I think I'd agree with you and Jason here that the squad overall is weaker (or thinner) than last season, but not sure I'd pin that on the manager as a number of top players left of their own accord not the managers design. And while no one can argue we had a perfect transfer window, I think those players that are now part of the squad either from the window or from the youth set up, while right now they may not be as strong as last term, I do think they represent a lot more upside over the next 2-3 years, which I think is the window in which BR will be judged.
From first half last term compared to first half this term it’s fair to say results have been worse, but it would also ignore the second half of last term, when we were decidedly worse off from both the first half of last season and this, and with supposedly better players. I know we lost Suarez for a chunk of games, and Gerrard also (but he also missed quite a bit of the first half last term also) but with the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, and Bellars we had players who should have chipped in on the goal front to make up the difference, but overall we just hit the post.
So to me it’s more like a rollercoaster, steady downward decline in Rafa's last season, followed by deep dip under Roy, a bit of a climb back under KD, then a slip back in his last 6 months with the club. And so far under BR, while not a clear upward rise game after game for sure, I do think the last 6 months have been an improvement on the 6 months prior to that, and therefore I don't see anything that would suggest he's getting things wrong, or we could slip back.
But end of the day, faith in the manager is exactly that, faith, or belief. I believe we'll win against Sunderland on Wednesday, but I don't know for sure we will. But because I believe it, I go in with that attitude in how I support. Same then goes for the manager; I believe he'll make us better. He's not perfect, I think he'll make mistakes along the way, but I think he's put us on the right path. At least that is what I hope.