The Killie fans weren’t sure what to make of Angelo Alessio when he jetted in from Italy to Rugby Park.
They quickly decided they were far from impressed when the Ayrshire side suffered the humiliation of a Europa League exit at the hands of Welsh part-timers, Connah’s Quay Nomads.
The new boss doesn’t have a great command of English, and that’s made it difficult for anyone to get a clear understanding of his thought processes.
Former Celtic player Massimo Donati was brought in to help him, with assistant manager Alex Dyer remaining from the previous regime.
It looks a very messy management structure.
Anyone replacing Steve Clarke was on a hiding to nothing.
He probably knew he couldn’t repeat last season’s third-place finish, but left behind a solid squad that should be more than capable of remaining in the top six.
To do that surely requires retaining the same counter-attacking football that worked so well for Killie.
Alessio, however, intends to adopt a more expansive way of playing. Fantastic if you have the personnel to do it – but the reality is that Kilmarnock don’t.
They have a decent, hard-working group that prospered under Steve Clarke’s style.
It’s hard to see anything other than a season of frustration under Alessio. The main question is – how long will he last in the Rugby Park hot-seat?
In: Mohamed El Makrini.
Out: Jordan Jones, Kris Boyd Scott Boyd, Daniel Scally, Daniel Higgins, Ross Miller.
There’s been little action in the transfer market from Killie so far.
They did spend quite a bit tying up players on new contracts last season, and this throws up another conundrum in the club’s immediate future.
It’s highly unlikely that Rugby Park chief Billy Bowie will release enough cash to completely overhaul the squad.
That leaves an uneasy tension between players who enjoyed success playing the Steve Clarke way, and a boss who’s asking them to perform in a different manner.
Kilmarnock’s season doesn’t depend on the transfer window. What happens in the manager’s office is whole lot more important.
How quickly things change in football.
Just a few months ago, the Kilmarnock fans were looking forward to a European campaign and another domestic season as one of Scotland’s top clubs.
The change of management and a Europa League disaster has changed all that.
Managing players is difficult enough, but managing fans’ expectations is almost impossible.
A significant fall from third-place would not go down well with fans who started returning to Rugby Park in numbers after several years of discontent.
The way things have developed, finishing in the top six would probably satisfy the locals.
For them, the halcyon days under Clarke must seem like a long time ago.