Chief Sports Writer Hyder Jawad on a bad weekend for Birmingham's top clubs and a fresh factor in the mix...
There is one way of feeling better today. Acquire a copy of the Premiership table, turn it upside down, and dispense with reality for a few minutes.
Birmingham City are in third position, West Bromwich Albion fifth and Aston Villa sixth. It looks good, doesn't it? Just as I look good in the mirror after a bottle of Chablis.
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Alternatively, it is time to accept that these three great clubs are, temporarily at least, frozen in the act of collapse.
The clocks go back on Sunday, the dark days of winter are around the corner, but depression has already sunk in. The real Premiership table, the one that shows Chelsea at the top, would sober up even the most enthusiastic of alcoholics.
It is hard to know which result was worst: Villa losing 2-0 at home to Wigan Athletic on Saturday, Birmingham losing 2-0 away to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday, or Albion losing 2-0 away to Bolton Wanderers yesterday.
The timing is bad, for there, hovering above the Midlands like an angel, is George Burley.
Last seen as the Heart of Midlothian manager (he mysteriously left the Scottish club at the weekend), he has already been linked with the job at Villa Park.
There is no vacancy at Villa Park. David O'Leary is the manager there, will probably remain so, and has made it clear that he does not want to take over as the Republic of Ireland head coach at this stage of his career.
But consider a more likely scenario. Graeme Souness to lose his job with Newcastle United, O'Leary to take over at Newcastle, Burley to take over at Villa Park, and a celebratory booze-up involving all of the aforementioned.
Or how about Souness to leave Newcastle, Steve Bruce to leave Birmingham for Newcastle, and Burley to join Birmingham?
The permutations are endless.
Whatever happens (and it is more likely that nothing will for quite a while), the world is not as pretty as it once was.
Bruce has amassed the strongest, most creative squad in Birmingham's history yet the spectre of relegation looms.
O'Leary has finally fashioned a team in his own image but the results are no better than those of previous months when he was using " the players of other managers".
And Bryan Robson, the Albion manager, has already expressed his disappointment at the failure of his team to maintain the momentum of May when they avoided relegation against all logic.
How did we get here? And where do we go now?
Whichever way one looks at it, it is hard to keep Burley out of the equation. Reports are rife that Doug Ellis, the Villa manager, has been talking to Burley for the best part of October.
It is difficult to see how this can be true. O'Leary and Ellis are closer now than at any point in their relationship, while Burley was surely too preoccupied with life at Hearts to talk football with a octogenarian recovering from heart surgery.
Burley has also been linked with the jobs at Everton (no vacancy), Portsmouth (no vacancy), Fulham (no vacancy) and Ireland. But with each passing day, the role of O'Leary becomes more blurred.
He has openly stated that he would like to take charge of Ireland one day, but not necessarily now, while he does not seem to mind when he is linked with the Newcastle job.
And Villa's results do not fill the average supporter with optimism. True, key players like Gavin McCann and Milan Baros are missing but these characters are not the difference between the bottom six and top six.
Money is running out and O'Leary is realising, for perhaps the first time, that Villa's woes cannot be fixed with mere cash. Wigan have spent less but are sitting comfortably in the top four of the Premiership.
We are back in the age of the manager. Jose Mourinho, whose Chelsea team are clearly the best in the world, has seen to that. Wigan would not be the same without Paul Jewell, Liverpool overachieved last May with Rafael BenItez, Martin Jol has inspired Tottenham Hotspur and Burley helped to revolutionise Hearts.
Robson has done a fine job with Albion, restoring respect after the wretched final few months of the Gary Megson era, yet not every supporter at The Hawthorns is happy.
Bruce would have to take up mud wrestling to lose respect with Birmingham supporters but he is facing his toughest test yet at St Andrew's. He will never be sacked but his chances of landing a bigger job (even if he would want one) have taken a knock.
O'Leary has not damaged his own reputation in recent months, nor has he destroyed the perception that he is, after all, a cheque-book manager.
But two things are certain: that winter and George Burley are just around the corner. One brings darkness, the other light.