Tottenham finished fourth last season, but such were expectations that even this was not enough to save Harry Redknapp from the sack. Who knows had Chelsea not won the Champions League would he still be in post, but we are where we are.
And that, for Tottenham, is right back in fourth - Thanks to the management of Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese came into White Hart Lane as a promising manager with a tainted reputation after his sacking at Chelsea last year. With high expectations placed on AVB, it could be considered that anything less than fourth next season will be seen as a failure and a step back.
And in some ways that is true; but Daniel Levy took the flak for his manager this summer with his financial prudence hampering the team's transfer dealings, as he waited until the very last minute to sell star men Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart.
As a result Spurs didn't have much opportunity to replace them, as shown by their aborted chase of Joao Moutinho on deadline day.
What it has meant is that whatever happens this year, AVB will be excused any drop off in performance, although first few games aside there does not appear to have been any.
Tottenham have risen to fourth in the table, courtesy of their win at the weekend, and Everton dropping two points in the Merseyside Derby, and Spurs sit one point above rivals Arsenal.
They face a tough ask to catch the leading pack of the two Manchester clubs and Chelsea, who are four and five points above Spurs, but attempting to stay in touch with the leaders only gives Spurs a target to aim at.
Andre Villas-Boas deserves credit for the way he has steadied the ship at White Hart Lane, amid an almost unimaginable amount of challenges.
The press attempting to destabilise the squad, the overblown Hugo Lloris-Didier Deschamps saga, new players bedding in, rotating the squad in three competitions.
For the new manager to have taken them to fourth is an excellent achievement, with the icing on the cake ending their 23-year league hoodoo by memorably winning at Old Trafford.
Whatever happens from here on in, is wholly unpredictable. AVB will remember riding high with Chelsea at this point last year, before a December blip began a downwards spiral which led to his sacking in February.
The way this season has panned out so far, we expect Tottenham and Arsenal to push each other all the way for the Champions League spot in May, with the current top three all looking likely to finish within the top four.
Who gets it, and who may be able to break into that top three, largely depends on who spends the money and shows ambition in January. Both Arsenal and Tottenham have money available from player sales, but last January neither elected to strengthen.
It is unlikely Tottenham will risk making the same mistake again, but in any case, for now; supporters should be content now the cream has risen to the top, and Spurs have resumed their rightful place competing for the top positions.
In the short-term, they should be happy, because in August as the season began with no wins in their first three games, it appeared as though the club may struggle to achieve the success of last season. Now, they have given themselves a chance of emulating it, or even going better.
Does AVB deserve credit for the way he has got Tottenham playing?
image: © Vladimir Maiorov