It doesn’t take long for one’s football landscape to transform completely.
It was only five weeks ago that Stephen Glass brought his team into the Stark’s Park dressing room, halfway to adding League Cup progression to the two European advancements and the 100% league start he had already overseen. He would have been forgiven had he strolled back out thinking this management caper is easy.
But, almost before he reached his seat, his side had surrendered that lead, and he has never seen it hold another since.
It is perhaps no surprise the reversal in fortunes should be so diametric, since Glass’ philosophy – heavily reliant on possession – is well suited to securing an Aberdeen lead from attack, but less foolproof in obtaining one in the first place when faced with a deep, drilled defence.
In each of Aberdeen’s last three games they have had at least two-thirds of possession and attempted more shots than the opposition, yet the only tangible reward was handed to them by Ross Laidlaw.
More than fifty shots have been taken by Aberdeen players over those three matches, less than 30% of them on target and none beating a goalkeeper who had not already beaten himself.
If we rule out the possibility players of this calibre are simply incapable of shooting straight, this can only mean that those shots are being taken from sub-optimal positions, and a set of defences among the Premiership’s most porous last season have figured out how to keep Aberdeen in front of them.
On the positive side, if things can change so fast once, they can again. If they are able to rediscover the art of quickly taking control, they can return to the form of the first six-and-a-half games rather than the last six-and-a-half.