OK, the result is irrelevant and the game will be very quickly forgotten - one of the most tepid matches in the history of football with a total exclusion zone around both goal mouths apparently agreed before kick off - but the 90 or so sterile minutes illustrated perfectly our desperate need for another striker to both back up and support Carroll.
Season after season we fail to address the most glaring weakness in the squad until either just before the window slams shut or in January. In recent seasons there has been a crying need for a left back which has been stubbornly ignored. We now have Boomtown Rat and the maturing Potts so that little hole has been filled.
The right backs - O'Brien and Demel - are not going to compete for Player of the Year any time soon, but between them they can do a job. And with Collins, Tomkins, Reid and Diara (if he stays), we seem to have enough cover at centre back. Defensively we were ok against both Sporting (who would never have scored without the referee's assists) and Braga, and that epic defensive display against Liverpool at Anfield is still fresh in my mind.
Jussi is a worry because he made two bad mistakes against Sporting but Adrian looked ok and a better understudy than the mugs we have given a salary to over the last few seasons. Boffin anybody? Nevertheless, a new keeper may be a priority come January.
The midfield still lacks pace. Noble screened the back four well against Sporting and his range of passing was, as usual, good. Diame, providing his heart is still in it, is a class act. Nolan is Nolan. He missed a sitter against Sporting but scored a typical sniffer's goal in the second half. He won't open up defences with his passing, and he certainly won't do it with his pace, but he is our most penetrative player going forward, even with Carroll in the team.
The most exciting news is the emergence of Morrison. He scored two superb goals against Sporting, and against Braga showed his willingness to take on players and the skill to force them into fouls. If he can keep his head straight, he could be a huge plus this season.
Collison is Collison, a perfect sub who will run his heart out and pop up in the box to score the odd important goal. What about Diarra? He should be good enough to hold down a place in the team but, as with Diame, so much will depend on his commitment to the cause.
Jarvis remains frustrating. The potential is there, and his completed crosses record is surprisingly good, but too often he drifts out of games. That said, with Carroll in the team, Jarvis is a must to supply the ammunition. Then there is Joe Cole. He put in a shift against Sporting and, crucially, looked fit. The skill is undeniable, the heart is beating for the fans and the club, so maybe, just maybe, he could be born again this season.
But up front? Vaz Te is too languid and Miaga too fitful. We need a striker and we need him now, not two or three games into the new season, especially with Carroll injured.
Get your finger out Sullivan! And make sure it is gripping the cheque book!