Dundee United have taken no bigger a gamble with Thomas Courts than if they’d appointed Jose Mourinho.
And as a bonus Courts comes in at roughly £5,000,000 a year cheaper than the “Special One”.
The vagaries of football management mean that the traditional financial advice: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” is very apt when it comes to choosing a new boss.
The abilities and judgement which stand a manager in good stead in one job can desert him in the next.
So there’s no insurance policy or warranty that any appointment, no matter the previous pedigree or calibre, is a cast iron certainty to bring success.
That said, Courts is undoubtedly about to operate on a much higher level than he has before.
He will be pitting his wits against a calibre of opponent several notches higher than he has to date.
The intelligence and nous required to tackle Steven Gerrard for instance will be of far greater magnitude than anything asked of him in his managerial and coaching career thus far.
Football has many examples of managers who have become successful despite limited playing or coaching experience at the top level.
Similarly, there are plenty of former top flight players who have been completely out of their depth making the switch to management.
The big question for United fans is; can Courts previous experience in junior football and as head of tactical performance at the Tannadce youth academy translate to success at Premiership level?
At 39 years old he’s no boy Daniel entering the lions den of a football dressing room for the first time.
The location may be much more prestigious than Kelty, where he once operated, but he’s no stranger to having to assert his authority.
Frankly, if he was able to do that in the juniors, where shrinking violets very quickly wither, then I don’t see why the Tannadice changing rooms should faze him.
Essentially coaching is teaching by any other name.
In a previous career as a law lecturer I always tried to make difficult points as simple as possible when getting them across to students.
Often, I found that the most knowledgeable teachers were the poorest at imparting knowledge, blinded by the ease with which they themselves understood complex information.
So it is with some football coaches.
A huge, deep understanding of the game is worthless if the coach cannot transmit the message with the clarity and simplicity required for it to be carried out effectively on the pitch.
Ultimately, for all the modern developments in football analysis – tactics, sports science, and psychology – only one thing eventually counts; results are everything.
If Courts can turn out a side which wins more than it loses and plays attractive football into the bargain, he will succeed, if he doesn’t then he won’t.
The challenges for the new United coach will be many, but he deserves a fair crack of the whip.
Some fans undoubtedly wanted a manager of greater experience and feel that this decision has been cut and dried from the off.
They’re worried that the sporting director, Tony Asghar, has too much clout and that Courts will be a yes man.
Only time will tell whether such concerns are valid or are vacuous.
Owner Mark Ogren and those running the club day-to-day have decided that they want to run the things in a different way.
They’ve chosen to follow the youth route, which is fraught with bright potential as well as dark possibilities.
I said here recently that United fans should strap in for a ride which would hopefully bring back excitement.
Some of them will feel this appointment has the potential to be a rollercoaster or a ghost train.
Only time will tell if the experiment turns out to be a thrilling ride or whether it comes crashing off the rails.