With every passing season, it seems like peaks and troughs in form are played for more and more importance. A run of wins means that a team is on a charge to the title, but a single draw means that the run has ended, they've been found out, they'll be lucky to finish in the top four... You know the deal.
It is over the next three weeks that we can only begin to cast true judgement over this current United team's credentials as potential champions, and whether or not they can be a force in European football once again.
Considering the Champions League revenue the country's elite earn on an annual basis on top of their domestic pot, there's a big case to be made that English clubs should really be using their muscle to dominate European competition. To buy the best players, play the best football and sweep all before them.
Spurs fans would have been sweating over the future of Lloris too however, Daniel Levy managed to hold on to the French number one, which also feels like an enormous victory in itself. Lloris' unstoppable progression to becoming one of the world's greatest goalkeepers has not gone unnoticed, not least by United.
How does one best describe Arsenal's transfer policy - frugal, thrifty and economic? Or miserly, close-fisted and stingy? Opinions on the subject are closing in on the latter after Arsene Wenger's total summer signings numbered just one first team player - Petr Cech.
Oh dear, Liverpool. A season which started with cautious optimism has swiftly descended into #RodgersOut crowdfunding campaigns and Twitter rants and it looks like it's only getting worse as we move towards the end of September.
The 29-year-old can't follow on those lines, and inevitably it's going to have to go one of three ways for the Spaniard in sky blue; either he drastically improves, he remains content with a place on the bench when better players are fit, or he departs. Whether Pellegrini is vigilant enough to send him on his way remains to be seen, but perhaps that job will fall to the man that inevitably succeeds him.
Whatever happens next, wherever he goes, whatever he does, Emmanuel Adebayor deserves respect. To have gone through his career, with detractors and personal issues at every step and still have made a success of it? He might just be one of the strongest people in English football, and it's time to start treating him like it.
The Premier League is highly regarded for its competitiveness, where anyone can genuinely beat anyone else on a given day - that kind of thing rarely happens in Spain and other European countries. There is no mystique or aura for defending English champions and it all means that when the naivety kicks in, as it has done in recent years, giants will always fall.
The beginning of a new season is crunch time for a lot of footballers, as they find out whether they still have a place in the side following a summer of wholesale changes. With not much time to impress between now and the winter transfer window, here are 10 players who need to up their game quick, or may find themselves on the move very soon indeed.
If it was naive to think that Chelsea were automatically favourites to win a second successive Premier League title ahead of the 2015/16 season - and it most certainly was - it's even more naive to think that now. Quite simply, Jose Mourinho's team have been left behind by their competitors and a terrible transfer window has now left them playing catch-up.
The reality is that, on the pitch at least, United are no longer the European giants they were four or five years ago and even then there a was a team from Catalonia on a completely different level above.
If City were beating chump teams, the way that Liverpool fans held up 1-0 wins over Stoke and Bournemouth as proof that they were flying, then City flying out of the blocks could be dismissed as nothing. An illusion of the fixture list. But they aren't.
Even last year's shining beacon of brilliance Harry Kane has struggled and if Spurs are to genuinely progress this season, then the 22-year-old striker is going to require a great deal of assistance.
Rodgers' new-look set-up are economical and efficient, but they will need to recapture that flair that made them one of the most exhilarating outfits to watch in European football two years ago, especially with trips to the Emirates and Old Trafford beckoning in the next three weeks.
The fans have got a point, though. They want answers. Like why, as the rest of the Premier League's clubs tuck into their share of the record £5.136 *billion* TV rights deal, are Everton heading into the final two weeks of this transfer window having spent less money on players than Championship sides Derby, Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday?