Manchester United had not been in Premier League action for quite some time, but as they prepared to face Everton at Goodison Park, they would have surely taken hope from their last domestic outing - a 4-0 victory away to Newcastle United that suggested things were finally clicking.
A front-four of Javier Hernandez, Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata and early substitute Adnan Januzaj tore the Magpies apart, with three of those four players getting on the score-sheet and all looking somewhere close to their very best.
In fact, United's performance against Alan Pardew's side was the perfect pre-cursor to a Champions League match against Bayern Munich that they may ultimately have lost, but that they went into knowing they were capable of springing an unlikely surprise.
So when it came to David Moyes picking his starting XI for his next Premier League encounter, surely he would revert to to the side who had put Newcastle to the sword, right? Well, no, as the Scot made six changes from that team, with Adnan Januzaj and Javier Hernandez both on the bench.
And United ultimately paid the price for too much unnecessary tinkering as they put in arguably their worst performance of the season against an Everton side fighting for what once came naturally to United - a place among Europe's elite.
Tweeting during the match, football pundit Richard Keys asked the question on every United fan's lips, and one that in truth had no reasonable answer.
Only Moyes will know why he made so many changes to a side who had shone during their last domestic game. But the way Sunday's side played, it is unlikely they will be seen together again anytime soon.
Why did David Moyes make 6 changes after winning 4-0 at Newc? Why?— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) April 20, 2014