Before Tottenham got their first win of the season at Reading over the weekend, the knives were sharpening for Andre Villas-Boas. Already. Ridiculous really.
The media's trump card was to interview Harry Redknapp, and get him to add to the sniping, commenting that 70 page dossiers on how to beat an opponent are frankly pointless.
AVB was famous for producing such masterpieces while employed by Chelsea under Jose Mourinho. AVB promptly swept Redknapp's criticism aside, and he was likely laughing to himself when he learned Redknapp was the tactical genius who admitted his advice to Roman Pavlyuchenko was 'run around a bit.'
Nevertheless if this is what it is like now, imagine what it will be like if AVB does not kick on. He is a man under pressure whether he likes it or not.
Redknapp is a favourite of the media, as seen by the mass calls for him to be handed the England job, and AVB is known for his prickly nature when it comes to the tabloids, which does not help his own cause.
He will continually be compared to the former boss, who it should not be forgotten finished fourth last year. There is considerable pressure to do the same, or if not, win a trophy.
So AVB needs a big moment, to announce his arrival, and banish Redknapp firmly into the past, and nip the sniping and pressure in the bud.
The challenge? Win at Old Trafford.
Tottenham travel to Manchester on September 29, in hope that they can end one of the most one-sided records in the Premier League. There have been near misses in the past, Pedro Mendes goal that wasn't in 2005, and their 2-0 lead which turned into a 5-2 defeat in 2009.
If Tottenham can register a Europa win over Lazio tonight, and a home win over QPR at the weekend, it will set them up nicely for the clash.
With the transfer window closed, their squad can finally settle, and it will be the second time Dembele has played at Old Trafford this season after a storming showing there in his final game for Fulham.
Rack up a win, and AVB will go down in Premier League history as the first Spurs coach to win away to Manchester United. It is a real target to aim for, and would lift a real burden from his shoulders, and show the club and supporters that under his management, anything is possible.
image: © Vladimir Maiorov