Manchester United have come from 12 points down before in a Premier League title race, but you just can't quite seeing them doing it again.
There has been a vulnerability in the centre of midfield for years, yes, but these weaknesses have multiplied and they are now spreading throughout the side.
Whilst there is something that can be said for the fact that Robin van Persie, the man who carried them for much of last season, has missed five of the eight games in which the Red Devils have dropped points this campaign, it has still been a desperate start for the club.
Before the midweek loss at home to Everton, their first home defeat at the hands of this opposition in 21 Premier League attempts, there was plenty of talk about positivity, an improvement in performances and a twelve-game unbeaten run.
But there are twelve-game unbeaten runs, and there are twelve-game unbeaten runs.
During that dozen, there were five subdued draws against Spurs, Cardiff, Real Sociedad, Southampton and Shakhtar Donetsk. The only game that offered any genuine encouragement during that time was the 5-0 victory away at Bayer Leverkusen.
In fact, the German side should probably feel a little bit hard done-by in that they have probably come up against the only two of United's genuinely quality performances so far this season.
It is an obvious statement to make, but David Moyes needs to guarantee victory at home to Newcastle on Saturday. One long-standing unbeaten home record is gone and he can not afford to let another slip away.
If twenty-one years without defeat at home to Everton was a long run, add another two decades to that for long it has been since the Toon have experienced a league victory at Old Trafford.
The United fear factor is dissipating, visiting clubs no longer fear a visit to the Theatre of Dreams, and that is as much of a concern to David Moyes as anything else that has gone wrong this season.
After the midweek defeat to Everton, he spoke to the BBC about a lack of luck in not being able to secure their desired result.
"I'm very disappointed," he said. "We needed a bit of good fortune and we didn't get it".
If he didn't know it already, he must learn quickly that this is not the talk of a Manchester United manager. It is a small club mentality. The same type of mentality that costs so many managers when they make a step up and struggle to cope.
There are clear issues with quality of the squad, but it's still a side that won the league by 11 clear points last season. They are also problems that Moyes had the chance to address himself over the summer, but failed to do so. It is not something that was beyond his control.
The title is beyond the Red Devils, the top four is not. It is a painful and dramatic readjustment for a club so rooted in success, but that must now be the priority.
Even if they miss out, the manager should not be sacked. But to keep the position, Moyes needs to show some level of improvement.
He must prove to the players, the owners and most importantly to the fans that he is the man that can be backed and trusted to take Manchester United forward.
And he must startng with three points at home to Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon...
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