Any doom and gloom-mongers looking for plenty of work should get themselves over to Old Trafford - because the 5-0 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League is now well forgotten, as they lost their second home game on the bounce in the Premier League today
After defeat to Everton in midweek it was a welcome sight to see Newcastle United arrive at Old Trafford - another team that United under Sir Alex Ferguson rarely struggled against in recent years.
But Alan Pardew’s men did the unthinkable to leave United well and truly out of the title race - and now facing a serious scrap to make the top four this season.
What United miss in abundance is a midfield creator. With Michael Carrick missing their range of passing from the middle of the park quite instantly diminishes as the likes of Tom Cleverley, Marouane Fellaini and Phil Jones are asked to do a job they are simply not cut out for. Ryan Giggs still occasionally has the odd special game, ask Leverkusen, but they come few and far between because of his ageing legs.
They need a player who has that vision, that range of passing, but also adheres to the simple principles that make Manchester United such an outfit.
One player who immediately springs to mind is the guy who dropped them this afternoon - French international Yohan Cabaye.
The midfielder clearly fancied a move to Arsenal in the summer - to get a chance at playing in the Champions League. However nothing ever came of it as Newcastle stood firm on their asking price.
Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are now said to be sharking - as the performances of Cabaye have been crucial to the recent revival on Tyneside. So could Manchester United
Not only did he score the goal against United but he affected the game in so many other ways. In fairness he was probably outshone by his midfield partner Cheick Tiote who was absolutely superb but let’s compare Cabaye to the United midfielders.
Cabaye had 70 touches of the ball and a passing accuracy of 89% - Tom Cleverley had just 52 touches and an 82% passing rate.
Phil Jones had 79% accuracy and just 61 touches - Cabaye dominated the United midfield statistically and it showed in the performance and eventual scoreline.
So maybe Cabaye is in fact the answer to their problems. Some United fans certainly thought so on Twitter…
Man U could do a lot worse than to go out and sign Cabaye— Nemo Hoes (@tschofield93) December 7, 2013
Sign Cabaye in January.— Ryan Lee (@Bus_Wanker20) December 7, 2013
Question for United is who can they sign in January who'd improve their midfield? Cabaye? Me?— Liӓm (@FootieLiam) December 7, 2013
The same Cabaye we're even trying to sign— Nnamdi † (@Nnamdi_James) December 7, 2013
People laughed when i said we should try and sign Cabaye. Thought he was excellent today. Ran the show in the middle of the field #MUFC— marty (@Marty_MUFC) December 7, 2013
Fellaini scored the first time we played Everton last year (1-0) and signed him. Cabaye scored (1-0) we're going to sign him #MajesticBassil— Bassil. (@Yanoozaj) December 7, 2013
image: © stephendgardner