Paolo Di Canio's authoritative personality will ultimately determine whether his new-look Sunderland sinks or swims.
This summer, Di Canio has moved quickly to rebuild the team according to his own design.
In came hard-working French defender Modibo Diakite, hard-working French defender Valentin Roberge, hard-working Swiss midfielder Cabral, hard-working American striker Jozy Altidore and hard-working Italian winger Emanuele Giaccherini, and there are no prizes for spotting the pattern in the recruitment policy.
With Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone and a clutch of talented young footballers also arriving, Di Canio has practically signed a new team.
Anyone who had the misfortune to watch Sunderland last year will understand why.
The Black Cats were abject last term. They were slow, they were stupid, they were uninspired and they were immensely fortunate to find three teams beneath them when the music stopped.
Di Canio may or may not have bought better footballers this summer, but he will hope at least to have bought better professionals.
Di Canio is nobody's fool. He will know that this is a job that will define his career as a manager.
The concern is that Di Canio has neither the CV nor the personality to sustain performance levels. He has less than two years of managerial experience, most of which was spent in the bottom division.
He may be able to motivate players in the short term, but can he keep them onside for the duration of the season and beyond?
Having watched that end-of-season outburst for themselves on the Internet, the players will be wary of their manager.
They will know that he won't hesitate to hurl over the battlements if they let him down. They will also have noted his habit of referring to himself in the third person, a surefire sign that an ego has severed its own guy rope and floated off into the stratosphere.
Di Canio's revolution is either going to be a disaster or it's going to be the success story of the season.