Aberdeen’s Easter renaissance

easter last supper oneeaster-last-supper-twoeaster last supper three


The containing game has to stop


There can be no more disappointing an experience for a football supporter than a failed containing game. Well, unless you support Dundee Utd.

To go out to defend, to show respect where none is deserved. Celtic were just back from a bad defeat in Russia, their defence is not as tight as it has been. They are off form on the back of a way too long unbeaten run coming to an end. This is our home stadium. This has failed countless times before, including the week before.

It’s inexcusable. We are all human, we all make mistakes. One of what I’d thought was McInnes’s strengths was a lack of stubborness. There was a period a year or so back when he kept tinkering with the side. Kept making changes that lead to poor performances. Suddenly it stopped. The main players were always in their places, the rhythm of the team, and the good results returned. He spotted the error, or possibly he listened to the crowd, social media, or more likely, the players themselves. The team winning, was more important than him needing to be right.

So why does he continue now with the failed containing game? Is it stubbornness? Social media etc. says stoppit, he says ‘I decide’? Why should he listen to people in the Afc support who are probably not that good at their own jobs let alone his. Does he have a chip on his shoulder regarding the budget difference both cheeks of the Old Firm have over him, which leads to an inbuilt unnecessary respect? It makes no sense when he clearly hates losing as much as we do.

The only other reason I can see goes back to the simply brilliant HNK Rijeka result. 0-3 away from home against formidable opposition. That’s a long time ago, and looks more like the anomaly in the pattern with every failed further attempt.

Don’t for a second doubt McInnes is the best manager for Aberdeen. Don’t see Steve Clarke as anything other than flavour of the month.

But McInnes needs to learn what’s wrong very quickly.



The history of art – Dandy Dons art


The Northern Light

My two front covers for The Northern Light, of which I am immensely proud to have been a very small part of. They were very kind letting me get two front covers, considering there was Gordon Reid, Gio Alzapiedi and Bob Harper as the fanzine’s art department. But as Chris Gavin used to say, ‘a blow job’s a blow job’.

Just. Kidding.


Aberdeen Journals, the Press and Journal

The Lang Stracht. The case room. Layouting. The sheer unbridled joy of working in a neon lit, windowless building for half the salary of others doing the same job at night for three years. Happy days.

Still, they published 100 of my cartoons. I stopped on that number deliberately. I was young, I was learning, in hindsight, could have done with some mentoring. AND in a fit of peak that possibly wasn’t particularly well thought out, while still working at the Journals, I drew a cartoon strip in what became the final Northern Light, that told the then chief sports writer of The Press and Journal to ‘fuck off and die’. Oddly enough the ‘throw away phrase’ carries a bit more weight in writing than when casually dropped into a conversation… you live, you learn.

It sold about 105000 a day, with an estimated readership of double that number. Considerably less since my cartoons stopped. Coincidence?


Aberdeen Football Club

‘Signing for the club’. Never work with children, animals, or the club you love. There was I think four or five jobs, I think it was over one season, while Skovdahl was there. I’ve dealt with a lot of clients down the years. All sorts of different types of people, and behaviour. The people at the club I dealt with were brilliant. Professional, kind and respectful. An ideal client to work for actually. But the client designer/illustrator relationship breaks down when you have an exceptionally strong emotional connection to the business you are working for. The club, the team, players, stadium, history, but not, the marketing department.

So ultimately like most all of my relationships, it’s not them that’s the problem, it’s me. Still, it was fun.


The Dandy Dons

It was  while putting together an about page for the website, I connected the thread of the previous Afc work to the current ‘messing around’ of The Dandy Dons work. A graphic designer/illustrator getting warmed up for client work, practicing skills, keeping up to date with communication on social media.

I wrote more about The Northern Light here, particularly Gordon Reid who’s work was an enormous inspiration to me and many others. Get well soon Gordon.





What is a ‘happy clapper’ and divisions within the support


As night follows day, you’re gonna lose a game now and again. Unless of course you choose to support a team that almost always wins, and your oozing sense of entitlement means you’ll invent a conspiracy theory as to how and why your team haven’t always won every game they have ever played, while simultaneously proclaiming yourself and the other glory hunting parasites in your support to be ‘the best supporters in the world’. But enough about Motherwell.

So we lost a game. A bad one. And then the divisions become more apparent, and the arguing on social media begins. And so what. It’s the fitba, it’s important. It also shows why it’s absolutely ridiculous that anyone is ever a ‘fans representative’, or spokesperson for the Aberdeen FC support, when we are a wide ‘church’ of people with a thousand different opinions on everything (except perhaps us scoring a goal and winning is a good thing).

Our diversity of opinion is just like every football club in the world, just like every group of humans of our collective size. Some of us will even change an opinion on exactly the same subject from one minute to the next, and back again. We can’t even agree with ourselves while we are by our fucking selves. That’s part of what makes fitba so amazing, and people not intae the fitba, hate getting stuck in a conversation with us.

Happy clappers and the miserable prick element

What is a happy clapper? The Oxford English dictionary defines ‘happy clapper’ as a derisive term used by ‘the miserable prick element’ (see below) to criticise Aberdeen FC supporters who believe backing the team, and individuals there of, to be positive re-enforcement that will lead to a better performance from the individual and collective team, therefor leading to a better result. The ‘happy clapper’ hates losing, and is deeply unhappy at a poor performance, but handles it differently, looking towards the next game and what they in the support can do to help the next game be won. This support is however not unconditional. If a manager is managing the club and results performances and decisions are beyond improvement, then the ‘happy clapper’ will happily do what is necessary to remove that particular professional waste of space who should never have been appointed to the job in the first place from their job. And have done…

What is ‘the miserable prick element’? According to the Oxford English dictionary, ‘the miserable prick element’ is a name invented by Iain at the Dandy Dons for anyone who disagrees with him, although he claims it goes back to finding himself stuck next to some moaning negative bastards at games that ruined the whole fitba experience at Pittodrie. Opinions of ‘the miserable prick element’ include the rank stupidity of ‘they’re nae trying’, being the reason for a poor result or poor performance, the laughable analogy of what would happen to them with a performance like that at their work, as if their job was in the slightest bit similar to being a professional athlete, up against other professional athletes who’s sole job is to stop them doing their job, and the idiocy of Steve Clarke is a ‘real winner’. Steve Clarke is an assistant manager, with an assistant manager’s personality, who will struggle just as soon as his team hits an inevitable down turn. He took WBA to eighth, with Roy Hodgson’s team, and was sacked the following season with the team in 16th having won 9 of their previous 41 games. While McInnes is a very different manager to Alex Ferguson, they share the ability to take a team out of a down turn, and learn from mistakes. When Aberdeen have a bad loss, they always come out of it, and almost always go on a good run of victories. The fact that the ‘miserable prick element’ need to be told this after almost five years of McInnes defines the ‘miserable prick element’ as the gold fish memoried fucktards they are.

Don’t blame me. Blame the Oxford English dictionary.



Another dump of dank Dandy memes to read on the toilet – number 3


mcinnes mememckenna

One day we’ll be sitting watching some big old EPL game and the captains shake hands in the centre circle, and we’re going to say ‘I saw McKenna when he was a Dandy…’.


One for the Paul Hardcastle fans out there. The Dandy Dons – no reference too niche.
You weren’t there man! Oh, you were…


Spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding which band Stevie should join.


Dek had just turned down The Rangers. I’ve given him stick in the past, so…


So the new stadium got the go ahead. I’ll take my slogan back now. You’re welcome! Aurora? That reminds me of something Vic Reeves would randomly drop into Shooting Stars. Eranu. Uvavu. Aurora!


Unless you are an international class centre half, it takes balls of steel to sit near the front of the South Stand, such is the peer pressure should you miss yer heider…


With every managerial vacancy, it’s hold your breath time. As well as Scotland, West Brom currently planted to the foot of the EPL. Niall coming back points to there maybe being a couple of seasons yet…


There’s an awful lot of things Afc do really well. The sort of things you almost take for granted, unless you see it done badly somewhere else. I followed the SFA on Facebook for a while, partly out of professional interest. It was dreadful. The tone was wrong, the graphics, while technically professional, were poorly thought out and inappropriate. The last qualifying campaign they were using the slogan and hashtag #ThisTime. So a two word phrase that had the negative connotation of the previous failures to qualify built in.

The Red TV coverage, the passion and professionalism of Dave and Andrew, the overall tone of the whole Afc social media communication, the graphics, the use of the photographers work, the match programme, it’s all really well done. And you almost don’t notice it, which is how it should be.

Facebook is making changes that will change your Facebook news feed. If you want to keep seeing The Dandy Dons memes and illustrations do the following 1) Go to www.facebook.com/thedandydons 2) Click ‘Following’ 3) Click ‘See First’

Unless of course you would rather see cats, dogs, babies, minions and that racist stuff your Gran posts…


Have the personnel at Pittodrie taken us as far as we can?

It’s a difficult question that needs to be asked. In light of recent events, have the personnel at Pittodrie taken us as far as we can. Is it time for change? Are these the correct people to take us to the next level?

We must first acknowledge what has brought us to this. We owe immense gratitude for the hard work, commitment and talent that has got us to this level of expectation. Some in the Glasgow media (of course), have implied sheer blind luck has got us to where we are. Well no that is not accurate.

Those three heiders at Pittodrie were magnificent. But is it time for changes in the Sooth Stund?

The old boys have served us well, some of them going back to the days of Fergie and beyond. But they never mention it. Particularly not the Munich game. Aye right Grandpa. It’s a difficult subject but there’s no room for sentiment in fitba.

Do they still have the agility to rise out of their seats and heid the ba, if the need arises? Do they have the eyesight to even see the ba, considering the rest of the shite they say about the game we can all see? Has the time come for a cull? Is it time a few of the older Soothstunders to be very gently, and with the greatest respect for their achievements, kicked into the North Sea?

And then there’s the younger ones. Have some of them been promoted too soon? Should they be back in the Merkland for a bit with the other greetin’ brats. Never off their phones, looking at Twitter during the game. When the ball comes their way they’re no gonna see it coming, or they’ll fuck it up trying to do a selfie at the same time.

However for some like Wee Gordon, it’s all about genetics. We are genetically disposed to mock chop suppers, moaning, and talking about Gothenburg. Heiders, we’ll never get past three.

So the big question is, do we need to fill the Soothstund with talented Brazilians?

I think we all know the answer to that one…

Facebook is making changes that will change your Facebook news feed. If you want to keep seeing The Dandy Dons memes and illustrations do the following 1) Go to www.facebook.com/thedandydons 2) Click ‘Following’ 3) Click ‘See First’

Unless of course you would rather see cats, dogs, babies, minions and that racist stuff your Gran posts…




The Dandy Dons moving forward


A little bit of social media insight for you, which while you have no particular reason to care for The Dandy Dons Facebook page, will explain what is happening with a lot of other content you may be interested in on Facebook.

For whatever reason* Facebook is killing off pages. It has been slowly strangling them for the last six months by way of cutting organic reach and dramatically reducing reach to followers (down to less than 5% of the 10 000 that follow the page on a single post and falling).

By way of example in the first two years of this page (it’s almost three!) the page picked up 5 000 followers per year. In the last six months, it’s picked up about 200. With pretty much the same level of work. Six months ago the page could easily reach 100 000 people in a week, it’s now down to 20-30 000. Which is still a great amount of people to communicate with, but knowing Facebook it’s only going to get less.

While the page could have reached ‘peak Dandy Dons’ and followers gotten bored or moved onto something else, a quick Google shows this is a development facing all sorts of Facebook business pages.

It’s not all bad news, as a result the page is using other platforms now in addition to Facebook which give different possibilities. The Dandy Dons on Twitter, where everyone is a thousand times more argumentative. And death threats are just another day at the office. On Instagram, where I can hang around with the beautiful people and proper artists as if I fit in.

I will endeavour to get more work onto the blog first in future, so if you sign up you get an email notification when there is a new post. Seldom more than one a week. You can sign up at the bottom of the page.

The Facebook group

Facebook are also pushing me to create a members group for the page. It creates community and interaction and this is Facebook’s way forward. So my page now has a group called The Dandy Dons Group. Now the difference with a group is you can post content too, not just me, plus it’s to be more of a community, more chatty, more interaction. It’s also closed so there is a degree of privacy. Anyone misbehaving can be easily expelled. Who knows what will come of it, you the potential member will be part of what controls that. A members club should have something more than just the normal page, what that is, well we will see as it develops. So you are all invited. Except I can’t invite you from Facebook, though weirdly I have the ‘power’ to make every page follower a member. But I’m not going to do that as it would piss me off if it was done to me. I think this is the group link.

*For whatever reason?! Mark Zuckerberg’s explanation here. But I think it is quite clear Facebook have been ‘threatened’ by the media onslot decrying ‘Fake News’, which mysteriously appeared as a phrase in the entire mainstream media pretty much on the same day. Day after Trump got elected. No reason to like Trump, but the people were pretty much being manipulated to vote for the Establishment candidate Clinton, who got the Democratic nomination based on the US msm singularly ignoring Bernie Sanders campaign, despite enormous numbers of people turning up to hear him speak. Alternatively in the UK, from the day he was elected leader, everything has been done in the UK msm to destroy Corbyn. And social media stopped them getting their wish. ‘Fake News’ really ought to be called ‘the wrong sort of propaganda’.

The fight for the internet is on. And Facebook is leaving the fight.

Find The Dandy Dons memes and illustrations here:

Facebook (main page)
Facebook (the closed group)

A big dump of AFC memes to read on the toilet – no. 2, 2017

What a year 2017 was for fitba drama. From McInnes leaving/not leaving to a player almost drowning, the Strachan and McGhee sideshow and a feckin’ blue strip. But ultimately there is only one word to describe 2017…


Although the person on Twitter who wrote ‘And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like… concomitant’ won it.



We signed Stevie May. Pretty sure it was The Red Final we should be thanking for the number 83 on his back. Well done to the club for going with it though…


And in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a tattoo of the Joker on his arm. There’s also a CND sign, so plenty new meme possibilities for Stevie in 2018.



We played a rugby match…


To the song ‘Sailing’.


The official statements. Sometimes they work, sometimes not so much. It is quite nice in the comments as people call out their mates, or ‘that bloke that’s always behind us…’. And one smart arse saying, ‘so you are moaning about people moaning…’. I’ve been using Twitter a bit more in the last few months, a different class of angry moaner on there altogether. ‘Just die!’. Because of a meme… www.twitter.com/thedandydons83



The Iceman cometh back again…


The brief but really very sweet return of Kevin McNaughton.


Poor old Andy. The boots were NOT photoshopped…


#WeRateDons. There’s this very silly Twitter page called We Rate Dogs. All dogs are good dogs, and all dogs are rated by an amount above ten. So I thought…


It was the weekend of El Clásico… I’ve mentioned it before but Angus is a brilliant mascot. The seagull? Really who came up with that?! The person inside does a great job however. There is a more natural and kid friendly mascot in the Aberdeen brand though. Spot the Dog. The one that went to mow a meadow…


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… Jose’s gonna need to work on the bicep curls if he’s gonna rock the gilet look like Dek though.



Looks like we’ve seen the back of these two. A recent interview regarding his sacking as Scotland manager marks him down as just as petty, arrogant and deluded as McGhee. Once they are out of the limelight for a bit, maybe we can remember them again as players, heroes, legends. Just not yet…

And finally, here’s to 2018! We’ve got the Red Hulk, and an old friend back.


Click here for part 1 of the 2017 memes.


Potential new managers for Aberdeen


So let’s say hypothetically speaking, a managerial appointment came up in the not too distant future. Who do we want, who do we not want. A list of random people that the media are throwing up.

Alex McLeish: Legend, god, sensational centre back, and by all accounts a great guy. No, not a suitable candidate in my opinion. We don’t need another Alex Ferguson tribute act (on the back of McGhee). They picked up some of his skills, but ultimately were lacking in that they weren’t good enough. See also Strachan, Bryan Robson, Roy Keane. Oh there’s loads more of them. McLeish was loathed at Aston Villa for the negative style of football, and has struggled to keep a job since. Dropping the Scotland job for a punt at Oldco also wasn’t a good look.

Paul Hartley: Why? He failed at Dundee, and for some reason people keen on him, or any former popular player, seem to be of the opinion he is ten years younger, ten stone lighter, and bringing his boots. He aint, just his football brain. Doesn’t appear to be exceptional, albeit probably hungry…

Alex Neil: Would be very good if he was currently out of work. Unless he is very unhappy where he is, he’s not going to leave the Championship for us.

Owen Coyle: Could be. His track record is very patchy. He’s had great success, and a lot of failures.

Neil Lennon: A few people suggesting him. The fact he took on the Hibs job in the Championship marks him down as a real football manager, as opposed to others who do a good impression. He isn’t going to be interested in managing a club with such a similar budget to what he already has. Suspect he quite likes green.

Tommy Wright: To manage a team like St Johnstone successfully is quite a skill. We mustn’t let age affect the decision. We want the best manager available. It might be him.

Strachan: Exhibit A, Richard Gordon’s excellent book on Gothenburg. Just how many times does Strachan mention Celtic in his chapter? GTF.

Stephen Robinson (Motherwell): Maybe he’s the next big thing. Certainly doing very well at the moment. Here’s something though. Mark McGhee is a complex character. When he left Motherwell last time, Craig Brown took over and looked amazing. Robinson took over from McGhee and is also looking amazing. McGhee has his flaws, but with the exception of his time with Afc, leaves behind a solid, successful squad, that probably needs a new personality coaching them for a bit. Is that Robinson’s team, or like with Brown, is it actually McGhee’s work that is coming to fruition. I know, and no I’m not going to suggest McGhee. Another example of this was Bilic at West Ham. Looked like a genius adding attacking flair to Allardyce’s team, but what happens once Allardyce’s structure and players start to move on. When it became solely Bilic’s team. See also the first couple of managers managing Aberdeen after Ferguson left…

Stop doing arithmetic. The adding a strong assistant manager because the manager isn’t quite good enough. So for example Paul Hartley and Eric Black. Dream team. No it’s not 0.8 of a manager plus 1.3 of an assistant= 2.1, a brilliant managerial team. You can’t make a manager better with an amazing assistant. And co-managers DON’T EVER WORK. No they DON’T.

And beware the highly rated assistant. Eric Black as manager. No. Again, he’s not twenty five years younger and bringing his boots. Managers manage. Assistant managers work for other people. A different job for a different personality type. A real football manager would rather manage Cowdenbeath, than be assistant manager at Wolves or Sunderland or whoever. Particularly over an entire career. How much of Mourinho’s ability has been reduced since no longer with Steve Clarke? Ferguson’s assistants left to manage Real Madrid, Portugal, England… yet the success stayed with Sir Alex, and didn’t travel with the former assistant. We got Alex Miller as manager based on his successful time as assistant manager at Coventry. Thanks for that one.

Appoint someone from within. This is nothing more than the lazy option. Football directors are not football professionals, their real job is something else. Do they want to talk to people get opinions and do background checks? Interview people, read CVs? When you can just point to someone who already works there and for whatever reason just go, ‘you’ll do’. We’ll just ignore the fact you’re too scared to apply for a job in a lower division. You’re bound to have what it takes. Six weeks later, a club legend of some decades is being unceremoniously shown the door.

What would be ideal. We need someone who’s managed before. The McInnes trajectory is a good template. Someone who was very highly rated, then hit a down turn. They need to have done something exceptional somewhere, and if they’ve hit problems, might be to quote Smithie, ‘it has only strengthened their resolve’. We are a considerably more attractive option for an ambitious manager than previously. For an ambitious manager, success with us against two much higher budgeted teams is a potential career rung towards an upper Championship team, possibly lower EPL team. Or for a complete shit, might land them an Old Firm gig.

So to re-cap, no fuckin’ idea.

Update: McInnes turned down The Rangers, and we all claimed to never have doubted him for a second…


The Glasgow media, vile beyond belief

Glasgow is a great city. Visited it many times. Great people, warm and friendly, lots to do and see. This isn’t about them, it’s about the media that resides there.

It’s quite astonishing what we as Aberdeen supporters have been through the last few months. A little recap, the Scottish international football manager and his assistant were intentionally not picking Aberdeen players because of a made up vendetta due to some bullying issues from a genius who created their entire careers a few decades back and one of the petty individuals who believed being a winner meant never being wrong.

Being in a Scotland squad doesn’t mean you are going to play. There’s 22 players and reserve call ups. There is room to reward good performances, ones for the future. Any doubt that it happened, that it’s all subjective, we’re the mad paranoid ones in this scenario, was wiped out at a stroke by the SFA organising a fixture at Pittodrie immediately after their sacking where three of them were in, and even Ryan Jack who had deserved at least one call up from his time at Aberdeen was also included.

Whether Milne had something over those making the decisions or somebody somewhere in the SFA had cottoned on to the pathetic little arseholes that Strachan and McGhee are, is open to debate. But that is as close to a public apology to the city of Aberdeen by the SFA as you are ever likely to see.

Then there is the collective media manipulation against McInnes and Aberdeen to aid the Jim Traynor managed The Rangers. Astonishing in the sense that trust in the media, and particularly the BBC is at an all time low and falling fast already.

Let’s face it the decent journalists leave Scotland. The Hugh McIlvanneys and the hmmm, sure there must be another one, of this world leave Scotland to pick up the Murdoch shilling for a much bigger audience.

What’s left behind, aren’t even journalists. They are just awful, and whether you are pro or anti independence, Brexit, Catalonia, Corbyn, SNP whoever, if you follow the mainstream media in any way objectively,  it’s clear the media are not fit for purpose and just puppets of a few billionaires and banks looking to control society as they continue to asset strip the UK to their tax free islands.

I’ve seen it in comments during the last few weeks, nice respectful citizens shocked at the behaviour of the BBC on the McInnes story. Perhaps now they’ll start watching Marr, Kuenssberg or The Question Time panel with a far more open mind, questioning what they are being shown.

Whether McInnes goes or stays, this isn’t just about football. This is arrogant, stupid people further destroying an industry that’s thankfully on it’s knees. ‘Fake news’ is a phrase invented by them to attack freedom of speech on social media and the internet. The phrase is new, the concept is exactly what the MSM have always created.

*Okay there are good sports journalists. But it was funnier to leave McIlvanney’s name hanging. Jim Spence, Graham Hunter… shit I’m struggling to come up with more though.