If too many cooks spoil the broth, that must surely follow the idea the more ingredients a recipe includes, the greater the potential for culinary disaster is.
That train of thought certainly seems to go a long way to explaining Dundee’s demise as a Premiership team this season.
The problems that come with having to change manager in mid-season have been there for all to see at Dens Park.
When Jim McIntyre took over in October after predecessor Neil McCann paid the price for a miserable start to the campaign, it took the players under him time to adjust to his way of working.
His first four games in charge ended in defeat, without a goal scored. If there was some respite via a 1-1 draw with St Mirren in his fifth outing, given the Buddies were the Dark Blues’ main relegation rivals and the game was at Dens, it was two valuable points dropped.
By then, in early November, it was clear to the manager his squad was not fit for purpose but, with the exception of free agent Martin Woods, he was forced to work with the players who were in the dressing-room when he arrived.
That changed in January when he took the bold move of making 11 signings. While many agree they were necessary, that came with its own set of problems.
The new arrivals had to get to know each other and, as is the case with winter window arrivals, many had fitness issues stemming from a lack of game time at their previous, or in the case of loan signings parent, clubs during the first half of the season.
On top of that, there was the unexpected bad break when Andrew Davies fractured a foot before making a competitive appearance – an injury that would rule him out for the season.
Those January acquisitions were the second wave of new arrivals at Dens since the end of last season.
From the end of the 2017/18 campaign to the last day of that window, between them McCann and McIntyre made an incredible 23 signings. It does not take a genius to work out such major overhauls of the squad in the space of just a few months carried the potential for disaster – big time.
It’s meant that for the whole season Dundee have been a team in transition, one where, as well as trying to pick up needed points, players were battling to get to know each other’s games.
For all the changes and various permutations tried, the same problems have continued to afflict performances.
Not least has been a lack of goals. In 42 competitive outings up to Saturday’s defeat at Motherwell, a blank has been drawn on a quite staggering 22 occasions.
At the other end it’s not been any better and, defensively, only six clean sheets have been recorded – three of them coming in the first fortnight against lower division opposition at the group stage of the League Cup.
Through necessity, the changes will continue once the season is over. Already five of last summer’s arrivals have been shown the door by McIntyre and, with no fewer than eight of his own signings being on a loan basis, next month will see another string of exits.
There is, of course, the chance the manager might want to try to keep some of them on a permanent basis but the harsh truth is most have not done well enough to merit a deal.
And of those of them who have, you have to think the prospect of a season in the Championship will have them pursuing other options.
The players who’ve arrived, and in some case departed, are Jack Hamilton, Seny Dieng, Ryan Inniss, Nathan Ralph, Andy Boyle, Andrew Davies, Ryan McGowan, Andreas Hadenius, James Horsfield, Karl Madianga, Elton Ngwatala, Martin Woods, John O’Sullivan, Ethan Robson, Andy Dales, Calvin Miller, Adil Nabi, Scott Wright, Jean Mendy, Benjamin Kallman, Kenny Miller, Andrew Nelson and Craig Curran.