It was hardly the start he wanted as Sheffield United boss - and his side's 1-0 defeat at Bolton Wanderers gives Chris Wilder some food for thought.
Here, our man Danny Hall offers five talking points from the Macron Stadium on day one.
John Fleck is a real positive: No real surprise here, really, but the former Coventry midfielder was United's leading light here and topped our fans' poll for the visiting man of the match. Fleck offers both industry and invention in one compact package, and is as capable of spraying a stunning cross-field path as he is flying into a 50/50 tackle. The Scot could be one of the signings of the season in League One.
Jack O'Connell gets a good review: Together with James Wilson, the heart of United's defence looked solid enough and they were only undone by a wondergoal from Jay Spearing. Left-back Chris Hussey showed glimpses of the quality he offers going forward, and John Brayford's emerging relationship with Mark Duffy shows signs of being a positive one.
Set pieces remain an area for improvement: United's prowess from dead-ball situations has been in question for a while, and Chris Wilder admitted afterwards that he was disappointed in their delivery today. In Mark Duffy and Hussey, who delivered one brilliant ball across the box that was begging to be poked home, they possess two players with dead-ball potential and Wilder will be hoping it will become another weapon in their armoury.
Blades fans have long memories... If the reaction to ex-Owls man Gary Madine is anything to go by. The striker also got a nudge and a word from United goalkeeper George Long after one decision didn't go his way. In contrast another ex-Owl, Leon Clarke, got a good reception - although he missed a gilt-edged chance to put United ahead when his header bounced over Mark Howard's crossbar.
...and a good sense of humour, too. They showed it with a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday to a girl, with a group of her friends, heading into Liverpool with a birthday balloon. She seemed happy enough, if slightly embarrassed, to be serenaded and has a lasting memory of the opening day - a better one than the 4,300 travelling Blades, no doubt.
See also: Che Adams came on as a substitute and showed no signs of being distracted by talk of a move to Birmingham City, George Long pulled off a stunning save from Darren Pratley's header and United succumbed to a superb strike.