It would be fair to say that Roberto Di Matteo hasn’t done a bad job so far this season.
The away games apart, West Bromwich Albion have collected seven points from three home games and deserved at least a point at Anfield.
More money, supposedly better players and an even-less competitive top flight.
First-team coach Michael Appleton has not been surprised by how easily the Baggies boss has taken to the top flight.
The dynamics of the Premier League have changed since the Italian was last in this environment.
“He’s coping well,” said ‘Appy’, who was invited to form part of the new-look first-team coaching staff last summer.
“We’re doing well at the minute – certainly doing better than probably many people expected us to when the fixtures came out.
“He doesn’t get too excited or too down. He lets the process happen and likes to think before he acts.
“It’s a good trait, especially at this level. you have to take things in first before you react to them.
“Everything you do is intensifed ten-fold in the Premier League.
“ You find yourself 1-0 down in a derby game, you’re at home – you think is it a risk, or isn’t it?
“A lot of people might say fortune favours the brave but we knew we had to get behind them (Blues) and threaten them.
“The gaffer decided, who’s the quickest? Peter probably, he looked a threat against Sunderland so the manager made a clever decision.
“Sometimes you have to be brave and make those big decisions. He has that in his locker and I think he’s adapted very well to the challenges.”
Di Matteo, assisted by former youth-team coaches Appleton and his No2 Eddie Newton, has embraced Albion’s youth policy.
Chris Wood has prospered since his arrival, with George Thorne and Sam Mantom also getting prominence among first-team squads.
Appleton has been particularly impressed with Mantom’s progress.
“Sam’s a lad who has come in a bit later than some of the boys we’ve seen in the past,” continued Appleton. “He was always going to be a late developer, whereas some of the lads were physically able to deal with aspects of the game earlier.
“Sam is one where we knew this season or next he could kick on a little bit.
“In training and reserve-team games he has been first class. He’s improving all the time.”