In times gone by, any referee daring to send off a Manchester United player would know that to do so would incur the fierce wrath of 10 other men in red.
You need only look back at vintage Premier League footage, with Roy Keane, Gary Neville et al leading a United front to berate a man in black for dismissing one of their own.
What then, should we make of Ander Herrera’s red card from Mark Clattenburg against Burnley on Saturday?
Sat on the turf, the feisty Spaniard – one of the Reds’ best and most determined players this season – knew what was coming.
And yet, there wasn’t one other United player around to offer support, to protest, or even to help a team-mate off the ground.
Perhaps they gave in to the inevitability of playing with ten-men. Perhaps the players were merely adhering to new rules to give referees more respect on the pitch.
But it appeared to all that the famous team-spirit at Old Trafford has now evaporated and disappeared beyond recognition.
At 0-0, desperately seeking a goal to keep hold on the chasing pack and with a Premier League title tilt already slipping away, many would have expected a greater unity or desire for the United cause.
Instead, Clattenburg dished out a second yellow free from a sea of Man United protests, and then once again at his leisure, produced a red. Herrera headed for an early bath with not one team-mate around him in support.
And with Jose Mourinho also sent to the stands during Saturday’s stalemate, it all paints a very sorry picture for the 20-time English champions.
Having seen rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool all hammer in four goals en route to victory at the weekend, United’s hopes took another pounding.
After starting the season as 3/1 second favourites, Mourinho’s men are now way out at 28/1 to win this season’s league.
If they continue to show the lack of spirit shown on Saturday, it’ll be no surprise to see United drift out of title contention sooner rather than later.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing