David Moyes took on one of the hardest jobs in football when he succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
But the job wasn't just tough because he had to follow one of the most success managers in sport.
No, it was because Ferguson was departing Old Trafford just before a major cycle of transition in the team started.
Ferguson deserved to go out on a high and by winning the Premier League last season he did. His decision to leave was surely influenced by the fact that the ageing Manchester United team he built was at it's peak, ready to decline.
Moyes knew it.
He desperately flashed the cash in the summer in the hope of signing some major stars to plug gaps. He failed.
The Manchester United midfield still craves a creative force. The defence needs young blood and a lot of deadwood needs clearing out.
Did Ferguson take one look at this mess and decided he didn't want to commit to a tough couple of season's struggling to compete with the re-emerging forces of Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City? And was his decision to choose Moyes as his replacement ill-judged?
We know Moyes' managerial style is that of a slow-burner. His patient manner saw Everton slowly but surely rise up through the Premier League before they peaked by making the top four.
With the right funds they could have gone further, but no amount of money would have seen them get there quicker - smash-bang-wallop team building just isn't Moyes' thing.
That style would have fitted Manchester Unite perfectly as they crave the long-term stability Ferguson brought, but only if he inherited a team that could have given him five years without any major outgoings.
But in five years time you can expect Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Nemanja Vidic to all be retired. These are key players that need potentially over £100m in transfer fees to replace.
Moyes simply doesn't have the reputation to tempt big stars to Old Trafford- at least not yet. He struggled in the summer with Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara both rejecting his advances.
Five years of trophy winning would have built the necessary reputation but he now faces a struggle to bring in stars without credible experience of managing a winning team.
If Manchester United fail to win a trophy this season it will see the start of a vicious cycle where Manchester United's reputation declines and more and more players opt for other clubs.
A manager with a big reputation, known for making big changes early on in his managerial reign would have been a better stop gap to carry United through what was always going to be a difficult period for the club.
Maybe Ferguson should have given United a few more years, building a young, talented team that Moyes could take forward. But he has made his bed and, unfortunately, it is Moyes who has to lie in it.