It's hard to know where to start but Northern Ireland's crushing 5-1 defeat by Norway on Monday evening can only be described as extremely poor at best.
Forget all of the ifs and buts and, of course, the inevitable spin some will endeavour to use in an effort to dress up what was an awful performance - we were absolute rubbish.
With Norway currently 44th and Northern Ireland 36th in the world rankings, few of us expected such a hammering, particularly at Windsor Park.
I'm afraid I will also have to have my first difference of opinion with new manager Ian Baraclough when he says he took some positives from the game because, believe me, as a devout Northern Ireland fan, the only positive I saw was when the referee blew the final whistle.
Over the years, I have seen us being out-classed, I have also seen us out-thought at times and, yes, very occasionally I have even seen us out-fought, but very rarely have I ever seen us suffer all three in the one game as we did last Monday.
Admittedly, we were without a couple of key players and the Norwegians have a world-class striker in Erling Haaland, but let's call a spade a spade here and concede the fact that some of our defending was nothing short of criminal.
Technically and positionally, we were really poor and at times we were not even capable of doing the very basics but, if the truth be told, this totally inept performance was rife throughout the whole team, including midfield and up front. To be perfectly blunt, we came up well short all over the pitch.
We looked like a collection of complete strangers and, even though we were at home, we still looked tentative and practically conceded the contest from the very first whistle - and that's quite simply not in Northern Ireland sportspeople's DNA.
Perhaps if Windsor had been packed with the Green and White Army, we could have lifted the team but, by the same token, that's still no excuse for such a poor display.
It is, however, a possible blessing in disguise and perhaps just the kick up the bum we needed before we meet Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Euro Play-Offs next month because, let's face it, another performance like the one we got on Monday night will surely see us exit the competition there and then.
Nevertheless, let's not permit one very poor performance to detract, cloud or overshadow all of the many great nights this team have delivered us in recent years. They have been absolutely magnificent and have more often than not produced the goods when we most needed them.
Indeed, when this country of ours has needed a lift or an injection of hope and optimism, we could always depend on our international football team to provide it.
So let's put the Norway debacle to bed and get fully behind boss Baraclough and the players for our next game in Bosnia next month.
If we have those key players back fit and available for selection, then I think we can do it.
When people in sport are on the cusp of greatness or reach a magical milestone, it's only right that they receive the proper recognition they so richly deserve - but there are times when I feel the timing of such acclaim leaves a lot to be desired.
For instance, the pre-match focus on Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis being on the verge of equalling Pat Jennings' 119 cap record was, in my opinion, way over the top and extremely unfair to the player himself.
In fact, so intense was the hype that, when the game itself came around, it almost became something of an anti-climax.
Davis has been a magnificent player and role model for Northern Ireland ever since he first pulled on the jersey and the sacrifices he has made to represent his country with such distinction over many years are testimony to the calibre of the man himself - however, the lad got practically tortured prior to the Norway match.
I believe the bulk of that attention would have been much better served had it been reserved until after the game.
It's a pretty similar story every time Rory McIlroy appears at The Masters.
As it's the one Major which has thus far eluded him, he is immediately smothered by the media, who ask, "Well, is this the year you'll win it, Rory?"
What can he say in reply other than, "I'll do my best"?
He will therefore immediately feel the weight of the world on his shoulders before a ball is even struck.
Of course, I know the pressure of media attention and expectation is part and parcel for top sports people, but it's grossly unfair to subject them to a ton of pressure before the event itself.
By torturing them beforehand, we are only doing them more harm than good.
I'm more than a little concerned with the way the Covid-19 pandemic has taken a turn for the worse with the infection rate now rising again.
Health Minister Robin Swann has had to tighten restrictions and implement new measures in a bid to combat the resurgence of the virus.
I'm now beginning to look long and hard at the proposed October 17 date for the commencement of the new Irish League season which, incidentally, was also the intended date for a limited number of spectators being allowed back inside to watch the action.
However, surely these latest restrictions mean that a huge question mark must now be hanging over that date?
From a personal point of view, I don't mind admitting that I'd become a tad complacent myself but it's up to all of us - yours truly included - to lead by example with regard to washing our hands regularly, wearing masks when among others and remembering to socially distance at all times.
Though the future looks uncertain, I've always been the optimistic type, but the realism also exists out there that if we don't take heed and pay attention to the experts, then the situation may well worsen and sport will suffer what could be terminal damage for some clubs this second time round - and none of us want to see that.
So let's all be responsible and do whatever is needed to kick this coronavirus into touch once and for all.
The clock is ticking towards Coleraine and Linfield returning to the European battlefield - and I'm sticking to my guns that both can progress.
Last season's league form proved they were the best two teams in the Danske Bank Premiership and thankfully both have continued to show that form in Europe so, though I am well aware these games will be anything but easy, I'm still quietly confident that the Bannsiders can get the better of Motherwell and the Blues can see off Floriana of Malta.
I wish them both the very best as they continue to fly the flag for us all.