The path that Gareth Southgate is about to tread is well-trodden.
First there was the shock, the comedic takes and the ridicule at the appointment: "He’s a company man" and "Where are his credentials?".
Then there was the seemingly compulsory outrage at his first squad selection: "Weakest England squad in 15 years", "Jake Livermore? What a joke!".
And now – following one vaguely interesting tactical shift and a slightly encouraging performance – we’re into the "positive signs" stage, which is likely to continue into the summer thanks to (what should be) a routine victory over Lithuania on Sunday night.
But we all know how this journey ends.
The problem here isn’t Southgate.
The problem is the culture and coverage of the national team, which repeats on a two-year cycle: knocking the team down after a major tournament exit; gradually building them back up during the qualifying processes; rapidly increasing the expectation just prior to the next major tournament… and then the starting the whole process all over again.
It is a tedious formula and one of the main factors behind the England national team losing its lustre in the eyes of the general public.
Yet this time the cycle is even more frustrating because there’s a genuine opportunity for it to be different.
More than a handful of respected football minds have suggested that Southgate be given a “free pass” for the next international tournament cycle to try and revolutionise the England set-up and introduce some fresh, new ideas.
And they are right, of course.
But the same words were uttered at the start of Roy Hodgson’s reign, only for him to ultimately suffer the same fate that befell his predecessors. And the pattern will repeat again with Southgate.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Revolutionary Southgate deserves time with England... but won't get it