YEP football writer Leon Wobschall provies his view from the pitch.
NO nuptials and walking down the aisle a la Wills and Kate, with United destined to be the play-off bridesmaids in 2010-11, barring a last-day miracle.
A ticket to the best gig in town, all-the-Dom Perignon-you-can-drink soiree looks unlikely with a gate-crashing run by Nottingham Forest rumbling United – who look like being forced to settle for a shot of the balcony kiss, sleeping bag and thermos flask by The Mall while others participate in the opulent banquet and one lucky party rides off in the equivalent of a gleaming open-top Aston Martin at the end of this month.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this, with the ‘if only’s’ inescapable on Saturday and a late fluffing of lines proving oh so costly for the Whites...
On the day, United did all they could in a spicy Roses contest, but the only thing definitively achieved in front of a capacity crowd who turned up more in hope than expectation being the ending of the Clarets’ own flickering play-off dreams.
Much to the chagrin of the watching James Anderson, with the Lancastrian and dyed-in-the-wool Claret keeping an eye on proceedings in the TV gantry with international team-mate and United fan Tim Bresnan – although both teams are pretty much stumped, if truth be told.
Maybe a wager won, but the headline stuff was elsewhere, with QPR tying the championship knot at Watford and Forest virtually sealing the play-off deal in a bumper victory that relegated Scunthorpe, with their final-day visit to Palace set to surely be just ceremonial and of little constitutional importance.
Meanwhile, United are left to hang their hats on the machinations of the ubiquitous swingometer so favoured by election junkie Peter Snow, although it’s pushing it to expect a favour off Neil Warnock next Saturday when Queens Park Rangers aim to coronate their success with some West London pomp and pageantry at Loftus Road.
Yes, United live in hope and stranger things have happened, but don’t be putting your mortgage on it.