It is early-November 2018 and Fulham are enduring a monumentally tough Premier League campaign with just one win to their name.
We are ten games in and the struggling side are conceding 2.8 goals per 90, with capitulations becoming the norm. Two matches later, manager Slavisa Jokanovic is sacked.
That summer, to the perplexment of many, the Cottagers had embarked on a busy period of recruitment, completely overhauling a side that had been brilliant in the Championship by bringing in 16 new signings.
They amounted to a squad of strangers.
Two years later, and Fulham are back in the big-time under Scott Parker except this time they have learned from their painful lesson, making just a handful of shrewd additions to a team that played wonderfully open, attacking football on route to securing promotion.
The mistake they make on this occasion however is that Parker refuses to compromise on his ideals, and against infinitely more ruthless fare, Fulham are easily picked apart.
Ten games in, defeats are become a weekly occurrence. Their inevitable relegation is confirmed especially early that season.
These failings of the West London outfit are mentioned here because they best epitomise what can happen when two of the three cardinal sins for promoted sides are committed to, the third being to overly invest squad-space and faith in youth.
Rip up a winning formula, or stubbornly persist in playing possession-based, ambitious football, or go with the kids, and chances are the big, bad Premier League will gobble you whole.
Which brings us to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley who remarkably decided to go for the full set this summer, defying all common-sense and recent history, to this moment in time to their substantial cost.
Ten games in and, like Fulham in 2018, they boast just a single victory to their name and indeed similarities with that flawed collective are uncanny, conceding 2.7 goals per 90 with capitulations almost the norm.
In the summer, after blazing a trail in the Championship with a fabulous group of players, the Clarets made 16 new signings.
Moreover, there are parallels with the next Fulham side that came up only to promptly flop, with Burnley retaining their swashbuckling spirit but suffering greatly for it.
Against superior defences their passing game and front-foot approach is understandably having significantly less effect this time out.
At the back meanwhile, their exposed defence is being punished regularly, with chances that would have been missed in the second tier now flying in.
Subsequently, Burnley recently became the first top-flight side to lose their opening six home fixtures. They are evens in the football betting online to go straight back down come May.
Lastly, there is the experience issue, or rather the lack of it.
On taking charge of the relegated Clarets in June last year, the Belgian coach inherited an aging squad, and with so many of them seasoned pros intent on remaining in the Premier League – and on big wages to boot – it made perfect sense to have a clear-out, to instead prioritise young players more amenable to his new ways.
To double down on that ethos this summer though was surprising to put it mildly.
Of those aforementioned sixteen signings only two – one being a reserve keeper – were over the age of 25 and this means only Chelsea have a younger squad in the English top-flight.
Surely relying on teenage spirit isn’t ideal when navigating the highly pressurised environs of a gruelling relegation scrap?
For every act of individuality from a young charge, altering the live betting via a moment of magic, there are countless situations that demand an old head and steadying hand. Someone who has been there and seen it.
The benefits from this are time-honoured in the Premier League. It’s a path well-trodden.
It should be said of course, that flying in the face of such well-established logic is purely by design, and privately Kompany will have anticipated tough times stress-testing every facet of his brave project before things potentially get better.
The question now though is whether he will be given sufficient time to prove that his all-or-nothing approach can come good.
Here again, history has only bad news, with Fulham’s dismissal of Jokanovic 12 games in just one of countless examples of boards succumbing to panic when encountering losses each and every weekend.
Next up for Burnley is Arsenal away and no big decisions should be made from that no matter the result. Following the international break however there are consecutive home games against West Ham and fellow strugglers Sheffield United.
If a win isn’t sourced from either of those you fear for the likeable Manchester City legend. As it is, it already feels like he’s on borrowed time.
And should the axe be swung, will Kompany look back and regret not compromising one iota on his vision? Or at least, implementing it at a more gradual pace.
To construct his project right from the start, and duly go into battle with it, was valiant for sure, even admirable. But since when has football rewarded bravery?
*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*