The best thing about United's latest shambolic 'efforts' at Newcastle was the fact I didn't have to witness it. A weekend away with the missus in Kent, or the 90 minutes of perjury that watching Manchester United has become? It was a no-brainer. She doesn't have Sky Sports, and I've never been happier for that. The worst thing about this mess? It didn't even come as a surprise.
I felt nothing, not even a jote of anger as Matty Longstaff's 72nd-minute effort found its way beyond David de Gea and in. Just an air of resignation. That says it all.
This is a 30-year low in almost every area. Two wins all season, two points off the bottom three with nine points from eight games. We are in massive trouble with the challenge of table topping, 100%-ers Liverpool at Old Trafford up next. I don't mind not winning every week as that's how life goes but there's a certain level of performance and quality you have to hit and we are currently nowhere near.
These two Uniteds had some tremendous title tussles during the 1990s,
but the situation is much different these days with both sets of fans
deeply unhappy with their respective owners.
Though big money was
spent in the summer - Newcastle signing striker Joelinton for a club
record £40m and us bringing in defender Harry Maguire for £80m -
both face the prospect of a difficult season.
The Magpies are
fighting to remain in the top flight and while the Red Devils are
attempting to claim a European place, they find themselves in 12th place
in the table.
They last won away from home in the league in
February and extended that run to eight games with another lifeless and
uninspiring showing. United have failed to win any game away from home since March and that magical night in the Parc des Prince - our worst such run for over three decades. It's two wins in our last 13 Premier League games, scoring more than one goal just once in 17 matches.
Our defence has improved from last term,
conceding eight times so far which is the third-best record in the
division, but it is in attack where the major problems lie.
Whatever you thought of Romelu Lukaku - and I was, I believe justifiably so, one of his biggest critics - the decision to sell him without bringing in a ready made replacement was nothing short of criminal. Ander Herrera may not have been the most talented player we had, and he wanted to leave, but what I'd give now to see him brimming with passion, fire, guts and guile at the heart of the engine room. Bruno Fernandes was available and angling for a move. The decision from United's powers that be not to go for the talented, string-pulling Portuguese looks a worse decision with every passing day.
For that, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is not to blame. His tactics leave a lot to be desired and right now he looks out of his depth and powerless to prevent the slide, but he does need time and
recruitment has been shocking. He continues to persist with the 4-2-3-1 and crosses into the box for no one. I don't understand why he's abandoned the very principles that got him the permanent job in the first place. United were playing an expansive, front-foot, counter attacking style in a 4-3-3 with one holding player and two box-to-box midfielders bombing on. It's baffling why Ole has reverted to this slow, chanceless, rigid, one dimensional system. Both he and the players look petrified and totally devoid of any confidence.
This squad is the worst I have ever seen, it's wafer thin and isn't going to suddenly improve. If we sacked Solskjaer, who would replace him? What would the new manager be expected to do with this group of players? The same problems would remain. Leadership starts at the top, and the real issues at United do not lie with the manager. Solskjaer is a perfect folly for the Glazers. He was a cheap option, his status at the club means he won't be criticised to the same degree as a Louis van Gaal or a Jose Mourinho. He is Mr Positive, a yes man, and will toe the party line exactly how his bosses want. It's a perfect storm.
The owners and their power-hungry puppet Ed Woodward aren't going anywhere. We're not getting a DoF because Ol' Twat-Ed doesn't want to relinquish his duties. The guy is a poisonous leech, and his ruinous reign of terror has destroyed our club and ripped its heart out.
I'm not Ole out - because a new manager is the last thing we need right now. It wouldn't help us at all. But by the same token, things have to improve. We can't carry on like this - it's worse than 12 months ago under Mourinho, and makes Messrs David Moyes and van Gaal seem relatively utopian.