Manchester United have looked increasingly fallible without the presence of their midfield hit-man Roy Keane. Yet given his ever-rising personal combustibility and unease, won't his return from injury and possible disciplinary hurdles only undermine United's rejuvenation bid?
The Manchester fire brigade has been busy dealing with its usual share of accidents and barbecue blunders this season, but none has matched the white-hot intensity generated by the city's adopted son Roy Keane.
The troubled Irishman is about as stable as five ton's of radioactive plutonium and as welcome at Premiership ports as a cargo of spent nuclear fuel rods.
With a blaze around every corner and an explosion never far from his lips or his feet, United's messenger of doom deserves to have a 'hazardous materials' sticker glued to his forehead.
Indeed, an erupting Keane in full flow is enough to turn even the fearless warriors of Greenpeace back into dry dock in their sailboats, but after a summer of shame and madness, people are beginning to ask if the mesmerising ball of rage and fury, a major architect of the Old Trafford dynasty, is no longer the club's greatest asset, but in fact its biggest liability.
No one doubts the importance of his combative and implacable presence in the United midfield or his influence as the devil's red genius - Sir Alex's enforcer on the pitch. Indeed, his name would sit comfortably alongside Best, Law, Charlton, Robson and Cantona in any roll-call of United superheroes. History will recall him as an inspiring leader, a ferocious adversary and a great player in a great side.
But savage public attacks on other football players suggests a man out of control and a dangerously loose cannon on the deck of a gently sinking ship. Such behavior was tolerated by Sir Alex when...