There is an old, and not particularly witty, joke that tells of a man asking for directions and being told 'well, you don't want to start from here.'
So it is with Warwickshire. While most would agree the club have lost their way over recent years, few can suggest a reliable route back to success. There is little point raking over mistakes of the past, but the club should never have been allowed to descend to its cur-rent position. On or off the field.
There would appear to be two solutions to the on-field problems. One is to back the youngsters at the club in the hope they will develop into top players; the other is to recruit heavily.
Director of cricket Ashley Giles and company know all this, of course. Realistically, they will pursue a combination of the two courses. But not yet.
In the short term, Warwickshire's current squad have a golden opportunity to establish themselves. Perhaps as few as half-a-dozen of the 30 players Warwickshire have registered for this season are indisputably secure in the current set-up and the scrap for survival among the rest could become intense over the next few weeks. As many as eight could be released in September after Giles has evaluated their worth.
They will have had their chance. Giles has already shown a willingness to play the likes of Luke Parker, Navdeep Poonia, Tim Groenewald, Jimmy Anyon and Lee Daggett. It is their turn to prove themselves.
One senses, however, that they will not be indulged. Some of these 'youngsters' are not particularly young (Daggett is six months younger than Ian Bell) and the time has come to sink or swim.
"It's time to stand up and be counted," Giles said last night. "The batsmen, especially, have to start to deliver. We've not performed well enough with the bat.
"The bowlers, too. They've got to grow up fast and they are starting to do that. I'm only going to let them be young for a short period."
A recruitment drive is all but inevitable in the winter, however. David Sales, the Northamptonshire batsman, will be one target. The fact that he is on a long-term contract at Wantage Road is a complication, but not necessarily a decisive one. There is also likely to be short-term recruitment. The news that Monde Zondeki has been awarded a South African central contract has been greeted with a degree of ambivalence at Edgbaston.
Although it means he is almost certain to feature in the South African squad to tour England from late June, it allows the club the opportunity of finding a more effective overseas player for the second half of the season. Zondeki is likely to play only three more championship games.
Sanath Jayasuriya (already signed for the Twenty20 Cup) is one option, but it is a bowler Warwickshire require most. New Zealand's Chris Martin is the early favourite.
"We probably do need a bowler," Giles said. "We need some experience in there. I'd be reluctant to be without [an overseas player] for more than a short time. Obviously, if we can't get someone of the right quality it's a waste of time, but we do need to start looking. It's difficult to find anyone of the right quality, but the New Zealand tour will be ending about then, so that offers one possibility."