Such is the blame culture we find ourselves in these days, Early Doors has no compunction whatsoever in pointing the finger this morning and identifying those responsible for last night's under-par Manchester United performance.
It seemed unlikely that United-Barcelona would be the biggest snoozefest of the week, considering Liverpool were playing Chelsea in the same seven days, but that's exactly what it proved to be.
No goals, no attacking nous from United, poor tactics, a missed penalty and masses of disappointed fans. Where did it all go wrong?
Alex Ferguson - Fergie cannot hide his love of European competition. Even when his tactics fail to hit the mark and his side puts in such dire performances, he still manages to beam into the camera during his post-match television interviews and comes over all cuddly and jovial. "Europe, eh? Fantastic. Barcelona are a huge club, great history, super atmosphere. Nights like this are what it's all about," he didn't say last night, but probably has done at some stage. It's a far cry from the ugly snarling manner he employs in the Premier League. If United had put in that kind of performance in a domestic match, Fergie would have gone ballistic, refused to speak to the media and set his hair-dryer to full blast in the dressing room. You can't help but think that United may have reached one or two more Champions League finals over recent years had Euro-Ferg been a bit more, well, normal.
Cristiano Ronaldo - Much the same as Euro-Ferg, Euro-Ron decided to change a winning formula for the biggest game of the season so far. Having scored five out of six spot kicks this season, you'd have thought he would stick to what has largely worked for him so far. But no, he decided to ditch the checked run that has previously served him well and go with a much straighter run-up. The result was hardly surprising. The good news is that, such is his supreme arrogance and apparent clairvoyant skill, his miss was "no problem" and he will "score next week" - fact. Is there any need to turn up at all?
Samuel Eto'o - The following statement is sad but true - in the modern game of football, honesty all too often equates to stupidity. There, it's been said. Had Eto'o gone down in the box in the 50th minute under a Snoop Ferdinand challenge instead of riding the tackle, Barcelona would have been given the chance to take the lead from the spot. And a Barca goal would have forced United to come out and attack more, thereby leading to a more entertaining game. Simple. Eto'o is a silly boy, even if his tactics now seem like a good idea - after all United didn't get a vital away goal, did they?
Of course, taking a clean sheet back to Manchester from Barcelona is no mean feat, but ED would be a whole lot more confident had an away goal been notched.
At least it sets up a potentially thrilling feast of attractive attacking football at Old Trafford next week which promises goals galor... no, wait, just stop there.
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HEADLINE OF THE DAY: Boy Blunder - Mail. It can only be that boy Ronaldo.
"OH NOU" HEADLINE COUNT: Surprisingly low with just three - Sun, Mirror, Metro.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: "We are confident we have made the right choice." A BBC Radio Five spokesperson on the appointment of Steve McClaren as a pundit for this summer's Euro 2008 tournament.
"I have no doubt that he has all the credentials to be very successful in the job and wish him all the best." Sven-Goran Eriksson on McClaren's appointment as England manager in 2006.
FOREIGN VIEW: Bulgarian officials are in danger of losing their jobs after a clampdown by the local FA on poor performances. Six officials have this week been suspended for crimes ranging from making poor decisions and favouring certain teams to a lack of fitness. But the latest punishments seem rather lenient considering two referees were handed life bans for their incompetency last season. Just imagine what the Bulgarians would do to the likes of Howard Webb, Mark Clattenburg, Mike Riley and Rob Styles.
TERRIFYING STALKER MOMENT OF THE DAY: Brought to you courtesy of garagemusic: "Alex Chick is the funny Early doors writer, he has a satirical slant on football that is completely without parallel. The other two writers are not in the same league and leave me with a real sense of disappointment two out of three days of the week. I am sure that Alex Chick used to be the main writer back in ED's golden days, and since the new format with the author cycling between three writers the standard has dropped significantly." Selecta!
TALKING POINT: "Anyone else hear Clive Tyldesley say that Drogba was 'trying to pull off Skrtel'?" asked chrisnewman950 yesterday. No, but thanks for bringing it to everybody's attention.
Which leads us nicely to the topic of unintentional on-air sporting gaffes, such as Brian Johnston's classic "the bowler's Holding, the batsman's Willey". Post your favourites in the usual manner below.
COMING UP: This week's European action is still not over - just the small matter of Rangers' UEFA Cup semi-final with Fiorentina to go. Follow live text commentary on tonight's big match in Glasgow from 19:45. And in the meantime, we'll bring you the latest European Power Rankings and Paul Parker's thoughts on the week's events so far.
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