Nobody wants to say it out loud, but quite a few Reds are thinking it: has The Ole Bounce ended? A harsh suggestion, perhaps, after a ninth win in 10, and at a ground where even Manchester City have recently fallen.
But that second half yesterday, full of weary huffing ‘n’ puffing and some outrageously bad displays — hello Messrs Lukaku & Sanchez — had some Reds worried.
Add that to the fact that we needed a Fergie-time miracle to rescue us against lowly Burnley days earlier and you have the beginnings of a thesis.
The sensible response to this is to shrug and say you knew this day would come. The post-appointment euphoria and adrenalin would only take them all so far.
Eventually, old problems would resurface and remind the Powers That Be of the need to address them.
The requirements are obvious to all — replacements for the aforenamed disaster zones up front, a centre-back to partner Lindelof, and one midfielder — and United will supposedly soon have a director of football in place to start finding them.
Then again, that depends on how you define ‘soon’. Weekend reports suggest United are having problems finding an external candidate and may look ‘within’, which will baffle many with knowledge of United’s personnel files.
If the rumours are true, one does wonder how The World’s Greatest Club (TM) could be struggling to find someone for such a cushy, yet powerful post.
As I predicted here before the window opened — when others were fantasising about acquisition lists — Ole wasn’t allowed buy anyone in the window, and also had to say goodbye to Fellaini.
I doubt he was any more heartbroken than we were about the latter — ie not at all — although even some Bogbrush critics do whisper that we should’ve waited until the summer before flushing him.
We should not, perhaps, read anything too darkly significant into this in the context of the debate about Ole’s future.
Nevertheless, it does amaze me to see how regular are the media stories predicting moments or circumstances when they claim Ole will be offered the job.
The haste to ‘call’ this one reminds me of the media desperation to crown champions months before May. A lesser light at The Sun claimed last week that beating PSG will see Ole given the job.
Really? Much as I’d like to see him get it, why would any sensible club chief do anything other than wait ‘n’ see — ie until May’s final accounting? Then again, I did specify sensible club chief...
The ‘Give It Ole’ movement may turn out to be irresistible, of course. One key argument in his favour is that his very presence seems to have ignited something elemental under Pogba and Rashford, which may yet lead to a permanent transformation of their United careers.
In their case, it appears to be more than the standard New Boss Bounce Effect; would it be too fanciful to suggest the trio are forming a genuine bond?
The playing duo certainly provided the highlight of Sunday for us as they brilliantly combined for the winner. And to think how recently it was that the only thing fans wanted to ignite under Pogba was a bonfire.
Next weekend, we’re at lovely ‘Dear Old Fulham’, which ought to offer us just the right level of competent yet, gentle challenge as training for the PSG humdinger a week on Tuesday.
We’ll talk Paris here next Monday, which will also be the day after another much-anticipated Anglo-French clash, at Twickenham.
Oh dear; and I did promise to myself, as a sensitive guilt-ridden Englishman, not to mention rugby to you after this weekend.
But let this not put a hard border between us...