all competitions and face Stoke on Stephen's Day in what might feel like a zero sum game for the Dutchman.

United slipped out of the top four last weekend with a loss at home to Norwich and face a gruelling test over the coming week if they are to announce themselves as title contenders or mid-table pretenders once the dust has settled.

For the millennial generation, United have always been at the top and can't remember such a fetid patch for the club. For people who are old enough to remember the pre-Ferguson era at Manchester United, there was a spell when United fans were feeling just as poorly.

Back in March 1989, United lost an FA Cup tie to Nottingham Forest, before being beaten in the league the following week by the same team. Those results were followed by draws with Arsenal and Millwall before defeats at the hands of Derby County, Charlton Athletic and Coventry City had United fans on their knees. 

One fan even famously unfurled a banner saying goodbye to Fergie, as they believed something had to give after such a poor run.

The Manchester club finally snapped out of the losing streak with a 1-0 win against Wimbledon, and United fans would be glad of such a result against Stoke on Stephen's Day.

You could argue that football is bigger business now and that managers don't get or deserve as much time to fix things given the money invested, but for those fans who believe this spell is unprecedented, think again.