blackboard-aberdeen

Alex Ferguson had three teams at Aberdeen, in my opinion. The first team, that won the first league title, contained strong elements of the players Ferguson inherited from previous managers. Harper, Jarvie, Scanlon. The second team, we could call the Gothenburg team, was the peak Fergie team. Fine tuned and improved from its predecessor, a team so successful it was quickly asset stripped by other clubs. Team three, I’d say could be described as the Jim Bett team. It was successful, but never finished.

Football is different now, four year contracts are no longer the norm, players come and go much faster than in the past. New teams need to be put together more often. But what would be McInnes teams?

The first McInnes team was easily the best McInnes team. McGinn, Hayes Rooney, Pawlett, Barry and Willo. A team, a unit, everyone playing in their natural position, a team that contained that magical element of a real team, whereby they are so cohesive together when they click, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Almost as if there is a twelfth player on the pitch. The team unit.

The second team was the Christie, Maddison, Mclean team. While able to win games, it was seldom as nice to watch, and there appeared to be an emphasis on individuals. The careers and development of individual players appeared more important than the team unit. Players were being indulged. Kenny Mclean was a guaranteed start and never subbed irrespective of how inconsistent and down right awful his play often was. He got the game time he needed though and came good, just in time to leave. Ryan Christie another, and one free kick apart, what was Maddison doing in our team? Pawlett left as he was always second fiddle to a temp.

More and more often as that team was slowly coming apart it would be rescued by the brilliance and dogged determination of Jonny Hayes.

Post Jonny Hayes

The third team, the current team is eighteen months old. The post Jonny Hayes team. Particularly for those missing Shinnie, we were just as fucking shite with Shinnie in our team last season as we are now. Shinnie was another player who seemed to be indulged above and beyond what was best for the team. Our team is now consistent throughout the park. A poor defence, a poor midfield, and a poor attack. Only Big Joe and Big Sam can be free of criticism.

To be fair to McInnes regarding Jonny Hayes, it was McInnes who made him, who unleashed his potential. Brown signed him, but he was in and out of the team, and a team that reached the dizzy heights of ninth did not have the Jonny Hayes we came to know in it.

So why was that first team so good? McInnes and Aberdeen coming together were a perfect storm. McInnes doesn’t give much away about himself. He is a highly skilled communicator, and unlike other managers he talks very little about himself. In the first few months he did give away a little of his mindset, in that Bristol City were mentioned a number of times, with some bitterness.

Being sacked there, it appeared from the outside, had left him bitter and angry. In the right hands, together with talent and a strong work ethic, that’s a very strong driving force. Also as an out of work football manager he would have had plenty time for scouting, and seeing potential targets. Which is perhaps what led to him putting together that first team so quickly and efficiently.

The perfect storm

The perfect storm of his coming together with a football club that was an absolute fuckwittery of chronic neglect and mismanagement over decades, combined to create something very special. Those first few years were magnificent. Partly as a contrast from what had gone before, part excitement at just how far he could take us. It was like getting your football club back again.

So where did it go wrong? What changed? I’d say the Bristol City anger melted away. Complacency kicked in. An over complication of a lot of stuff, and a loyalty to individuals, possible favoritism, that is not conducive to players staying hungry, and eager to stay at the top of their game. I couldn’t find it when I Googled it, but I remember Guardiola being asked why he changed clubs, and he said something along the lines of he felt players stopped listening to a coach after five years. He may well be not entirely honest about that, you just need to see how often Barcelona sack their managers to know some egotistical prick director would have got a kick out of sacking him, but it is worth considering when you see McInnes long term loyalty to various players. A number of players should have been moved on before they went stale. And we have two who left and came back.

I also have to wonder at the inclusion of Gallagher in our team and what influence Atlanta may have over our club for a measly 2 million. If he was from another club I wouldn’t be specifically questioning him (there are plenty other players underperforming) but the Atlanta relationship does pose questions as to exactly how that loan player relationship works. Why are we giving game time to a player who isn’t performing, and if he does later on due to that game time, it will be the parent club that gets the benefits. Ryan Christie, Lowe, Maddison…

Compensation

Other aspects relating to various opinions on social media. I’d say his job is safe as long as we are in the Scottish Cup. Despite what others say regarding compensation, paying out that compensation is considerably less than what the club would lose in season ticket sales next season if they didn’t replace him and we remain this poor.

I think he genuinely loves the club, he is well paid, appears to have a good personal relationship with the directors, I don’t think the potential compensation is an issue. Whatever you think of the team right now, I believe him to be a good person, think of the loyalty McLean showed in getting the club his transfer fee back, probably a loyalty to McInnes more than the club, a person who stays out all night to raise awareness for the homeless. From his comments it’s clear he loves the Scottish game. He knows how tight finances are. It’s very presumptuous of me to say so, but if he were sacked, I don’t think it will cost anything. He will also walk into a new job.

So where did it all go wrong? I’ve no idea. But this is where we are.

tank-dandy

I posted this on Twitter for a game against Sevco. It’s just a silly illustration, just me, a graphic artist iaincameron.dk, messing around. So I got a reply, with a Union Jack in the profile pointing out ‘how ridiculous it was to have a Sherman Tank with Soviet markings on’.

Stupid comments are what Twitter is all about. But the reply started picking up lots of Likes.

So it’s the type of tank they had the problem with? Not the fucking sheep in the turret, that was the noteworthy part? Or from someone with such an eye for detail, and clearly immense knowledge of tanks and all things Second World War, that is not Soviet markings. That is, if anything a symbol for Texas, or perhaps Aberdeen. Which coincidently, is the city in the background. And his question wasn’t ‘why is there a Sherman Tank outside Aberdeen’? It’s almost as if The Red Army refers to another Red Army other than The Red Army!

Not only that, but during WW2 The Soviet Army were indeed using Sherman Tanks, and according to Google had over 3000 of them. SO he didn’t even get that fucking bit right in his tweet that picked up loads of likes.

Anyways Dave Cormack eh. Damn all to blog about when the Chairman is doing a good job.
Expect the next blog article in 2022.

T-shirts
Posters

aberdeen-baby-yoda
aberdeen-baby-yoda

Above: Not been a good twelve months on the pitch. Still, managed to jam Baby Yoda into an Afc meme…

aberdeen-seagull

Above: I thought I was all memed out… a brand new proper meme.

sfa-meme

Above: Sadly some memes never get old. This was on the back of Cosgrove’s disgraceful sending off, and Griffiths stamp being ignored.
Below: Sarcasm may be the lowest form of wit, but it can pick up a fair few likes on social media, so there’s that.

“Kris Ajer is the victim in this and was on the end of a very heavy challenge.” – Neil Lennon.

victim-ajer

Below: The referee can make a mistake, but when the appeal committee have unlimited replays and don’t overturn a decision. We discovered Dave Cormack really is one of us. A fantastic tweet pointing out the inconsistencies of the Scottish football authorities. Eyes down Dandies, for Dandy Bingo!

dandy-bingo

And the outcome of Dave Cormack’s fantastic tweet… The tweet had to be removed, presumably Cormack was reprimanded and the entire Glasgow media in unison, without one dissenting voice went after him. Now if that isn’t a corrupt cartel working together, I don’t know what is.

mcinnes-training-facilities

Whatever you think of McInnes or his current team, it must never be forgotten how incredibly important he was in getting those training facilities built. Yes Cormack deserves enormous praise for paying for it, but McInnes pushed and pushed to keep it in the media as the priority. Skovdahl began begging the club for training facilities twenty years ago. They NEVER needed to be next to a new stadium.

Above: Cormack Park opened..

Below: 13th January 1992 Alex ‘Smiffy’ Smith under considerable pressure after a very long run of piss poor performances that somehow have evaded everyone’s memory apart from mine… has a big old win against Hearts at Tynecastle. I hope you can zoom in on Jim Dolan’s text, includes the line ‘…before the same critics are prepared to come off their platforms…’ Paragraph two. Which I am pretty sure now could only have been The Northern Light fanzine he was referring to. Which ironically, the guy who drew the cartoon on the right, me, and possibly did the layout on the fucking page the article was a part of, also worked for ‘that platform’…

alex-smith-aberdeen

Anyways, if a joke is worth doing once, I did it again, after a run of awful games Aberdeen finally got a win…

mcinnes-aberdeen-resurrection

A lot of negativity about the Aberdeen support said often by Aberdeen supporters. One of the things I learned on the Facebook page the last few years is negativity towards the team, manager or directors is NEVER popular. Positivity towards the team is massively popular. So we end with positivity, from the Gothenburg book. the back cover. https://thedandydons.com/gothenburg-83-the-fans-stories/

Today January the 4th 2020 is the last day of the Dandy Dons sale. 25% off at the checkout with the code ‘DANDY AF’.
T-shirts here. Posters here. Hats here.

dave-cormack

I started writing the story of the last ten years. How The Dandy Dons started and some of the wacky adventures along the way, and it was just so fucking boring I was losing the will to live. A bit like Dave Cormack’s speech at the training complex opening. [Evil emoji here]

So um, we are TEN! Woohooh. Also looking back at the last ten years, is really not what football is about. It’s about the now, and the next few months, where will we be in a year, in a decade.

Right now is potentially considerably better than at any time in the last twenty five years of supporting Aberdeen Football Club. Doesn’t mean it will be, but what Cormack did regarding the story of the stewarding at Pittodrie, his opinions, and his plans, points to our football club being run by a football supporter with vision. And that sadly, has not been the case since Chris Anderson.

I don’t agree with everything I’ve heard from Cormack, but I believe his motives to be true, as he is one of us, an Aberdeen supporter.

Here’s to Dave Cormack, and the next decade!

P.S. One little change in the Dandy Dons recently, the shop has gotten a bit sexier, if you care to browse…

www.thedandydons.com/t-shirts (No they won’t arrive in time for Xmas!)

wonderwall-aberdeen-dandy
sam-cosgrove-aberdeenfc
Sam Cosgrove

In a year remarkably short on Aberdeen FC highs, there is no doubt 2019 belongs to one man, Sir Sam Cosgrove. The stats speak for themselves, after scoring precisely no goals in 2018, he has at the time of writing reached 973 goals in all competitions for Aberdeen, 267 assists, scored 43 penalties, saved 5 penalties, and punched a seagull clean out. (I don’t do research, you can find the real stats yourself).

To be more serious though, not only did he find his form and develop month on month as a player, he did it with a considerable section of the Aberdeen support on his back willing him to fail, for quite some time. That is something that could, and has destroyed other players, and at that young age is quite something to have turned around.

There is something robotic to Big Sam. Perhaps part cyber might be a less negative connotation. I have always felt there was something of that in Cristiano Ronaldo too. That combination of talent and sheer hard work. Not saying he is anything like Ronaldo as a player, just from the physique and the work ethic, and the steely robotic determination, there is something shared in the mentality.

I read recently he is, as well as our goal machine, studying accountancy. Maybe that was the cold, robotic, cyber vibe I was picking up. Apologies to any accountants…

Scott McKenna

Worth taking a look at Mr 2017-2018 too, Scott McKenna. An important lesson in what can go staggeringly wrong. Albeit he can still save it.

He’s clearly been tapped up, as they bid for him, we know which team it was, and that has contributed to his first half of the 2019-2020 season being pretty appalling by his own high standards. Another point on McKenna is when he was really good for us, Kári Árnason was at the club. It was mentioned a few times, how much Árnason was talking to him during games, or if not playing, during training games. Not saying for a second a 37 year old should be brought back, but it is sometimes worth analysing why someone was previously exceptionally good, rather than why they seem to have lost it a bit.

Cormack Soccer Park

Then there is the training facilities, which are in a shock to all watchers of Aberdeen FC supporters and all things AFC, a universally popular development. Having said that (here we go) after a couple of recent performances, and the discovery that it will cost 750k a year to run, bit of me thought, a little bit of me, just shut the effin’ thing, and make them train on the effin’ beach, with the effin’ tide in preferrably…

As for Cormack, we can only wait and see. He lives on another continent, as does another director, who’s trivial in the scheme of things 2 million contribution for a remarkably large percentage of our club is at the least worth monitoring. The ‘what in the love of God is Gallagher doing in our team’ element doesn’t help that concern.

The loan players in our team has to be one of the biggest concerns of the latter McInnes era. Why are they in our team? If they are with a view to a purchase, fair enough. But developing other clubs’ players, resulting in the temporary nature of our squad. The lack of cohesion and understanding each season, as they start again with another group of new players, what’s the point in having players for six months in our team? I can see what the loan player gets out of it for their career, and I can see what the team owning the player get, and I can see what it does for the manager’s CV, but I don’t see what the Aberdeen FC team get.

If we don’t have enough talent coming through the youth system to deserve those first team development places, we need to be hoovering up the talent from the lower Scottish leagues. It’s not accidental, despite there being plenty good at Aberdeen FC, a lack of continuity is making us have to start again twice a season, and is massively hampering any chance in Europe, as a brand new team is several months away from developing as a team. And in season 2019-2020, in December, still hasn’t clicked.

Pretty sure the cup winning team of a couple of years ago contained no loan players. Here’s to 2020, and Dek revealing he had a cunning plan developing all along proving everybody wrong, and making us all deliriously happy!

stewart-milne-aberdeen

A couple of points on Milne, while our club is in limbo (so no change there)

1. Gratitude

In amongst all the talk on Stewart Milne at the moment, there is one part that I find astonishing. This isn’t really having a go at Stewart Milne either. It’s the nonsense of him being given praise for not taking us into administration or getting liquidated.

Not one club that entered administration accidentally screwed up. There was no unlucky sequence of events, other than fantastists and or crooks, got in charge of those football clubs. And it is very clear now, it is still going on, irrespective of what the SFA may say. There are clearly directors at clubs at the moment who are as fit and proper to run a football club as Prince Andrew running an under 14s netball team.

So, again, not knocking Milne here, but ‘thanks for not getting us liquidated’, is like being given thanks for not having shat the bed.

2. ‘He actually supports the team ye know…’

I’ve bumped into this quite a few times. People who have come into contact with him, then pronounce with pride they discovered him to be passionate about football. Do you realise what you are saying? ‘Actually’ or ‘really’, the tone of surprise or incredulity? You’re admitting you didn’t think he supported the team. Why would that be? Because all his decision making for the club points to him not supporting the team? So you pronouncing that like some sort of PR for him, really underlines what all your instincts on him were.
I don’t know if he does or he doesn’t, but I’d say someone with that level of success in another field, knows exactly how to show people what they want to see.

3. The Landlocked building questions

Did you build a six million quid stand on a stadium you knew to be landlocked, and therefor temporary. Had we gone to Loirston, that stadium would be 15 years old now.

Did it become landlocked after the stand was completed? ie. on your watch.

Is it really landlocked? Follow one of the Aberdeen history pages on Facebook. Beautiful photos of Aberdeen from the past. Things come, and go. What exactly around Pittodrie will be there for a thousand years? A hundred years? Fifty years?

Be awful if some of us popped back to Pittodrie in twenty five years, and some of those land-locked elements had gone of their own accord.

4. Good people and good luck

I wish Stewart Milne the best for whatever he does in the future. A long happy retirement on a Caribbean Island snorting coke off an age appropriate hotty’s arse until his dying day, in a very long time… whatever makes him happy. (Just told ya mine!)

And I totally get why so many people want to be, or just are positive about him. You are good people. Good people want to see the positive, and want the world around them to be good. Good people also, sometimes presume others are good like them.

Well I guess I’m not a good person.

Bye Stewartie.

curtis-main-aberdeen

What a week. New training facilities, Sir Alex Ferguson, six points. Curtis Main puts in a great performance and scores a goal, the manager looks more like his old self in a post match interview.

We’re not happy of course. We’re Aberdonians. We’re a bit less unhappy than we were.

The opening of the new training facilities. Interesting to hear people speak. Sir Alex Ferguson’s bit about Stewart Milne not being able to take it with him. Utterly beautiful.

Bobby Clark’s speech. Got a real hint of what it was that so many people who knew him, looked up to him for. And the story of Sir Alex, barely started the job, finding and insisting on signing Johnny Hewitt… I’m not crying, you are.

Also for the first time ever a former PE teacher and the phrase ‘touched me in ways…’, was positive. (well it made me laugh!)

Curtis Main

Curtis Main though. It was just one goal, it was just one performance. But here we go again. What is wrong with so many in the Aberdeen support? Seriously what is wrong with you people. The determination, and clear enjoyment in bullying and trying to destroy another human being, and actively damaging the team that you support.

This is nothing new, this isn’t social media (albeit it amplifies it). Gordon Strachan got it, I remember Willie Falconer as a 19 year old getting it. And again, and again as with Sam Cosgrove, the player turns out to be good, and sometimes very good. And yet those in the Aberdeen support, never learn.

Why is Bruce Anderson not playing? What does he need to do to get a game? Often from the same people slagging off Main, who were slagging off Cosgrove before he started delivering.

Because of you, he’s not playing. Because YOU, can’t be trusted to not go after, and try to destroy, a footballer wearing an Aberdeen shirt. Irrespective of age, or experience. You can’t be trusted, because you’ve done it before, and you’ll do it again.

To unlock people’s potential, you have to support them, and make them feel welcome.

August 17 2019 The Dandy Dons McInnes, where now?

Brendan Rodgers

And while I am being self righteous. Brendan Rodgers. WHY IS HE LEAVING NOW, the Scottish media screamed in unison when he left, before picking up the treble, treble. Both showing that the treble, treble in Scotland with that budget, was no achievement whatsoever, and the Scottish media are nothing short of a disgrace. Pandering to supporters of both the Glasgow clubs, who are dangerously out of control as entities in society, as no-one is holding them to account.

March 15th I wrote about why he left when he did. https://thedandydons.com/the-glasgow-media-reach-a-new-low/, and how it mirrored Derek McInnes’s decision to start the Aberdeen FC job when he did. It’s not rocket science, it’s basic common sense if you’re not pandering to the deluded.

He needed to get in there early, to prepare for this season. Preparation is everything in football. And what you see on the pitch today, isn’t what you will see on the pitch in a few months time. Talented people need time and the correct positive environment, to unlock potential. Training facilities, supporters being supportive, just a little vision.

And if you missed the training facilities opening.

https://youtu.be/H06DW4QaDvA

sad-dog

Nope, I’ve nothing. You’re on your own McInnes.

What can we deduct, how long has he got? Not my opinion, my guess on what the directors will do. Will he be sacked tomorrow? Depending when you are reading this. I don’t think so.

When would he be sacked, if things carried on? And ‘if’ is being exceptionally generous. If we work in reverse. How long might he get?

Probably as soon as we are out of the Scottish Cup. Let’s face it those directors are nothing if not money men. Once we are out of that one, the clock is ticking down, for a summer change at the latest.

Will the Aberdeen directors have their eye on a few candidates, will they have done their research, will they have an exciting surprise, an Italian with extensive Serie A experience, someone who has done something special a few years back in Spain or England, the next Jose Mourinho talent spotted from Portugal?

Of course not. It’s Aberdeen directors. It’ll be the guy from Motherwell, because McGhee and Broon worked out well after doing a good job in that very different job to the Aberdeen job. Or it’ll be some Yank no-one’s heard of, but he went to Notre Dam and comes *bunny ears* highly recommended *bunny ears*.

Oh, and I’d put money on Craigie Broon fancying a wee shottie as a swansong temporary manager. Maybe Alex feckin’ Smith will fly in as assistant to just finish me off on the spot. (insert gif of me shooting myself in the face here).

But the Scottish Cup was the longest he might get. What would be the shortest? Right now, three more defeats like that in our next three games, he’s out. Let’s say it’s more sporadic, good and bad performances mixed, a tanking from either of the Old Firm, or another SPL team, and that would probably be it.

I don’t write this with pleasure. Somewhere later, there will be huge affection for McInnes on what he did for the club. How brilliant I have enjoyed the last few years personally, and that my last game with my dear old Dad, was his team tearing ICT apart. And that those fucking training facilities that he, and he alone made happen, fuck off Cormack, are just about ready… is a little bit heartbreaking.

But what went wrong? Overconfidence maybe. You start to believe the hype instead of the hard work that went in early on to kick start a club that was almost dead. The loan players, the favourites, the sitting back… Is the Aberdeen job, just too hard for anyone? Football is very different from before the EPL began. And then the outside influences, AberDNA kinda meant, we had to get better. And before AberDNA we were pretty good. McKenna’s agent being an absolute c*nt. Stevie May having lost it…

The fine line between success and failure, and momentum in football, once it tips…

So I think it is now when not if. And I’m really sad about that. Be fucking brilliant if he’d prove us all wrong though.

What makes Pittodrie so special?

Life is short and fragile, we need to hold on to, and enjoy the things we love while we have them. In all things Aberdeen, and Aberdeen FC, one of the things that binds all our supporters together, is that Pittodrie is a special place. It is of course the one stable thing in our football team. The players, the managers, the directors, come and go.

I spent a long time staring at Pittodrie in my younger days, wondering at it’s beauty, and trying to understand what made it work as a piece of design. This is pre The Dick Donald Stand, when it’s vastly differing stands still created a cohesive stadium design. With four floodlights to hold it all together. Who knew? I came to the conclusion, the reason Pittodrie worked, was because it was a small, large stadium.

This in turn, made our club, a small, large club. This is the eighties, before TV money (neoliberalism) destroyed football for clubs like ours. We had a team that could, with the right manager beat anyone, and we had a stadium, that on Pittodrie’s Greatest Night, could scare the life out of Bayern Munich. The Bayern players commenting on Pittodrie afterwards.

The height of Pittodrie

The small large stadium comes from the floodlights. The huge towering and very beautiful beacons. They are the ‘unworldly’, like the steeple on a church or cathedral. Giving us the sense of being part of something much bigger than us. The lights drawing in the congregation from afar. Beaming out their white light, fighting the cold dark North East sky.

Under the lights we are far more at ease as supporters. Far less self self-conscious in the dark, to sing to cheer. The lights light up the pitch, the players, not us. We are also on the beer as it’s an evening game.

The church metaphor is more than a fun connection for football. There are psychological reasons why going to football matches, concerts and church are good for us mentally. Lots of people, part of something bigger, shared experience.

This is also what makes Union Street so special, and does relate to Pittodrie. The sense of scale. Despite it’s disgraceful treatment by councillors for the last decades, the original concept is superb. The width of the street, the straightness, the length, and if we just ignore that monstrosity at The Capital, the height of the street is part of the harmony and balance, that just works. The uniform height of most buildings broken up by church steeples reaching for the sky. Like floodlights do.

Aurora

Looking at the new stadium, even the 3D video can’t hide, the new stadium isn’t going to be a great experience inside at a game. It’ll be clean, it’ll be modern, but there will be no wow effect. There will be nothing special to it architecturally, no sense of scale, and no sense of wonder, to drag you back, to mystify and beguile young kids, and hook them for life. A generic McStadium.

The new stadium will be a large small stadium, and so the club will become a large small club.

Bringing that back to Union Street. If Pittodrie is Union Street, then Aurora is a new shopping centre. Shiny and exciting at first. Very quickly, tacky and generic, without history or longevity. But it won’t matter, because when it’s too late, those responsible will be long gone.

So enjoy Pittodrie while you’ve got it. Even though it has been very deliberately run into the ground.

The Aberdeen megastore

The Dandy Dons Union Street Aberdeen FC Dandy Megastore™ exclusive designs and ideas. A look inside the Aberdeen FC flagship Union Street Store.

Further developments from the initial design and concept. Giant banners to be added, hanging down the height of the building. A little bit like the Nazis, but without the fascism, as another Scottish team have that covered. When it’s dark, red lights will shine into the sky hundreds of metres above Union Street. They will be able to see them from Dundee.

Other elements to the Dandy Megastore™ will include:

The Donald Family Cinema

After you’ve seen around the museum, pop into the 50 seat cinema. Occasionally the Cup Winners Cup Final on a loop will be broken up by actual matches. And depending on how the live game is going, the Gothenburg game might go back on before the end.

The cinema will have a bar, as we are good people, who can be trusted with a beer, in a glass, in a cinema.

Ian Donald will come round with ice creams on a tray at half time, with a wee torch, and tell those talking too much to shush.

The Pittodrie Virtual Reality Experience

Wonder at the Pittodrie virtual reality experience through the ages. In the 1920’s part, you will feel the itch of your flat cap, and it will feel like someone is pissing down your leg, and you have rickets.

Through the decades the delicate sound of sweety wrappers changes, reflecting the appearance of new sweets arriving on the market. The aroma of Pandrops changes to Spangles and onto Menthos, and all the time no matter what decade, over your shoulder some miserable bastard will be moaning like hell.

When you reach the Bayern game in 1983, once again that feeling of someone pissing down your leg will hit you. But this time it will be real, and it will be you pissing yourself, at the sheer unadulterated joy of Pittodrie’s Greatest Night.

Heaven – the sports bar

Named after the Swedish nightclub Dandy supporters found themselves in Gothenburg on the 11th of May 1983. Mein host, Craigie Broon will regale you with stories from back when he was Scotland manager if you misbehave or cause any trouble. Fortunately Sir Archie Knox will ensure the bar has speedy service, with all the beers at optimal quality, as throughout his career he is used to doing all the work while others get the credit.

Former players will occasionally work as guest barman for the evening. Former players that can be trusted near alcohol, a till, credit cards, and to give the correct change from a twenty quid note. So Brian Irvine, Russell Anderson and, and, oh there must be more than that. Surely. Aye we’ll get back to you on that one. (Update: since this was first posted it has been announced Sam Cosgrove is studying accountancy…)

There will be Harper’s Lager, but not by the bottle. Only on draft. So finally, Harper’s a barrel… Here all week, enjoy the beef burgers.

The REAL Aberdeen Angus Steak and Burger Restaurant

We all love Angus the Bull. So much, we’d like to eat him. Enjoy the succulent beef of our region that others have marketed in restaurants way better than us, in the surroundings of the Aberdeen FC flagship restaurant. REAL geddit?! REAL!!

Quality locally produced ingredients, prepared by specialised chefs, the way they are prepared for the professional athletes at AFC. Aberdeen FC are a brand associated with health and fitness, with it’s own young, fit brand icons. A brand that will never go out of date plus tapping into the North East’s finest ingredients being world renowned for their quality… it’ll niver work min.

Special Beers exclusive to the Dandy Megastore

Brewsheep! Hello court case, if not brewed by the fellas up the road. Exclusively designed by The Dandy Dons (the artwork) these craft beers, brewed with local ingredients?, with an oak? finish and, I don’t know, hoppy, tasty, beery, with the added essence of two European trophies (now we’re talking). Beers. Dandy beers.

This silly design, is just me messing around. But notice how nice it looks. It looks nice because something is missing. The Aberdeen FC badge. Designed by Donald Addison, who taught me briefly at Gray’s School of Art (and was my neighbour for about five years) the badge is a wonderful piece of design. But it’s designed to be on a football strip. There is a tendency with merchandise in football clubs (and not having a go at Afc) to just stick the badge on something. That’ll do, sell it in the shop as merch. And it usually looks very tacky. Use the components of the badge maybe, but not the whole thing. It says it’s official, that’s all it needs. End of design lesson/lecture.

I have a lot of Aberdeen FC craft beer ideas…

The Aberdeen FC Museum

We trust Chris Gavin and the rest of the Aberdeen Heritage Trust team to deliver something sensational for the museum. In particular the section on The Northern Light fanzine.

As a contributor to The Northern Light, I’m expecting my two covers to feature prominently. Perhaps a shrine, where visitors can light a candle in thanks for our collective genius and the campaigns to get Portaloo and Smiffy sacked that would have happened anyway.

Like the Clash, Nirvana and Elvis, it all ended too soon for The Northern Light. Probably most like Elvis on that list. On the toilet, bloated, and full of shit…

The Gordon Reid Gallery Rooms

By way of an annex to the Super Dandy Mega Store, Aberdeen Art Gallery will finally get it’s act together, and have the greatest North East artist of a generation, Gordon Reid, featured in his own permanent gallery rooms. They will come from far and wide to witness the great man’s art in the flesh. But probably not from Boomtown Books, the Donald Family, the Milne Family… actually quite a long list won’t make it.

The St Clair Casino

Top floor. The St Clair Casino. Relive the magnificent journey in the casino. Let the dice roll, the beer flow, and dinnae forget the cairds. At the end of the evening a croupier will shake you about a bit, for that wee bit sea sick feeling.

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There is currently free shipping if you purchase two or more items from the actual Dandy Dons shop.
And 25% off with the coupon code ‘DANDYAF’
https://thedandydons.com/t-shirts/
https://thedandydons.com/posters/

herald-scotsman-aberdeen

Do you remember when we used to respect Scottish journalists?

No, me neither.

This, this is all sorts of awfulness, even by The Glasgow media’s standard. And The Herald is supposedly not a tabloid. https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/17956331.neil-cameron-derek-mcinnes-best-aberdeen-manager-since-alex-ferguson/

I am not sure who or what Neil Cameron is, but I don’t think journalism is really his thing. He slides between fact, fiction, opinion, stereotypes, attempts at humour, and sheer bigotry like a turd escaping your arse after a particularly heavy session and a curry the night before.

It’s not a particularly impressive record for what is Scotland’s third biggest football – at least according to those in the North East.

Listen to the sneer in that. Where exactly have you heard this? Hearts and Hibs have similar or larger season ticket sales. Hey, any excuse for a dig though.

However, because St Mirren sacked the greatest club manager in football history – it remains one of the all-time baffling decisions . Translation: I’m too lazy/incompetent to research it.

There can’t be another club anywhere on the planet which has enjoyed such a dramatic spike in fortune. Translation: I’m too lazy/incompetent to research it. Nottingham Forest, Ipswich, Manchester City? Without me even leaving the UK.

Aberdonians are a funny lot. They have a real hit for themselves because they don’t live in Slumdee or Weegieland where “they rake in the bucket for something to eat, find a dead rat and they think it’s a treat.”

Jesus wept. ‘They have a real hit for themselves’ Is that even a phrase? Let’s take a song that is a cheeky/provoking piece of banter and make it a defining characteristic of a region of Scotland’s supporters. But presumably not the ones who support The Old Firm. (Oh it exists, and shut up, I’m not in the mood, I had to read his whole article to write this).

There is arrogance about their wealth which has come from the oil.

There is an arrogance about Glasgow based ‘journalists’, that marks them all down as arseholes.

Everyone from within ten miles of the city limits is guaranteed a job at the BBC. That’s a fact, by the way.

Is this a joke? Is this an in joke? Are you chatting directly with Richard Gordon? What the f*ck are you?

And there is a cracking cultural scene. I like the place.

I’m an absolute c*nt of a human being, but I’d better add some sort of ‘balance’.

There is a large section of the football public who can’t accept that Willie Miller has retired

At least 60% of our support never saw him play. Did you write this in 1994?

That the current manager once played for Rangers and comes from the west coast is a factor

Percentage wise of the Aberdeen support 1% maybe, if we’re being generous. We have an idiot section in our support, just like any other club. But if you want to define us all by that fine. We’ll define you by the journalist that hacked the dead child’s phone.

Oh, and Miller is Glaswegian and grew up a Rangers fan. Same, too, Alex McLeish.

Did you so some research?! Really? Well done fella. We. All. Know. This.

Although an argument could be made for Alex Smith…

Let me stop you right there. He was a shit manager. He proved he was a shit manager by doing precisely nothing in management after Aberdeen. Except playing the victim to the god awful Glasgow media to attack/blame Aberdeen supporters at every feckin’ turn. Which the media lapped up, as they still do attacking Aberdeen supporters to this day. The two cups were the Fergie legacy cups. The leftovers from Ferguson’s team, and the money generated through the Ferguson years for Charlie Nicholas and Hans Gillhaus. Don’t argue with me people, I aint listening.

Angry, perhaps, that Real Madrid haven’t been taken to the cleaners recently. 

Is this humour? Anyone?

And when that happens, Aberdeen will slink back to mediocrity. Then they really will have something to moan about.

Says man moaning about Aberdeen supporters.

I need to lie down.

mcinnes-aberdeenfc

Before assorted fourteen year olds reach for the ‘Happy clapper’ button on their phone, I’m not happy with our team at the moment. Wasn’t happy last season, and am deeply concerned for where it will go over the next few months.

The reason I am still backing McInnes however, is because I believe he is intelligent enough to change, learn, and lead us out of this mess, and onto a team playing decent football again. That opinion may change further down the line.

Mark McGhee

One of the arguments I get directed at me regularly is ‘just because he’s not McGhee…’. Well it’s got nothing to do with McGhee. Because despite what my skinny jeans and my dating profile say, I am older than the hills. I was there for Fergie, and McNeill, and just about McLeod. But far more importantly, I was there for Porterfield. And I was in the demonstrations that would lead to his sacking. And I was there for the Alex Smith demonstrations, and I do not regret it, and I will, and have, argued with anyone that they were a pair of wage thieves incredibly lucky to inherit Ferguson’s legacy and they absolutely destroyed that legacy with indecent haste, particularly the arch careerist Smith. Neither should have gotten within a country mile of Pittodrie, Ferguson’s team or the cash generated during the glory years.

Lest we forget…

Then watching my hero Willie Miller crash and burn, into the beyond idiotic appointment of Roy Aitken. Onto the nothing short of unbelievable appointment of Alex Miller. Who’s management of Hibs a few years earlier would make the current Hibs team look like Brazil 1970. A sick five months of Hegarty as interim manager. The Skovdahl years. Into Steve Patterson (due diligence anyone? Albeit it clearly wasn’t done on any of the other managers), Calderwood, McGhee, and Craigie ‘Largs Mafia’ Broon…

So, ‘he’s not McGhee’ isn’t a thing. Since Ferguson left for Man Utd, the managerial decision making was worse than appaling. You couldn’t have deliberately done things worse. Add building an atrocious stand behind a goal that bears no relation to the rest of the stadium, not purchasing any of the land as it became available around Pittodrie, and a plan to move eight miles away with no decent transport infrastructure, and you have to kinda say, Stewart Milne is an absolute… oh yes we are discussing McInnes.

Shinniesta – huffy-puffy Captain Caveman on a yella punchin’ the badge

I put last season down to ‘The Graeme Shinnie Show’. And all those desperately following him at Derby, well maybe look away here. The fullback who wouldn’t play fullback, the Philipp Lahm to Dek’s Guardiola, but frankly a not good enough defensive midfielder who kept getting in the way of attacking moves by trying stuff he wasn’t skilled enough for, running into cul de sacs, and generally leaving our team a disjointed mess. All at the same time as we really needed a decent permanent left back. And I like Graeme Shinnie. Really I do. And only wish him well.

But the Shinnie thing points to one of my complaints with Mcinnes. Aberdeen FC were very good for Graeme Shinnie, look at the fantastic contract he will have gotten at Derby. Ditto Kenny McLean, who regularly was very poor for Aberdeen. Ryan Christie, was playing his own very selfish game. Mackay-Steven, what a lovely contract in New York he got after being indulged by our club. Ryan Jack, the centre midfield position he never filled properly, or the captain’s armband. James Maddison, do you remember the other games he played in, other than that free-kick, before being whisked away just as he was starting to deliver. Jon Gallagher? Who will be leaving in a few weeks…

Aberdeen FC will have been very good for Gallagher’s development, giving him first team starts his club weren’t giving him. The top coaching from McInnes and Docherty will have helped him immensely. Meanwhile how are Aberdeen doing with him in our team, literally weeks before he leaves? So we will have a big creative hole in our team, because we brought in, and massively helped someone else’s player, again.

Is it because the coaching team love to work with more talented players? Is it for the careers of the coaching team? Is it because we are some sort of testing ground for people on their way elsewhere? Players and managers? Or is Gallagher there for some reason connected to US investment, or Bobby Clark (Notre Dame), or Cormack? Has he been forced on McInnes?

Also contrast the above players with the original, and most successful McInnes team. McGinn, Hayes, Rooney, Pawlett, Robson and Flood in the middle. All permanent players. A team, a unit, no-one indulged. No one playing out of position. Any loan players only with a view to a permanent move. And Pawlett. An inform Pawlett was very special. He left as Christie and Maddison were being played in front of him.

The negative mindset

Another issue is the negative mindset. The defensive line-ups against bigger budget opposition. It categorically doesn’t work. If you have Miller, McLeish, McKimmie, Robertson and big Joe in goal, fair enough, they could defend all day. But our, at best, journeymen defenders cannot play a defensive game, and as soon as they have conceded a goal, their heads go down and the team are finished. Something countless Scotland managers haven’t understood.

And how much better might our defence have been for a potential backs to the wall break away display, had we had a regular, and very talented, left back playing? A Shinnie shaped left back, instead of Considine (a centre-half) or a temp on loan player, who’s real loyalty is to his parent club.

Start managing the team you have, not the team you wish to have at your disposal.

The Cup Winners’ Cup Final, into extra time against Real Madrid, it’s 1-1. A superb Aberdeen defence, a fifty fifty chance if they could get to penalty kicks, did they defend, did they sit back and show Real Madrid the respect their reputation deserved? No, they went for it.

If you lose after attacking a club with a far bigger budget, we will always forgive, if you play defensive, and monumentally screw up, then you will get exactly what you deserve. And that’s what happened at Ibrox last week, and for Alex Smith at the same venue.

You need to sort things out quickly McInnes. You deserve that chance. Those will be your training facilities, the training facilities that you made happen, irrespective of the name that goes on them. But time is running out. So get it sorted.

Yep, I’m a happy clapper.

happy-clapper-aberdeenfc
Happy Clapper Aberdeen fc

Well wasn’t that fun.

I kind of got the European catastrofuck. It just landed badly. A rub of the green in Croatia, playing a team determined to get revenge, too many new players, not training properly to be ready for or recover from games, ground fitness work going in for the season, but that St Johnstone second half performance, this far into the season?

We were not playing well prior to the international break, but we were playing better than we had been, and momentum was building. So presumably the international break was a good chance to push on with training, with developing the team, the style, the understanding, the not hoofing it up the park.

So why have they fucking regressed?

Then there’s James Wilson. Why in the mother of fuck of fucking stubbornness persuade the guy to stay then not play him. This level of absurd stubbornness isn’t a new thing from McInnes. What’s that definition of insanity again, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

So far we’ve played no team of note this season, what might happen if a decent team gets hold of us is deeply concerning. The trough in our form graph is getting longer and longer, and appears more like the norm than the exception. The excitement of that first Mcinnes team appears further and further away all the time.

It can still be fixed, but he needs to sort things out very quickly, because when the crowd really turns, there will be no going back.

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Anyways, art is good for the soul, and retail therapy can cheer you up no end, so shopping for art must be the best possible thing to cheer up a pissed off Dandy. It’s an ill wind… here’s the newly updated poster shop.

And the FREE Gothenburg 83 Fans’ stories book

connor mclennan aberdeenfc

The phrase ‘bite us in the arse’ will get repeated, repeatedly, about Stevie May. If it goes well for Stevie May, it will be a mistake to have sold him by McInnes. If it doesn’t go well for May, it will have been a mistake by McInnes to have signed him.

Stevie May will get a warm welcome from a large section of the Aberdeen support. He may get a warm round of applause when substituted. Some supporters will go ballistic at this, and will happily attack the ‘happy clappers’. This will be ‘everything that’s wrong with our club’, and will also be the fault of McInnes.

‘Connor McLennan must start’. As must Bruce Anderson and James Wilson, and Big Sam but not Curtis Main.

On the back of a superb TWELVE MINUTE cameo, McLennan must start. Connor McLennan is magnificent and his 12 minute contribution to Scotland’s result was superb.

A brilliant achievement from him, but when fit, doesn’t he pretty much always start… He’s a work in progress. They watch him in training, every day. Every day.

Also, logically, on the back of that performance, and bearing in mind he has flown to and from Croatia this week, wouldn’t the smart thing to do be, BRING HIM ON WITH 12 MINUTES TO GO against St Johnstone.

If he plays well, it’s McInnes’s fault for not playing him enough, if he doesn’t it’s McInnes’s fault for not using him properly.

Win, lose or draw, ‘McInnes bad’.
*Post match up-date. We drew, it was shite. They need to improve quick or it’s gonna be a tough old season.
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Free Book. Gothenburg 83 the fans’ stories here.
The t-shirt shop here.

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