It's been a bad week for the Germans. As we report, Metro-owned wholesaler Makro posted a £45m loss in the same week that discounter Aldi suffered a £147m reversal in fortunes an Icarus-like fall from grace.

Conversely, it's been a good week for the Brits, with the possible exception of Tesco. I say possible because, where M&S and Sainsbury's trading updates look strong, in its interims, Tesco UK merely traded in line. And while Asia is growing nicely, Fresh & Easy's losses worsened, and now stand at £464m exceeding by £100m the losses accrued by Ocado.

Still, Sir Terry Leahy has been right about most things in his career: he was right about his Discounter brands, for example, pulling the rug from underneath Aldi at the onset of the recession (he's been at it again, recently, with Tesco's 'Essential' savings subtly undermining Waitrose).

He was also right not to engage in a full-blown price war, instead using Clubcard to simultaneously retain customers and advise him, precisely, of the return of premiumisation last September.

So, where does that leave his successor? On the one hand, Clarke has big boots to Phil. On the other, the muted UK performance leaves room for Clarke to improve, which Marc Bolland at M&S might not find so easy, for example.

But it's the promise of Fresh & Easy that offers the most interest. Other columns this week suggested Leahy's pledge to break even at the US division by 2012/13 was a rod for his successor's back. But Sir Terry staked his reputation and his final term bonus on Fresh & Easy, and his lengthy update this week suggests he has had his mitts all over the loss-making convenience chain to make the model work so much so that Fresh & Easy will make money, he promises, even if the US economy fails to pick up.

Such confidence suggests, far from leaving a lame duck, Leahy is signing off with a final farewell present. Big boots, then, but to fulfil.