When does a poor start become an average one? And when does an average start become a good one?
Manchester United are not there quite yet. But, unbeaten since September and on a run of four consecutive wins, it's not all doom and gloom at Old Trafford.
David Moyes' side are already through to the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup where a tie with Stoke City represents a good chance to go further. A win over Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Tuesday would leave them on the brink of qualifying for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.
Not bad for a club that's supposedly falling apart and a manager who had been re-christened 'Under-pressure David Moyes'.
In seven days, Arsenal and Mesut Ozil arrive at Old Trafford.
Just two weeks ago, it was almost unthinkable that United could match Arsene Wenger's high-flyers. Moyes, after all, was sweating over qualification for next season's Champions League and Arsenal were being crowned champions.
But now there will be a few more punters ticking a United win on their betting slip.
Short-termism is football's cancer. It costs managers their jobs and sees teams written off without a second thought.
In a transitional season after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, United will almost certainly go through another rough patch. Moyes, however, should be proud of how his team have dug themselves out of a slump. And there's no reason why they can't do it again—if they need to.
Moyes isn't having everything his own way.
Michael Carrick's Achilles injury is a concern, especially if it keeps him out of the games against Real Sociedad and Arsenal.
There will also be questions asked about why Marouane Fellaini was left on the bench against Fulham. Fit, rested and with Carrick absent, the £27.5 million man should have been one of the first names on the team sheet. But he was left out in favour of Tom Cleverley and Phil Jones.
The Belgian midfielder will hope he can turn things around like his new team have done.
Just as their start to the season deserved criticism, United's current run of form deserves praise. And in a time when results in the short-term are everything, it might convince some to look a little further into the future.
Meanwhile, under-pressure David Moyes can go back to being known as plain old David.