Frankly, at this stage, I am willing to put climate change on the backburner, stop being concerned about the global financial crisis and ignore the beast of Bodmin. Why on earth did we lose to Leeds?
You can make as much hoo-ha as you want about the size of the rivalry - but this was a team 43 places below us in the football league and they beat us fair and square on our own ground. Not good enough.
Certainly, Fergie needs to light a few fires under some of the players but the team selection needs to come into account here. Last season the wizard was extraordinary in his ability to keep all the players happy and tinker the side in the right ways. We very nearly won five trophies and indeed won three. The last three seasons are arguably the most glorious in the club’s history but we’re not happy are we?
We did not learn the lessons of the Besiktas result and occasionally we field teams which are a mix of too much inexperience (Wellbeck, Gibson) and too many underperforming veterans (Berbatov, Scholes).
Santa’s sack has really been a mixed bag for us this year. The result at Villa had been coming for a long time. Our record against them is scandalously good and in no way reflects the disparity between the sides. It was owed and I can take it. Fulham on a good day are better than United on a bad day apparently. Make no mistake though, we were spanked.
I think more than one side in the Premier League has figured out that if you can stop Rooney you can stop United. Leeds provided a masterclass in how to do it. The Roonster had two men on him at all times and when he passed to a less effective colleague the team became less effective. Down the line these are the kind of frustrations that lead to Rooney collecting crimson cards, so it is even more of a worry.
I absolutely agree that Ronaldo was irreplaceable, and I absolutely agree that our defensive injuries are more than unlucky. I am also absolutely sure that we need to open the piggy bank in this transfer window. Is the money there though? I fear it may not be, not even a James Cameron movie could get us out of the debt we are in.
We cannot collect another result against City like the one against Leeds. Ladies and Gentleman, it is time to wash the lucky underpants, apply the red lipstick and get out the scarves. The team all the help they can get at the moment.
On a more cheerful note…
Some great United moments from the last decade:
1. 11 May 2002, at about twenty past four. Last game of a season when we'd won nowt. Miserable nondescript game against Charlton which ended 0-0. Denis Irwin substituted on the last of his 511 games for the club and the whole ground giving him a standing ovation as he went off. Great full back, great club man.
2. March 08, the Lyons home game. A couple of lads in front of us start singing the Adebayor song, only to find that other United fans turn on them and tell them to shut up. 'We're United, we're not racist'. Contrast that with games from the 60s and 70s and the monkey noises and bananas thrown onto the field when there was a black player on the pitch. It's an indication of how the fans are evolving.
3. The Roma fans in March 07, keeping singing and never letting up even when they were six-nil down.
4. Macheda's goal, perfect drama, really quite special and the moment we knew we’d make it to 18.
5. Rooney's debut hat trick against Fenerbahce (oh the promise that heralded...)
6. Giggs getting the BBC award (which I didn't see, nor vote in, but was so pleased to see justice done to a great man for this club)
7. "That's bollox that. There's always been pressure at this club." Alex Feguson calmly reacts to a question after we defeat Mourinho’s Chelsea.
9. Winning the league back from Chelsea.
10. Standing ovation for Fat Ronaldo.
Moments collected by Mark Payne, The Grimace, Jhonno, Underpantman and The Russian Red Lipstick Crusader.
Thank you for all of your e-mails whilst I was on leave, I shall endeavour to reply to all of you personally over the next week.
Wishing you all a prosperous 2010, Mark