Arsenal 0 Liverpool 2
It's not as bad as some people are saying it is, but it sure ain't great either. By my reckoning, the choice for the holding midfield role against United is between Francis Coquelin and Craig Eastmond. It's hardly encouraging.
But equally, if you wanted an example of why spending tons of money isn't necessarily a good thing, look at Liverpool on Saturday: for 65 minutes against a very poor Arsenal side all they created was a couple of headers which were easily saved by Szczesny. Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam were rubbish, Downing was anonymous, and Andy Carroll's movement was predictable.
It's this, in a sense, which is so encouraging. Spurs are dreadful, Everton worse, so if you were looking for a team to take the fourth Champions League place it would be Liverpool; and yet, against an Arsenal side which finished with ten men, and included Jenkinson, Miquel, Frimpong, Ramsey and Lansbury, they couldn't break us down until the sending off.
Or, alternatively, until the introduction of Luis Suarez. The malaise isn't as bad as some would have it, but our lack of creative players is troubling. When you sell Nasri and Fabregas, you have to look round and see who's going to replace them?
And there's nobody there.
Wilshere is injured, Rosicky and Diaby can't be relied upon to play two games in a row, Walcott isn't suited to our system, and Gervinho's start has hardly been auspicious. I have faith that Chamberlain and Miyaichi will be good players for us, but they shouldn't be first-choice back-up at the age of 18.
I'm confident that the manager will rectify things, but the next couple of games are difficult matches, and defeat to Udinese would be terrible financially.
On the plus side, if you were to ask why Liverpool struggled to break us down, the answer would be pretty solid defence. I think s lot will depend this season on us being able to play Vermaelen and Koscielny together. If we can, it might not be nearly as bad as some people are saying it will be.
I hope everyone gets behind the team tomorrow against Udinese.
It's clear that when you lose the best creative midfielder in Europe, and also one of the best young wingers, things aren't ideal, and that showed in the lack of opportunities we created. But if we qualify, there's still a week left to bring in two or three players. And if there's one thing the Liverpool match should have taught us, it's the impact that one really good player can have.
Keep the faith.