Manchester United used to play brilliantly most of the time. And, even on the occasions when they were poor, they regularly took the points.
Neither of those characteristics could be confidently ascribed to the current incarnation and now, on the brink of Champions League elimination and idling in the league, it’s a make or break time of the season.
Anything less than a win and Manchester United fans are probably going to have to suffer the solitary game each week for a second season running, while looking on enviously at the European elite in The Champions League.
It’s not just the players who need to wake from their trance. They are, after all, largely following the orders of Louis van Gaal.
No, the boss himself needs to think long and hard about this one. He too needs to buck up his ideas – to realise that his tactics are culpable and not necessarily suited to modern football.
If Manchester United go for the jugular on Tuesday night and lose, then the fans will be far happier than if they once more hide within their shell and offer another tame performance.
Too seldom this season have Manchester United taken genuine control of a game. Louis talks about his team having control but you simply don’t have that at 0-0.
Control is being 2-0 up. Then you can stroke the ball sideways as much as you like. But it’s the cautious style at 0-0 that really annoys the fans. United need to be proactive. Go and search for those goals rather than waiting for them to present themselves. Win the game in the first 20 minutes with the sort of shock and awe tactics that Fergie used to espouse.
Wayne Rooney will miss the game and that leaves Manchester United with even fewer options up top.
We would love to see Memphis start. Especially away from home, his pace can decide a tight game. Without him, Manchester United have precious little speed in their side.
And we think that Martial is devastating on that left wing but can get bogged down in traffic through the middle – he hasn’t scored in 6 games. So we are going for the power and energy of Memphis up top and Martial on the left with Mata through the middle.
We would also like to see Schneiderlin in the midfield but he didn’t travel with the squad to Germany after hobbling off in the West Ham game.
And, whoever gets the nod, needs to SHOW UP in this game. Forget what the manager says and take responsibility for the result rather than hiding behind dodgy tactics against a side which lost its first home game in 29 at the weekend.
Here is our XI for a game which a team of this calibre should expect to win.