Bayern Munich hoped Louis van Gaal's experience would ensure the club didn't repeat last season's false start under Juergen Klinsmann.
But with a return of only two points from a possible nine, it looks like last season all over again.
Bayern is still looking for its first Bundesliga victory of the season under the 58-year-old Dutchman and could be heading for the same sticky start it had a year ago under the German.
The club even lost to promoted Mainz for the first time on Saturday and is 14th in the standings after two draws and a 2-1 defeat.
It uncomfortably similar to last season's poor start under Klinsmann, the man who guided Germany to the semifinal of the 2006 World Cup but was fired in April after failing to return Bayern to prominence.
Van Gaal, the well-traveled Dutchman who coached Ajax to its memorable Champions League triumph in 1995, is already feeling some heat from the team president.
Franz Beckenbauer led his club and country to major titles as a player and a coach, and clearly believes that Bayern is coachable.
"Felix Magath, Ottmar Hitzfeld or most recently Jupp Heynckes all made it work," Beckenbauer said in reference to two coaches who led Bayern to titles and another who revived the team after Klinsmann was fired in April.
"Of course (Van Gaal) isn't pleased. That is something none of us can be. Against Hoffenheim we were asleep for 30 minutes, against Bremen the breakdown came later and in Mainz the first half _ wow," Beckenbauer said.
"I do not have an explanation for this performance (against Mainz). In the first half not one of the players reached a starting 11 standard."
Van Gaal is probably feeling pressure a lot earlier than he expected when he signed a two-year deal to be Bayern's coach. Less than a week ago club chairman and former Bayern striker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was talking of a Van Gaal era of many years and filled with titles.
The club signed forwards Mario Gomez and Ivica Olic, but sold Lukas Podolski, defender Lucio and midfielder Ze Roberto, and hired Van Gaal to bring a more pragmatic coaching style.
His Ajax team was heralded as the team of the decade with veteran Frank Rijkaard, the emerging Clarence Seedorf and Edgar Davids, brothers Ronald and Frank de Boer and 18-year-old strikers Nwankwo Kanu and Patrick Kluivert.
But Van Gaal and his players moved on, the coach winning two Spanish league titles with Barcelona only to flop when he was in charge of the Netherlands national team, failing to get the Dutch to the 2002 World Cup.
Van Gaal rebounded from that with stunning success at AZ Alkmaar, the Dutch club winning only its second domestic title 28 years after its first and doing so by 11 points. That led Bayern to give him the task of regaining the Bundesliga title and a first Champions league crown since 2001.
Easily the most successful club in Bundesliga history with 21 league titles _ FC Nuremberg is next with nine _ Bayern is not the sort of team that panics when a crisis looms.
When Klinsmann was 100 days into his spell in charge, Bayern was down in 11th place in the Bundesliga with cries of "Klinsmann out" from some of the fans.
It was only when the club had been knocked out of the Champions League and German Cup that it fired the former Bayern striker a month from the end of the campaign. Heynckes came in and Bayern finished only two points behind surprise champion Wolfsburg.
On that basis, a slow start could be forgivable.
But the club is continually in the spotlight. While Hertha Berlin or Borussia Dortmund can afford a loss to modest Mainz, it's a different story when it happens to Bayern Munich.
Next up is a home game against Wolfsburg on Saturday, when 69,000 fans will cram into the Allianz Arena.
A victory over the defending champion could go way toward repairing the early damage.
Another failure, and Beckenbauer will get more critics questioning Van Gaal's ability to revive the Bundesliga's marquee team.