Man United: Moyes Is A Festering Wound That Will Kill This Squad
United fans are still reeling in shock and disgust at the spineless non-performance they saw versus Greek outfit Olympiakos in the Champions League on Tuesday night, the last few days have been filled with speculation, rumour and counter-rumour.
The fallout from the match in Athens has been, by Manchester United's standards, cataclysmic. For, though we have witnessed poor displays and tasted bitter disappointment in the past, that match was an altogether more dispiriting spectacle.
Now, as we enter a weekend with no United fixture on which to focus, the air is becoming increasingly thick with the stench of mutiny, as David Moyes' reign appears to be unravelling before our eyes.
This is unchartered territory for a club that has enjoyed over two decades of near constant success, during which time a couple of years without silverware represented the most barren of droughts. A whole generation of United supporters have known nothing but glory during their lifetimes, while their elders have revelled in gorging on the kind of triumph they had thought would never come again.
No one can possibly know how these fans will react to further displays of the kind of reckless incompetence and subjugation of duty they were forced to endure in Greece.
There has undoubtedly been a shift, though. No question about that. Now, even David Moyes' staunchest supporters are beginning to buckle under the weight of the evidence that has been put before them. The tide is turning and Moyes threatens to be engulfed. If he thought he had experienced pressure up to this point, he may be in for a shock.
United fans are not used to this and we are not just talking about the inept displays on the pitch. We are not used to the shameful goings-on off it either. These things are meant to be the reserve of other clubs, entertaining for us as onlookers but never darkening our own doorway with their shadows.
Now it is our players taking to social media to post thinly veiled criticisms and caustic remarks about the situation at the club. Now it is our players whose unsettling quotes are appearing with alarming regularity in the papers, before being quickly denied. Now it is our players who are said to be briefing the press about dressing room unrest and disaffection amongst the ranks.
This is all terribly unsavoury for supporters who have been used to almost absolute secrecy for years, anyone who dared to rock the boat having been shipped out before they had time to pack their kit-bag.
Yet it comes as no great surprise. Indeed, the performance against Olympiakos screamed of a team not just struggling for confidence (though that is certainly the case), but one that is also growing thoroughly disillusioned with the new regime. You don't have to be an expert in body-language to have noticed the flicker in Michael Carrick's eyes during his post-match interview with ITV that appeared to betray his innermost thoughts when asked about the manager.
The narrative is changing fast. Just a few weeks ago, the talk was of how Moyes could turn things around. Now the majority are opining about what could have been, had United employed one of the two favourites, Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson last summer, along with who might replace the beleaguered Scot when, not if, his time at United comes to an end.
That decision will be critical and could be the difference between the club's restoration to the throne of English football, or a generation spent in the doldrums of mid-table obscurity.
It is not just the fans either. The press have scented blood and are circling like expectant sharks around Old Trafford, agitated by the excitement of the inevitable feeding-frenzy to come.
It feels like time is fast running out for David Moyes and that fewer allies remain as the days go by. He could remain, of course. At least until the summer. Though, should the team perform as poorly as they did on Tuesday in upcoming matches against Liverpool and Manchester City, far better sides than Olympiakos, the Old Trafford atmosphere could very quickly be infected with a toxicity not seen in these parts for many years.
Tuesday night's display is festering like the festering wound of an Athenian warrior in one of Homer's epics. This particular story would appear to be heading towards an extremely tragic ending for David Moyes.