Generally speaking, we in Britain love a good moan and usually the thought of going to work and its impending daily routine provides ample opportunity for whining. However, I'm gutted that from Monday to Wednesday, my rota said "off". When the news broke on Tuesday, a feeling of mourning engulfed United fans. There was fear and anger. There were more questions than answers. But for me, the biggest barometers of the situation's gravitas were:
One - The people who don't follow football, who usually tell me it's 'just a game' were suddenly taking an interest, craving more information, or trying to empathise with a supposedly similar story from their world (or the pages of Heat magazine).
Two - Sir Alex Ferguson, a robust pillar of defiance throughout the time I've known him and long beforehand, had raw emotion etched all over his face. He was still carefully considered in his answering of questions, he was still reassuringly methodical in his speech, he was still unmistakably Sir Alex but there was incredulity in his voice, the like of which I've not heard before in his phenomenal 2,000-game regime.
Rarely has a Champions League night at Old Trafford been so much about the previous day's pre-match press conference. But despite all the distractions, and the arrival of a Turkish team looking to prove they belonged at Europe's top table, United did enough to deserve the three points. It's amusing sometimes how one and a half hours of toil by 22 men can be settled by three and a half seconds of skill from one player. Nani's goal was a worthy matchwinner - on a night when someone in red needed to give the headline writers something else to think about.
The views expressed in this article are personal to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Manchester United FC.