The last time Manchester United took to the pitch was a write off. Listening in to the phone ins via the BBC Red Wednesday podcast post Olympiakos, alerted me to the reality that I was not the only Red that was deeply hurt by that particular performance. I blogged here post match that the one expectation that we fans have of the club is to defend the traits that the club stands for and that have embodied the shirt since the Second World War.
It was shocking seeing the team without a care in the world as the clock made it's way to the 90th minute.
Many a Red on phone-ins made the point that they've stuck by the team through this horrible of seasons but were not willing to put up with the rubbish that was on display in Athens. Manchester United as a club has literally been to hell and back in its 136 year history but it was amazing when a senior citizen of the Republic of Mancunia, a fan since 1928, phoned in to confirm that it was the worst performance he had seen from a Manchester United side in his 86 years of watching United. When you consider our history since 1928, it speaks volumes what we witnessed last week. His assertion was corroborated by various callers who have followed United since the 1940s and 1950s. At first I thought I was harsh with my assesment of the team but when those lads had their say, I was vindicated. There was something about that game that really begged for a loaded gun pointed to the head.
Perhaps it was not a good thing that that performance was quickly followed by a 2 week break of no football to remedy that. It has lingered a little bit on and sometimes when such performances are allowed to sink in, they become a sort of acceptable low and yet even on bad days we can't afford to put in the kind of show we did in Greece. That said, this season we've specialised in finding new lows even when the nadir has long been reached. It leaves one wondering how it could get much worse. But who knows? Maybe tomorrow the team will choose to score 7 own goals just to achieve a new nadir.
We're first up on the telly for Matchday 29 with a trip to the Midlands. Traditionally, we would be looking at three easy points but West Brom are one of the sides that have profited from United's lacklustre approach this season (in truth, who hasn't?). The 3 points tomorrow will only be got at premium sweat. What is even more certain is that we are not going to have a similar result to the one posted at the Hawthorns last season. 5-5 is as sure a long bet as you will get from the bookies.
Given the showing in our last game, the thing most Reds will be looking out for is an improvement on the performance. It surely cannot be that hard to better what we saw in Greece. But it will be demanded!