Ange Postecoglou has been in charge for three games. He has failed to win any of them so far.
Part of the problem is that he’s not got his players in place to play the way he wants.
The bigger problem is that the way we’re playing right now looks an awful lot like the way we’ve been playing for the last six years.
That’s not going to help us this season.
One up front, with an over-reliance on cross balls or players dribbling into a shooting position … teams have been going up against this so long that even the daisy-freshest rookie boss in Scotland knows just how to nullify it.
Hearts did it well yesterday, and our slow passing game plays right into their hands.
It gives teams too much time to pack the defence.
Edouard is the wrong type of striker to be playing in this system and he always was.
One up front has had its day for us.
It is ineffectual.
Even if we’d signed a striker used to putting the ball in the net in the six-yard box – Charlie Wyke would have been a Lennon signing – the system itself is far too easily countered here in Scotland.
That is a major contributing factor in our collapse in form over the past 24 months.
It was the very reason Lennon himself went to two up front, which is the only reason we secured our ninth title and the Quadruple Treble.
Last week, I spent some time chatting with the team at the Celts Down Under podcast, and we talked briefly about the style of play that Ange is going to utilise, and Jarrod, who knows the manager’s style well, talked about him having multiple formations for different games.
So far we’ve seen only one, and it’s the same one as failed Lennon and Kennedy and which had started to unravel even under Rodgers, when teams stopped chasing our slow passing game.
A change in formation would be most welcome in these circumstances.
It would give us confidence that Ange sees the problems of last season and knows how to fix them.
This isn’t just about personnel; no club which plays the same way for six years straight is going to find continued success with that system.
Tweaks aside, we’ve played the 4-2-3-1 (or slight variations of it) for far too long.
Once the in-vogue system in world football, it is now in decline as clubs play the more attacking 4-3-3, the 3-5-2 (or the 5-3-2 variant using wing backs instead of wingers) and even the 4-4-2 which is now used by top clubs all across Europe.
The longer we persist with this system, the tougher the way back is going to be.
Right now, we don’t have the firepower to change it, so that’s the first thing the manager has to be thinking about. Even if Edouard could be convinced to stay – which he won’t be – he is the wrong type of forward for playing the lone striker role.
Signing at least one, and probably two, strikers is of critical importance if this team is to turn this around.
One up front in this predictable, horrible formation, is not going to get it done.
You can listen to the Celts Down Under podcast here.