There comes a point, with any player who has been out of the game with a serious injury, when training no longer really makes a difference.
Game time is then the only thing that can really get a footballer back into the groove.
And we are surely approaching that time with Radamel Falcao. Manchester United are paying him a fortune in wages and will, of course, want to protect their asset.
But the striker has been training for weeks, after his latest calf strain, and must be absolutely desperate to play.
Perhaps it’s more likely that he will continue to get minutes from the bench before starting games. With Robin van Persie starting to find form again it would be difficult to leave him out of the side.
But, for our money, Manchester United’s strongest team will include both in a bewitching blur of attacking talent. When Louis bought Falcao to the club he surely envisaged playing both at times and a home game against off form opposition may be the time to do it.
The worst thing that could happen would be for Falcao to get injured again – we could then be talking seriously about him leaving Manchester United at the end of the season.
But we feel that the lad needs to start a big games to boost his confidence after a horrid time of it with injuries. If they can get him match fit, Manchester United will be a far stronger team with him in it. On top form, the mere fact that he is playing will have the opposition retreating 5 or 10 yards.
Manchester United need Falcao and Falcao needs gametime. We think he should start this weekend. Even if he only lasts 45 minutes – chuck him on from the start and bring James Wilson on, or a midfielder, to replace him in the second half when his legs tire.
Manchester United fans: time for Falcao?