How long should it be before it’s reasonable to lose faith with a manager? How soon should improvement be seen? It’s not a question that has any easy answer – and it’s one to which the answer seems to be very dependent on context.
It’s a new season, with a vast, rather sexy new cast (211 players bought for a combined €400m), new leading roles at a third of all clubs (plus new coaches to come at Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt very soon), a rich newcomer (RB Leipzig) who will fly the flag for the footballistically under-represented east of the country – “Da Zone” as kids used to call it in the 80s – and double up as the new baddie everyone will love to hate.
For Robbie Keane the hunger to score and the thrill of the pursuit are feelings that will never grow old but 18 years since making his international debut the inevitable fact that his body can no longer withstand the chase has finally been grudgingly accepted.
All that hard work last season was for nothing. So were all those draining qualifying games this summer. West Ham United’s attempt to reach the group stage of the Europa League ended in familiar frustration, because of both the manner of the defeat and the identity of their conquerors.
John Stones is taking everything in his stride. Not much seems to sway the Manchester City defender and while Sam Allardyce’s recent praise was “great to hear”, his focus is on securing a first-team place with his new club and enjoying the whirlwind ride.
The Reds have suffered defensively at the beginning of this season.
Tottenham midfielder has moved to Schalke on loan.
Marco Silvestri featured for Leeds United against Luton Town in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
Celtic have been drawn against Manchester City, Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach in Champions League Group C.
West Ham United lost against Astra Giurgiu in the Europa League qualifying playoff tie.
In the end nobody was on fire at the Parc des Princes. No one seemed that terrified either, except perhaps those spectators haunted by the possibility this gruelling last-16 match might stretch on into extra time.
Poland will bring the curtain up on the Euro 2016 quarter-finals when they meet Portugal in Marseille on Thursday, just as they opened the last 16 on Saturday.
Dimitri Payet has been a revelation since his move to West Ham United a year ago today.