Ole Gunnar Solskjaer summed up Manchester United's season in the bleakest terms following Sunday's home defeat to Cardiff City, saying the club have a long way to go before they can even think of challenging for the Premier League title.
A campaign that started with the divisive Jose Mourinho ended with a shambolic 2-0 loss to a side relegated with a match to spare, leaving United an eye-watering 32 points behind Premier League champions Manchester City in sixth place.
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's brace was the difference as Cardiff beat United for the first time since 1960 - quite the way for Neil Warnock to bow out in what he expects to be his last top-flight match as a manager.
But as the visitors celebrated, former Cardiff manager Solskjaer was left reeling on an afternoon that highlighted just why there will be personnel changes at Old Trafford this summer.
"Today was not the problem, you can have all the possession and chances you want but we concede easy goals and don't score at the other end," the Norwegian said. "We have a long and hard way to go [to get to] where we want to be."
United have regressed since the Norwegian started his reign in December with a 5-1 win in the Welsh capital, but there did appear to be a dollop of fortune about the decision that saw Mendez-Laing score from the penalty spot.
Mason Greenwood, the 17 year old who became United's youngest Premier League starter, was the only positive in a poor first half that was compounded nine minutes after the restart by Mendez-Laing capitalising on dreadful defending to tap home.
There were boos from those left in the stands at full time as United's season ended without a win in six matches in all competitions, and just two victories from 12 games
"It will take some time to close in on the top, we finished five or six points behind third, fourth, fifth and that has to be our aim," Solskjaer added. "The top two teams have set a standard higher than before and we have to take up the next challenge.
"The work starts now. Everyone has the summer off but we have to come back with a different mentality and different attitude of being a Man United team."
Elsewhere, Chelsea secured third place thanks to a 0-0 draw at home to Leicester City in which Eden Hazard started on the bench in what could be his final game at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian, who joined the club in 2012 from French side Lille, has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid in the summer. He came on for the final quarter but made little impact.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said if this should prove to be Hazard's final Premier League game - the club still have the Europa League final against Arsenal to come - then fans should respect his decision.
"Eden was tired today so he was on the bench," the Italian said. "We tried to win with him later on in the last 25 minutes. I think Eden has played here in Chelsea for seven seasons, trying in every match to do his best and now it's time to respect his decision, but I hope he will remain with us."
Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur secured fourth place after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Everton.
Crystal Palace and Bournemouth provided a goal fest at Selhurst Park as the hosts signed off their campaign with a 5-3 win over Eddie Howe's side.
A Michy Batshuayi double got the ball rolling before Jack Simpson's own goal gave Palace a 3-0 lead. Goals from Jefferson Lerma, Jordon Ibe and Joshua King got Bournemouth back into the game but further Palace goals from Patrick van Aanholt and Andros Townsend made sure of victory.
West Ham United ran out 4-1 winners away to Watford, who were perhaps guilty of having one eye on next week's FA Cup final against Manchester City. Newcastle United thumped Fulham 4-0 at Craven Cottage, Southampton were held 1-1 at home to relegated Huddersfield Town while a Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double in a 3-1 win away to Burnley ensured the Arsenal striker finished level with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on 22 Premier League goals to share the Golden Boot.