Sir Alex Ferguson has all but written off Chelsea as title challengers after another depressing weekend for the Blues in which yet more reserves of confidence drained away at the Bridge.
In all probability, there will not be too many fans clamouring to contradict the Man United boss this week.
It was not just more home points dropped in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Hull - that's 16 in 13 games now - it was a degree of dignity too, because Hull were the ones pressing for a winner in the second half as hope disintegrated.
Hardly a decent chance was created after the break and the Tigers played with an adventure and inhibition that ought not to have been allowed to flourish in a team that has gone 11 matches without a win.
A straight-talking Ray Wilkins was again given the post-match press detail and admitted Blues fans were entitled to boo after a below-par display. But he added he would not be able to bring himself to explain to the boss the significance of them chanting 'You don't know what you're doing!' at the dug out.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was on the receiving end of the abuse when he susbstiuted debutant Ricardo Quaresma with the ailing Didier Drogba just past the hour but the language and cultural barrier may have shielded him from understanding the hurtful nature of those opinions.
It was a severe judgement to pass on a man who has lifted the World Cup and Wilkins was at pains to defend the Brazilian, saying the chants were 'a tad out of order.' But the Matthew harding faithful can see for themselves that it is all going wrong and the body language of the players - as well as the manager himself - are starting to betray the inner malaise.
It is hard to pinpoint the main cause of this distress, but there is a lack of organisation and solidity at the back when Ricardo Carvalho is missing and the Blues are suffering badly from the absence of Michael Essien this season and Joe Cole since he got injured at Southend in last month's FA Cup tie.
Whatever it is, the seeds of doubt seem to be magnified with each stumble and misplaced pass. Each shrug of the shoulders from Drogba, each sign of despair from Scolari is offering comfort to visiting teams.
Jose Bosingwa epitomises the current uncertainties. Brilliant at the start of the season, the full-back cannot seem to do anything right at the moment and looks vulnerable. He as much as anyone would have craved an early goal on Saturday that should have come when John Terry knocked the ball over the crossbar from six yards when the goal was at his mercy.
Wilkins was right to remind everyone that Chelsea are hardly bereft of great players and have the means to turn their fortunes around, even without employing the spending power of previous seasons, but Scolari is not managing to inspire and organise his men into a coherent unit and they are heading in the wrong direction.
Much more of this and it will not just be the title which eludes them, but maybe even a champions league spot for next season. And as for Juventus in the champions league, it does not bear thinking about right now.