Last weekend saw the champions visit Upton Park and while it's fair to say Manchester City's season is yet to fully ignite, the performance West Ham United produced was creditable.
Regular readers of this blog may be growing weary of the constant praise I heap on Sam Allardyce (it's not generally the done thing, I know) but I was again impressed with both his approach and reaction to the game.
Firstly, the team selection was positive, the inclusion of Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis and Yossi Benayoun as well as the more progressive Joey O'Brien at right-back (he has preferred James Tomkins in that position on occasion), showing an intent to attack City and attempt to expose their unusually porous defence.
Kevin Nolan had a legitimate goal ruled out and Benayoun rattled the crossbar in a first-half largely dominated by West Ham. But scan the reports, both online and in the papers, of the game and the most generous description of West Ham's display in the opening 45 minutes was 'bright'. Had City been unjustly denied a goal and hit the woodwork, you can guarantee the language used would have been considerably stronger.
Yes, City responded in the second period and much of it saw 21 players camped in West Ham's half but the fact that Allardyce neglected to dwell on the injustice of Nolan's disallowed strike and the lack of credit his team received in subsequent media reports illustrates the experience and managerial savvy he possesses.
Indeed, being the minnows that aren't expected to do anything other than make up the numbers in the Premier League suits Allardyce's agenda perfectly. He is well aware that with expectation comes unreasonable pressure and his success in quelling that is almost as valuable as the tactical expertise which has rendered 15 points so far this term.
We have enjoyed some fantastic victories this season the nature of the win over Fulham and winning away at QPR being my personal favourites but Allardyce quite rightly hailed Saturday's result as 'the best point we have won all season.'
Gary O'Neill was among those gushing, and Tweeting, with positivity following the game; the fact that we had gone toe-to-toe with the expensively-assembled champions of England and come away with a draw clearly doing wonders for confidence.
And while on the training ground and in the dressing room Allardyce will undoubtedly be cultivating the growing self-belief, publicly he will remain sober in the face of the rather one-sided reporting that is de rigueur in the popular press.
If (and it's a big if) we get anything from our trip to Newcastle on Sunday, don't expect the manager to sing from the roof tops. Prosaic? Uninspiring? Maybe. But I've had too many years of 'we played well but' sob stories from West Ham managers. Sam's got his feet on the ground and long may it continue.