Paul Lambert has revolutionised his Aston Villa side through an emphasis on defensive organisation and dialling down the pressure on his younger players.
The Villans are now an intriguing 9/4 shot for a top-ten Premier League finish after an unbeaten start to the campaign that has taken them to the lofty heights of second.
Just how the Scot has affected this change is no mystery.
His first masterstroke was to bring in Roy Keane, whose merciless professionalism as a player has had just about every squad member going testifying to the motivating force of working under him.
Gabriel Agbonlahor, Jack Grealish and Carlos Sanchez are among those who have divulged as much in the media.
However, arguably the most important alteration Lambert made this summer was to temper his puritanical focus on buying and relying upon young talent.
Consistently producing error-free performances is something that takes time.
Exposed to the spotlight’s exacting stare with rather more frequency than might have been ideal last term, space to develop with minimal pressure was something the likes of Nathan Baker were not granted.
Returning to a more balanced squad through the signing of senior professionals such as Kieran Richardson and Phillipe Senderos has imbued the squad with greater experience.
The result is a greater accumulated knowledge of the art of ‘game management’, enabling the Villans to come away from Anfield and the Britannia with victories where rookie errors might have cost them points over the last two campaigns.
Acknowledgement of the squad’s limitations has arguably been the other pillar that has supported an unexpectedly profitable start to the campaign.
With Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak out of action, the prospects of winning games under a tidal wave of goals are remote.
As a result, the lion’s share of efforts have clearly been spent on defensive and midfield organisation, with Fabian Delph and Ashley Westwood both regulars in a side that conceded more goals than any other survivor last term.
Its effects are evident in the fact that Villa boast the league’s best rearguard by a two-goal margin.
That increase resolve is due a more stern examination over the next four games, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton on the menu.
However, the fact that they are 3/5 favourites to claim more than three points from that run suggests that, like the aforementioned opponents, the bookies have a newfound respect for the boys and claret and blue.