So they got knocked out of the Champions League.
They have had a massive injury blow with Vidic being ruled out to the season, adding to a list that includes Hernandez, Cleverley, Anderson and Michael Owen, meaning we will get a week off from Sunday Supplement talking about him getting called up for England.
We had a massive win against Sunderland. Team confidence must have improved as a result, which we can only hope will turn around the form of certain players.
So we all know what’s going to happen.
We’re going to suffer from last minute heartache again. It’s just the way it goes.
So, what shall we do in the meantime, waiting for that inevitable, sinking feeling at 4.45pm this afternoon?
Well is there a strong argument for us to start with the 11 that finished against Sunderland?
Of course, the situation we were in, as well as the way SEB and Hammill play meant we changed our approach and it benefited us and helped us turn the game around.
But whether we should is another matter.
We have seen time and time again that Hammill can be a very effective impact player. Putting him on an hour or so into a game against a tiring full-back has helped in previous games, especially against Sunderland. And yes, it may be more negative to start Hunt instead of him, but with a full-back like Evra, you need a more defensive minded winger. Hunt isn’t the best player at the club by a long stretch, but he’s a little shit. A little shit that you want to make things difficult. And we all can see that Evra isn’t the player he has been of recent times, so surely a fresh legged, quick, direct winger against him for the final 30 minutes would be far more effective.
And we talk about Doyle’s recent dip in form, and talk of him dropping him, with SEB’s performance against Sunderland helping with that opinion.
But is there not an argument that Doyle’s intelligent play would cause problems against a vulnerable Jonny Evans?
Doyle dropping deep, looking for the ball, trying to pull Evans out of position to allow space for Fletcher to run in behind. And if Fletcher is up against Rio today, there is no contest when it comes to pace.
And again, an hour into a game, bringing SEB on would change the way we play. Not just dropping deep, but happy playing off Evans’s shoulder, something we’ve seen Evans struggle against in previous matches.
But will any of this matter come that moment at 4.45 when we cover our faces with our hands, or look at the floor with an empty, vacant stare?
Probably not, but at least we’ll get to be the first to sing ‘Thursday night, Channel 5′