David Moyes faces the biggest match of his Manchester United career this evening.
Trailing Olympiakos 2-0 from the first leg, Moyes needs his side to produce a superb display of attacking football, which has so far eluded the Premier League champions for much of the season.
A defeat will mean the pressure to get rid of Moyes will be increased and there’s good reason the club should cave into that pressure.
United are going to be affected by the fact they will not finish in the top four by the end of the season.
They’ll be affected financially and in terms of the players they can get.
Throw into the mix the perceptions that various transfer targets are currently creating of United and Moyes and they are unlikely to want to join a side where they firstly, can’t play in the Champions League and secondly, don’t think Moyes can develop their game.
United need a salesman this summer because it’s going to take some good chat from whoever is in charge to convince someone like Marco Reus or Toni Kroos that Old Trafford is where they need to be playing their football.
United’s main rivals, most significantly Liverpool, have all moved ahead of the Old Trafford side this season while United under Moyes have gone backwards.
For United to close that gap, they need a coach used to winning trophies and operating at an elite level, used to that sort of pressure in domestic and European football.
Is Moyes really the manager who is going to grab this team by the scruff of the neck and drive them forward over the summer heading into next year?
Moyes hasn’t shown much of an ability to react during games in the same way Sir Alex Ferguson did or in the same way Jose Mourinho changes his tactics at Chelsea.
It’s almost as though he’ll just watch his pre-match game plan fall apart as his United players suffer another poor performance.
Those players need to look to the side and see a manager injecting inspiration into the team, a manager saying ‘we’ve got it wrong but here’s how we’re going to change it’. At the moment, that’s not happening and that tactical weakness is costing the side.
Practically, it doesn’t really matter if United sack Moyes if United lose because the season is already gone.
The Premier League title is being handed over, possibly to United’s greatest rival, the side is out of the FA Cup and was embarrassed by Sunderland in the League Cup.
Olympiakos win and United lose the only way they’re going to get into the Champions League next season.
A new boss could come in during the summer, talk like he's never talked before and transform the side heading into next season.
Fergie may have walked over hot coals to get Moyes into the job in the first place but the time has come for the powers that be to risk upsetting the United legend and make a change which could stop United becoming a laughing stock.