Another rotten day for David Moyes, whose desperation for a win was epitomised by the selection of an unfit Robin van Persie in attack. It's looking pretty worrying indeed...
It's all very well getting giggly and excited about the World Cup, but what of the social cost to Brazil? Do FIFA have a responsibility to ensure accord and sustainability..?
We've got a little toy in the F365 office that gives us LIVE updates on reader numbers. Who's clicking on what, at which times, for how long etc - it's very jazzy, and even has graphs. The graphs have peaks and troughs (because that's usually how graphs work), but this summer by far the biggest peaks come when Thiago Alcantara is featured on our homepage.
This probably isn't because you all love his pretty face (although that wouldn't be the most outlandish explanation for our famously homoerotic readership), but more that he seems to have become viewed as The One by many Manchester United fans. Thiago is the man to solve all their problems, filling the midfield void left by Paul Scholes/Sir Alex Ferguson's baffling refusal to significantly invest in the centre of his team. Michael Carrick is basically the only convincing central midfielder that Ferguson recruited since Roy Keane, and even then it took until some excellent performances last season to convince a large number of doubters.
Of course, Thiago is an enormously talented player, and Barcelona's apparent reluctance to let him go indicates that they see him as the heir to Xavi and/or Iniesta - quite the endorsement. In the fevered marketplace of today, £18million looks like a massive bargain for someone of his talent and potential.
And yet, Thiago is only just 22. He has made just 48 league starts in his career. He has never played for anyone but Barcelona and Barcelona B. He has three international caps. This is a pretty inexperienced basket in which United fans seem to be placing all of their eggs.
So why the frantic clicking on sites such as ours for the latest Thiago update? It is of course partly for the reasons already mentioned - Thiago's midfield talent and United's lack thereof - and partly because of the age we live in, when hysteria and screeching are a) easier to come by and b) amplified by the various outlets the internet provides. One wonders how the Twitter servers would have coped had it been in existence when the Juan Sebastian Veron deal was going through.
But there's something more there. It's difficult to recall such frenzy from Old Trafford for any other player - even last summer when Robin van Persie was their main target, there were detractors. But this time the dissenting voices are either very quiet or non-existent. Maybe there was this level of excitement over Wesley Sneijder, perhaps Wayne Rooney, but they were respectively an established and decorated international and a national superstar, so slightly more understandable.
All of this is another indication that United fans are like the rest of us now. There is uncertainty. They aren't as sure of things as they once were. As Andi Thomas put it on this site back in May: before it was okay if Ferguson messed up, because Ferguson would be there to put it right. They need some reassurance that David Moyes can attract the players they need, and not just go back to Everton and sign Leon Osman. Tempting a player away from Barcelona, when Barcelona want to keep him, would be quite the feather in the new manager's cap, and like a warm blanket on a cold winter night to fretting United fans. While one tries to steer clear of such ghastly language, it would be 'a statement'.
But quite apart from that, it places a large amount of pressure on the player himself. If he is viewed as this 'saviour', then the pedestal he is being lifted onto is higher than the very top of the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand. He will be the creative force in the United midfield - and he might take to that role superbly, but the expectation at this stage is hugely disproportionate to his actual achievements.
Thiago could be just what United need, and at the price mentioned it's potentially superb business, but it's tricky to escape the feeling that he is being built up far too much by a fanbase who desperately need something to cling onto.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter