This summer was the first in my life where I've not felt excited about the possibilities of the campaign ahead. In fact I've been labouring under a post-Suarez malaise since he left and pretty much everything that has happened since has made things feel even worse.
But enough's enough and so, despite the poor result today, I've decided to focus only on the positives (even if just for tonight). It's not that there weren't any negatives on show; it's just that I can't keep dwelling on them. Yes the manager needs to go, but I need to enjoy going to the match too and I can't wait around for these FSG clowns to pull their fingers out. So here you go:
1. Danny Ings was superb. A centre forward who closes down, works the channels and pulls the centre halves around? Revelatory! His finish for the goal was very composed but I was even more impressed by the way he kept the ball in play rather than let it go out for a goal kick by working his plums off.
He reminds me of a more mobile Dirk Kuyt and that is patently a good thing. He must start against Villa.
2. Sakho was boss. The lad was utterly dominant both on and off the ball and is easily our best defender. That new contract was a sensible move.
3. Moreno had his best game since the Spurs match when he scored. He was fast and direct with good feet and awareness of his teammates. The formation suited him, but he played well regardless.
4. Daniel Sturridge was on the pitch. Is right.
5. He looked classy and composed too, but I'm just glad he got out there. Let's hope he can be fully rehabilitated because he's easily our best player.
6. Firmino didn't seem quite as bewildered as previously. There is a player in there.
7. The players seemed to understand orders properly for the first time.
8. Despite almost universal antipathy towards the manager, the fans were vocally supportive. Fair play.
Roll on Carlisle and Villa.