Dress it up however you like, but the facts are clear.
Manchester United under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer take two steps forward and then one back. How much longer are the hierarchy going to allow that status quo to continue?
It beggars belief that a club as storied as the Red Devils aren’t being as ruthless as their Premier League contemporaries when it comes to their manager.
A career at Old Trafford seems to be the only thing that’s keeping the Norwegian in a job at present, for anyone else with a record such as his would surely have been sent packing by now.
There’ve been far too many mishaps and false dawns under Solskjaer’s stewardship to be able to give him the benefit of the doubt.
To believe he will, eventually, get things right.
As United prepare for another Champions League test, they face setting another unwanted record too.
If their Europa League conquerors, Villarreal, beat them at Old Trafford, Solskjaer will become the first United manager in history to have lost both of his opening two matches in an edition of the competition.
In a season where he has to get it right, that could be the final nail in the coffin.