Manchester United's season had already been littered with crushing lows, with the cataclysmic defeat at home to Bournemouth ranking among the must brutal. But Red Devils fans learned long ago that the mantra 'things can only get better' is a total lie and they always can, and often do, get worse.
And so it was that United travelled to play West Ham in their final game before Christmas, and after failing to put decent chances away, fell to a disheartening 2-0 defeat. It means United have lost eight of their 18 Premier League matches this season, and have been beaten an astonishing 13 times in all competitions.
It is the first time United have lost as many games before Christmas since the 1930-31 season, the year they finished bottom of the old English First Division. Most managers that have presided over a season as horrendous as this would be long gone, yet Erik ten Hag's job, somehow, remains safe for now.