Sunday was one of those days when it really hurts to be a Manchester United fan. Thankfully, those days are few and far between but they do come, and when they do, its about holding your nerve as the rest of the league and indeed the ABU media have a field day against the club.
Perhaps a reminder of a few such days is best illustration of how they hurt at the time: The 0-5 loss to Newcastle back in the '96/97 season, the 1-4 reverse at the Riverside back in '04/05, then the even more hurtful ones; the 4-1 defeat by the Dippers in 2009, and the 6-1 more recently against the Bitters.
Its fair to say that Sunday falls in line with the above selection of matches. However, it is disappointing when you look back and think that the side could have done something about the manner of the defeat. For starters, all the goals let in on Sunday were squarely down to people not doing their jobs of following their men whilst defending counter-attacks--Valencia and Fellaini being the biggest culprits. It is frustrating when you consider that the reason Sir Alex and Moyes have seen it right to include Valencia ahead of Nani is because the former can ably put in a shift defensively as well as offer an attacking threat.
Anyhow, that result effectively means that we've gotten off to a poor start. We're 5 off the top and three off our main rivals but you have to think that the only way we can make a fight for this title is to pick up a lion's share of the next 35 points available. You'd like to think that we should be able to win the games between now and the end of December. It is the upside of the fixture list that Moyes should exploit since he has not fared well enough against our direct rivals.
Next up is Liverpool in the Carling Cup and whereas we would normally not care the result of this one, it is a perfect opportunity to restore some pride by getting the result at home against them. We have plenty of capable players who have not played a lot since the start of the season so you hope that the manager gives a couple a game.
It's hard to imagine that the lads will put on as poor a show on Wednesday as they did on Sunday but if they did, a lot of them will have to take a long hard look at themselves because as Jimmy Murphy once put it ''Football is a simple game. You win the ball, you pass the ball, you score a goal.''