Time is a commodity no recent Chelsea manager has ever possessed in large quantities – and Antonio Conte will be no different.
He needs to show signs of success, and quickly, or Roman Abramovich will start sharpening that axe again.
Which is not to say that he has to win everything, from the off, and fill the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet with silver in his debut season.
But transition is a dirty word these days at Chelsea, and another season like the one Jose Mourinho just had will see him join the ex-Special One on the list of ex-managers.
The big question is this: what will be the dividing line between success and failure for Conte at Chelsea?
The thing that has hurt more than anything, following the worst season in Chelsea's newly elevated modern era, is the lack of Champions League football.
That issue alone has cost the club tens of millions – not to mention the increased difficulty we are seeing in bringing big name players into Cobham.
Antonio Conte unveiling in pictures:
It has been notable in the past that Abramovich's in-season sackings have generally come at a time when Champions League qualification looked shaky: Mourinho (part two), Roberto Di Matteo, Andre Villas-Boas and Luiz Felipe Scolari all went around that stage.
Some were given more slack than others – notably the two Portuguese bosses, who had strong personal support from the owner.
Arguably, in the case of the most recent firing, that loyalty – or dithering, depending on how you look at it – cost the club dearly.
Meanwhile, Di Matteo and Scolari were both sacked earlier in the downward curve – having not especially impressed the Russian from the outset.
There is an acceptance that Conte is taking charge of a very tricky situation; that he is coming from a lower base point than any other recent Chelsea boss.
And so, unless things go spectacularly wrong, then Conte should have more chances than most to get things right.
But, lest you believe this is a 'where will it all go wrong' article: far from it, more a 'how will we know if it is going alright' sort of piece.
Conte doesn't need to win the first match against West Ham.
It would obviously be a very good thing if he does, but the fortunes of this particular manager will not be decided on that.
This is a tough opener, in the charged atmosphere of a London derby, with a fair bit of baggage on both sides.
The new Chelsea are still gelling – still being assembled in fact – and this game will merely be a barometer to measure how far towards his target he has travelled.
Likewise, the other fixtures between then and the end of the month – the end of the transfer window and coming of the first international break – will be a time of feeling things out.
Yes, of course there will need to be points on the board by that stage – especially with opposition including the unknown quantities of a regrouping Watford and a newly promoted Burnley – but the season will not be won or lost in August.
The key issue will be whether, by the time the window shuts, Conte has a squad that looks like a top four side. At present, that is simply not the case.
In theory whatever he does have at his disposal, when Chelsea travel to Swansea on 11 September, will be a team that can only get better.
The Italian produces sides that can take a while to get his vision, but as its fluidity and dynamism becomes second nature, they tend to improve.
Chelsea have been used, under Mourinho, to sides that hit their stride early in their evolution, but that can fade equally fast.
Conte's curve is likely to be gentler to begin with, but if the plan works, will continue rising for some time.
Ultimately, the barometer of success in 2016-17 will be this: whether or not Conte can qualify Chelsea for the Champions League; and, also, whether some form of silverware can be picked up along the way.
The first, when talking to those around the club, looks like a mandatory; the second, a luxury.
Both happen, and this can be counted as a great start for the new Blues boss.