Manchester United are in a mess almost entirely of their manager's making.
Derby defeats are one thing, but Manchester City's 4-1 victory on Sunday was nothing short of catastrophic.
Forget the one-sided romp against a lame Bayer Leverkusen last week.
This was the real Manchester United - limp, listless, passive and pedestrian.
David Moyes' caution is killing his club loudly. The Red Devils are dying from the inside out. They don't know how to play his way.
His entrenched conservatism goes against the grain of all that has been great about Man United in the last four decades.
Take nothing from City - they were magnificent in their positive, attacking display - but their opponents laid down the moment Moyes put pen to paper.
Again, his first 11 included the ineffective Ashley Young. Again, he picked the defensively vulnerable Antonio Valencia.
Again, there was no place for the attack-minded, improvisational strengths of Shinji Kagawa.
And Moyes' prized signing Marouane Fellaini appeared to have wandered onto the pitch from a travelling circus, unsure of why he was there and what he was supposed to do.
At this stage, he is not a replacement for Paul Scholes.
The retired midfielder might push Fellaini for a place in the starting line-up now.
United lost Robin van Persie through a thigh injury before kick-off, but their manager lost his nerve and the Red Devils lost the game.
Manuel Pellegrini might talk a glass eye to sleep in a press conference, but he allowed his players to do some talking at the Etihad last night. This was a mission statement delivered through a megaphone. City attacked from the first minute.
Led by the imperious Yaya Toure and a resurgent Samir Nasri, their bright runners were Bukit Timah monkeys to United's pesky fleas, picking them off with minimal difficulty. They pressed with purpose.