Aberdeen FC are currently at a crossroads. The McInnes era has ended, and the Glass era is just beginning.

Now we as football supporters must patiently await what will happen, while giving complete backing to the management team, new players and the Chairman.

You’d think that wouldn’t you.

And then in a complete change from how the UK’s mainstream media normally works, a BBC employee uses a newspaper column to push forward the views of a multi-millionaire! Well f*ck me! https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/sport/football/aberdeen-fc/3007504/richard-gordon-column-despite-some-fans-strange-views-a-new-era-is-about-to-unfold-for-aberdeen/

the level of stupidity in a number of the replies was actually quite breath-taking, and I do despair at the thinking of some who call themselves supporters.

Richard Gordon

So the multimillionaire in his Bond villain lair in Atlanta or wherever, has his friend attacking supporters for not being complete believers via the press. The same guy who had an awful lot of information on all things Aberdeen FC on the radio a couple of weeks ago, in complete contrast to the club’s own communications department.

I have known the chairman for decades and I can guarantee them there is no chance he would appoint anyone under those circumstances

Richard Gordon

This is from a guy who stated fully two weeks ago, something along the lines of he didn’t know what would happen, no decision had been made (Glass) and then ended it with ‘but Stephen Glass will definitely be involved somewhere’ or words to that effect.

but it is also a huge decision Stephen has taken to give up a lifestyle and career in Atlanta to return to the north east. 

Richard Gordon

Fuck off, and when you are done fucking off, fuck off again. Managing Aberdeen Football Club ought to be the biggest thrill of his f*cking life. He will never manage a bigger club, I guarantee it. Are we supposed to be grateful he left the arse end of nowhere managing their second string to fourth bottom. Incidentally over the last few weeks while all this was going on, plenty media contact with Glass. There was no ‘no comment’, or ‘while flattered to be mentioned, just concentrating on my job with the New York f*cking Yankees’ or whatever they are called. Like you’d normally do if linked with a job while in another job.

He certainly wasted no time in bringing Scott Brown to Pittodrie,

Richard Gordon

Amazing, only took him 48 hours, incredible work. Was in the media for several weeks, but presumably they just guessed it. And coincidently their guess actually happened. What are the chances.

They really think we are f*cking idiots.

If no one buys season tickets, if no one buys DNA there is no football club. If Cormack fucks off tomorrow, we’ll be fine. It’s not his club, WE ARE the club.

Now time to break some Glass

Glass is going to fail. Albeit it might fail in an entertaining way. Some exciting stuff will happen on the pitch. For a bit. Which we all very, very badly need. But that sugar rush isn’t going to sustain us for long.

So why will Glass fail? How many managers did Liverpool appoint before they finally got Klopp? Even with the money to shop in the highest end of the market, it’s really really difficult to find ‘the special one’. And it appears from watching Spurs, you can find ‘The Special One’ and he isn’t any more.

So someone who hasn’t done it at any real level before, almost certainly doesn’t have it. Particularly the man who took a US soccer team’s second string to fourth bottom. ‘Oh but he was developing talent’. That sounds very ‘Linkedin recommendation’ to me.

In addition looking at the other appointments in the coaching team and listening to Cormack, it’s clear that they are creating a Frankenstein’s monster. They are welding together elements that they know their actual manager doesn’t have, in an attempt to piece together a team that will have all the components they think they need, as if that will magically come together like alchemy.

Brown sugar

So clearly they have spotted a lack of a winning mentality in their new manager, so Frankensteining it buying in ‘winning mentality’ in Scott Brown (who turns 36 in the summer – 2 years older than Jonny Hayes). Perhaps there’s more to Scott Brown. ‘A student of the game’? as Fergie, and Fergie’s former players would say. Someone who’s tactical nous and exciting new ideas on the game are known to those ‘in the know’ of the football world? The hard as nails soon to be physio table ornament at Cormack Park maybe has far more strings to his bow?

Aberdeen to bring in striking coach

But it’s the ‘Striking Coach’ that really gives the game away. So that implies strongly that Brown is just coming in for the obvious, and nothing else.

Sir Alex Ferguson did of course have a striking coach. His name was Sir Alex Ferguson. Managers manage. Again what is Glass doing? What is he bringing? His weaknesses are clear from the people being put together in the coaching team.

And it won’t work, just like co-managers are an idiotic idea, and because as I said countless times while writing about potential managerial appointments going back years, you can’t add elements together in a managerial team to create a great manager. Or Chelsea would have fifteen managers, Real Madrid 43. It just doesn’t work that way. A manager can bring in outside specialists for specific elements to aid them in their work, but if the manager doesn’t have it, isn’t the real deal, doesn’t have that magical combination of ingredients that it takes to be a successful manager, plus the experience to have tried it out, then it will fail.

And it is blindingly obvious it will fail.

Romanov at Hearts is probably a good example of what we are about to experience.

Someone with money (unlike Romanov, it’ll be his, it’ll be accumulated all perfectly morally properly – and well done you!), who is going to use that money as he is passionate about Aberdeen FC.

However ask a Hearts supporter, would they want Romanov back in charge, or do they want the current directors and be in the Championship? I don’t know the answer, (irrespective of their current mess) but I suspect it’s the current Hearts they prefer to support. Because it’s their club, run for them all collectively, and not some big ego making the club into a reflection of himself (or herself). And if you see what happened to Blackburn Rovers after Jack Walker passed away, after an unnatural unsustained cash injection (if it happens – getting the money in on Big Sam and McKenna doesn’t point to a huge cash injection coming – your season ticket will most certainly pay Scott Brown’s wages) it is not good for a football club.

I’ve no doubt this will upset some people. I don’t like to upset people, but I do care about Aberdeen Football Club, and I don’t like a lot I’ve been seeing going back several decades. Three stands named after nothing. Nothing for Chris Anderson. Willie Miller and Teddy Scott’s training pitches tone deaf at best. The virtual destruction of Pittodrie. That idiotic stand behind a goal. The removal of the corner areas. Two f*cking floodlights. A communication department built up over decades with a clear, consistent, understated tone of voice, wiped out at a stroke.

Just a f*cking mess while we wait for someone to find time on Zoom. Long after he has briefed countless journalists. Transparent. My arse.

________

I should probably add Richard Gordon’s Glory of Gothenburg book is one of my favourite books.
Also regarding Dave Cormack, I had no issue with him whatsoever until about a month ago when information was leaked to Tom English. Unfortunately since then, I have seen other things that have left me uncomfortable. Doesn’t mean I am right.

stephen-glass

I’m an Aberdeen supporter. Would I ever want the team to not do well? Of course not. Would I be delighted to eat humble pie, and see great football, a successful winning team, that is scared of no team’s reputation managed by Stephen Glass? Christ yeah! Would I happily start making Stephen Glass memes and Dave Cormack memes stating ‘you absolute f*ckin’ beauties’ I will follow you to the end of the Earth!’? Yes, yes, yes, yes!

Would I sneak back to the Facebook page and delete a few cynical memes from the past? Yes, and I’ve done it in the past too! Hey, I’m a football supporter, no one says I have to be consistent or balanced. (I’m not mentally balanced, why would my opinions be!)

So lets start by saying, hope more than anything it will be great. Because, football.

However. Here we go.

There are more elephants in the room than Billy Smart’s Circus.

Let’s start with the biggest one of all. The might be confirmed by the time you read this, the worst kept secret since the last time Dave Cormack had a secret, Scott Brown.

Starting with the football. So he arrives as a footballer does he? Do you remember how excited Celtic supporters were when Ian Wright arrived at their club? Or Roy Keane arrived? His career is over. We are not signing Scott Brown the player, we are signing someone who used to be Scott Brown. In terms of decent performances, or decent periods of play from him, it’s going to be minutes, not hours. Of course his winning mentality, his dressing room influence will be the same, he may have some special talents as a potential football manager… although the list of successful footballers who were going to be amazing managers is long and winding.

There’s also the idiot in Russia in below freezing temperatures in just a t-shirt to prove (God only knows what) they lost the game. The kicking Neymar on the ground off the ball leading to a sending off because the referee wasn’t Scottish. On the pitch, didn’t have the savvy of a Willie Miller or a Roy Keane for that matter. But on the other hand, someone who walks their dog in Edinburgh left a comment in the Dandy Dons Group and said, he bumps into him now and again walking his dog, and he’s ‘actually quite a fine bloke’. So there’s that.

And then there’s the biggest elephant of all. Shay Logan, and the overt racism of Celtic Football Club towards him, and the part Scott Brown played in that.

Considering we know Dave Cormack is as good at keeping secrets as the current team are at scoring goals, and considering that photo of Shay’s from the golf course, and considering we know the only time Shay has publicly appeared to be upset was due to the racism he received from Tonev, I (without any inside knowledge) can’t help thinking the banishing of Shay last weekend to be strongly linked to the forthcoming arrival of Scott Brown.

If that is the case, then Aberdeen FC have some serious issues to deal with.

Shay’s time is coming to an end. He knows it, we know it. But the incident, and the behaviour of Celtic was beyond shameful. Stuff like that just being ‘swept aside’, is just not okay. There has to be a public apology to Shay from Scott Brown, irrespective of how many days or weeks left on Shay’s contract.

This ultimately may be very good for Scotland and Scottish society. Celtic and their other half are way too powerful in Scottish society, and that they could just override what happened to Shay, because it was one of their players, and that the beyond atrocious media could quietly let them away with it, was disgraceful.

Last weekend we had the laughable hypocrisy of outrage from Radio Scotland, with Richard Gordon, where ‘they are further behind in Eastern Europe’ was alluded to several times, but never, as far as I am aware, was Tonev mentioned. An Eastern European in a near identical situation. I also don’t buy the ‘further behind’ narrative when you have Boris Johnson, Nigel Farage, Christ the list is endless of racist and racist apologists throughout the UK mainstream media, in a way that certainly wasn’t the case twenty years ago. Question Time in particular just a who’s who of Gammons, both as guests and the audience. That’s the same ‘trustworthy’ BBC Richard Gordon works for.

Scott Brown arriving at Aberdeen is not a Celtic employee. He can speak freely. Not only will it be very good that there are consequences for his actions as Celtic captain, but to apologise will do enormous good both for what happened to Shay, to Scottish society in general, and would at a stroke get Scott Brown accepted at Aberdeen FC with a clean slate.

Because if there isn’t, Aberdeen FC condone racism. And as little as I matter in the scheme of things, then I’m out. And that first couple of sentences at the top of this article are null and void.

Oh and as the PR skills of the club at the moment are beyond amateur, for Christ sake get it right. You could make an absolute arse of this if you try any ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’ bullshit.

dek

A messy, slightly emotional, slightly relieved early look back at the McInnes era

aberdeen-hitler-parody-downfall

There are problems down Pittodrie way. It’s now been 100,000 hours without a goal from open play from Aberdeen FC. There is bad news for ‘Hitler’.

And just like every Youtube Channel, a like and Subscribe makes a huge difference, then I’ll get round to make more video content.

dek-mcinnes

Aberdeen v Livingston was very significant. Everything McInnes’s Aberdeen can’t do, was on the pitch for Livingston. Organisation, motivation, the importance of the team unit, set up with regard to knowing what the opposition were going to do, flexible enough to adapt during the game. Coldly and cynically and expertly took us apart. And it was all so predictable.

The previous evening’s Twitter excitement had me wondering what I was missing.

In the words of Han Solo, I had a bad feeling about this. Was Sam the problem really? Was it Curtis Main? I don’t remember seeing them missing many chances, but I’ve watched the ball sailing over their heads a thousand times.

I was going to do a pre-match post on the Facebook page, a fake competition. Name the first defender to balloon the ball over Hornby’s head and win a prize! HA HA. I thought, better not, better be positive…

It was Andy Considine in the 28th second.

I only wish I was joking.

The rest of the game, just as predictable.

So what is wrong other than everything? What insight might there be?

Big Sam is a very good metaphor for McInnes era Aberdeen.

McInnes does many things well. He is also very poor at other aspects of management. Without knowing the exact finances Cosgrove and McKenna may have rescued our club. Potentially in a different environment, they could have left for 6 million each. (Which would have paid for those training facilities) They may both make the club a considerable amount further down the line. Creating talent and selling them on, was a big part of the Aberdeen FC way, that Bosman and chronic mismanagement meant dried up over the last twenty five years.

Under McInnes we can now do it. But at what cost to the team? I have long felt players were being indulged ahead of the team. I’d say Ryan Jack was the first one. As captain and centre-midfield, it didn’t work. It seemed for Jack’s development he was being given that time, and that responsibility, neither of which he was particularly good at, at the time, as opposed to on the right of midfield.

Kenny McLean blew hot and cold, and was undropable. That was very good for Kenny McLean, but not our team. While crying out for a left back, we signed Graeme Shinnie. He didn’t play at left back. He got to endlessly run into cul de sacs as he was exceptionally ball greedy, and seldom part of a cohesive team unit. We were very good for Graeme Shinnie’s career. We still don’t have a left back.

You can add Ryan Christie’s development, Maddison’s (apart from that free-kick he did very little for us, and disrupted our team) and Big Sam. Developing his talent with a view to selling him on, has appeared more important than getting our team to function. The money came in, exactly when the club needed it, but at what cost to the actual team.

When Covid hit, and with no supporters, I wondered how it would affect our team. McInnes teams are incredibly slow starters in games, and the phrase ‘the manager just needs to get to them at half time’ has been a regular of Red TV for a very long time. And often he can get them to improve in the second half, only for a repeat performance in the next game. The Aberdeen support, particularly the away support have perhaps given the team the motivation during a game, they certainly aren’t getting in the dressing room.

So back to Livingston, or the St Mirren manager, or Tommy Wright, or the bloke that was at Motherwell. In terms of pre-match motivation, organisation, flexibility during a game, unexpected game plans, they all could probably manage the Aberdeen team better than McInnes.

Could they develop talent though?

And now I will argue with myself

To turn things around completely, is the reason Scottish football doesn’t develop talent properly because other managers don’t or can’t see the need to indulge an individual player’s needs. Which is what the whole competitiveness of the ten team league does to Scottish football. Instant gratification in the short term has been the Scottish football way since we used to be pretty good at developing talent a long time ago.

If we had a sixteen team league, might there be more room for player development rather than constant relegation battles for half the league? Too many short term decisions being taken by managers, not enough real football people, who invest time and develop potential.

McInnes can spot a player, he can develop them, without rushing them, and if it doesn’t work with the player, he gets rid. Where some managers will stubbornly stick with a bad signing. He does conversely stubbornly stick with a system that doesn’t work or a captain that doesn’t work.

Those are, and always will be McInnes’s training facilities. His legacy was to help all future Aberdeen managers. And Scottish football. His legacy is also in the Scotland squad. McLean, Shinnie, Christie, Jack. Would any of them be there if McInnes hadn’t got hold of them at the right time? With the exception of Christie, none of them are that good, but he got the maximum out of them, albeit our team often wasn’t that good during their development.

I think he is gone in the summer whatever. Whether we were doing well, or as unbelievably badly as we currently are. I don’t want to go after him, I don’t want to be nasty, I wish him well, however…

Cat meet pigeons
Shouldn’t do this, but Andy Considine shouldn’t balloon the ball over Hornby’s head in the 28th second, and he’s a legend so… conspiracy theory for you based on nothing but why on earth did THEY sign Scott Wright.

Gerrard to leave in the summer. McInnes to replace him. Who the f**k else would want Scott Wright?

Reverse engineered guesswork. Would Gerrard land the Liverpool job in 4-5 years if he has only managed them, however successfully? Or the England job which he might well fancy? Has his family moved to Glasgow? I don’t know, I don’t care. He might stay longer, but he might be a man in a hurry, he’d need to do well somewhere else first. Has he not done what he came to do, when they win the league? Is that not also what they got him for?

But Scott Wright is a strange signing. There are issues with Brexit and work permits that makes UK born players at a premium at the moment. It also points to their business being run in a different way. Living within their means. *shocked emoji here*

McInnes was not in the running for the West Brom job, his stock has fallen. Where would be his next move? He’s not a young manager any more. Five or six years with a lower championship team, before maybe a West Brom came in for him? He could get his hands on a lot of silverware at Ibrox with that budget. A well run Rangers would want a manager who can develop talent, with a view to selling expensively, like (Brendan Rodgers) Celtic have done. Managing those two teams is very easy, with their budgets, developing talent isn’t something a journeyman like Lennon can do. But McInnes can…

I don’t know someone who knows someone. Pure guesswork. Purely based on why did they sign Scott Wright?

If I’m right, I’m a genius. If I’m wrong I delete this, hack Ally Begg’s blog, and blame it on him.

Footnote: I think he’ll go at the end of this season. If my Gerrard hunch is wrong, he won’t have a problem getting a job in England. I suspect he wouldn’t want a pay off. He is a decent bloke who cares about Scottish football. Football is upsetting at the moment.

wright

In an odd development, potential footballer and serial physio table ornament Scott Wright is leaving to join the Rangers. It’s annoying, it’s disappointing, even more significantly, it’s a bit weird. And quite predictably for Scottish football, another far more significant story is being missed by Scotland’s client journalism media.

It appears a certain football club are downsizing. Significantly downsizing, and the product on the pitch will be of a significantly poorer quality. Also it appears their director of football might just be, really, really shit at their job. Or McCrorie and Ferguson being released and turning out to be good players needed some sort of ‘revenge’? It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when supporters are scrambling about wondering why you were signed eh Scotty?! Maybe it was for your banter on Rangers TV? Who knows, who cares…

Buckle up for some pandemic rage

Then there’s the anger. Reasons to be very, very angry. I’ve posted on social media a front cover illustration I did from The Northern Light fanzine in 1989 when Paul Wright left for QPR, and a P&J cartoon I did when David Robertson left for Rangers. Apart from blowing my own trumpet (see Bill Hicks), and pointing out I’ve been doing this shit way too long, and really should stop now, I’m just showing this same thing has happened countless times. And will happen again and again.

But what I am angry about, what I am absolutely livid about, is Willie Miller.

Unlike these players and countless others who left for more money first chance they got, Willie Miller was a world class footballer. He could have left many times, chose not to, and lifted twelve trophies as captain. That’s TWELVE TROPHIES AS CAPTAIN.

To honour that loyalty, to honour those achievements Aberdeen’s directors, have named a training pitch after him.

A fucking training pitch.

Aberdeen football club have three stands named after NOTHING. And have done for several decades. A couple of weeks back Chris Anderson’s wife passed away. Imagine what it might have meant to her if The South Stand hand been named after her late husband. Too fucking late now.

The same fucking directors with the fucking idiocy of the Kingsford stadium. Idiotic beyond belief. Training facilities HAVE to be next to the stadium because? Because why?

We’re going to have a museum? Really!! It’ll open after the last one of us is dead. The museum could be ANYWHERE in central Aberdeen. But oh no, it must go hand in hand with the white elephant generic McStadium in the middle of fucking nowhere that will destroy the club.

The chronic mismanagement of Aberdeen FC from the destruction of Pittodrie to the club’s history and legends being treated like dirt by Aberdeen’s directors. And a huge number of our supporters won’t say a bad word about either Chairmen the last twenty years. Caught up in an Aberdeen FC Stockholm Syndrome (Gothenburg Syndrome) tip toeing around on eggshells desperate to not upset the multi-millionaire whose decision making is beyond idiotic and incompetent at best.

Ironically we may actually have a potential lifeline coming from the last people on earth you’d expect something sensible from. Aberdeen fucking Councillors. The people that collectively as good as destroyed a city during a fucking oil boom. Jesus wept!! Your enemy’s enemy’s enemy’s enemy’s enemy is your ‘friend’. I suspect the beach suggestion will get kicked into touch when convenient. Councillors and developers and unfuckingbelievably bad decisions go together like Scotty Wright and Ryan Hedges. (Rangers will be coming for him later, brace yourself)

And if those God awful f*cking cretins get voted back in then it’s safe to say the whole city of Aberdeen has Stockholm Syndrome.

Yeah I’m angry. But not about a nonentity like Scott Wright leaving. From the complete and very deliberate disrespect to Willie Miller, and just about everything else they’ve done the last few decades, and I’m fucking sick of the fact they’ve gotten away with it, and countless people will defend them and attack me for writing this.

Willie Miller got a fucking training pitch named after him. AFC. Absolute fucking cunts.

individuals

I love our collective idiocy. I love our collective coming together when all is good. I love our hypocrisy, our stupidity, our ability to change our minds at the drop of a hat, our selective memory loss, our shared hatreds, for everything we agree on, for everything that brings us together, there are a million things that can divide us in the most petty and laughable way. So enough about Xmas with the family, let’s get down to fitba.

‘Happy Clappers’ and possibly it’s opposite ‘So called supporters’. I believe ‘Happy Clappers’ to be a unique to Afc supporters’ phrase, an original, all ours, and I believe it to be about five years old. Maybe it’s not, but that’s how long I’ve known it. ‘So-called supporters’ has probably been around forever, but it’s popping up more and more on online discussions/rants.

I asked on Twitter of the etymology of ‘So-called supporters’, and it was put to me, without irony and a considerable degree of anger, that it was “something happy clappers said when called happy clappers to justify them not wanting to win”. Or something like that.

I suspect from my detailed academic study (Academic qualifications: 2 years at Gray’s School of Art before being chucked out) that ‘so-called supporter’ is in fact a response to anyone with an opinion different to you.

‘I remember that game in 1992, it was raining’

‘IT WAS SLEET. SLEET I TELL YOU. SO CALLED SUPPORTER’ etc.

Now I don’t like the phrase ‘Happy Clappers’ for a number of reasons, one of which only became aware to me recently when a post in a non-football Facebook group brought something back to me that was so significant from my childhood, that I am ashamed to say I can barely write this sentence for laughing at the slightest memory of this shameful event.

For most of you the name Joey Deacon will mean nothing. For those of us who were in school the day after Blue Peter’s very naive middle-class attempt to educate kids, would sear something so deep into a generation’s psyche even now, some of you are doing the face and the hand gesture. Stoppit.

Everyone stop laughing and compose yourself. To be fair I am laughing at us, as children, and how wrong, and just how long after it is still so vivid in my memory.

Little kids can be bastards. Let’s not be bastards eh. And if you are using a phrase like ‘Happy Clappers’ in 2020 to describe people with possibly one opinion different to you, people of whom you know nothing, nothing of the sacrifice they may need to make to get to a football match, what that football match may mean to them, what their mental health may be, because of your ingrained need to feel superior to those around you, then seriously, have a word with yourself.

But why is it, we can’t disagree without getting nasty? And the ‘we’ in that sentence very much includes me. Presumably because we are passionate football supporters and if we are passionate about something, and someone does not agree with our deeply entrenched opinion on something, however trivial that opinion in the scheme of things, then we must hit out, and scream ‘Unbelievers!’ whenever we see fit.

It’s just why do we go ‘nuclear’ in our response to someone with one opinion different to ours. Our football opinions are built on thousands of opinions that chop and change all the time. One opinion on any given thing, doesn’t make our other opinions necessarily follow that line. In the words of Brian in Life of Brian ‘We’re all individuals’. Let’s celebrate that, accept we are all different but ultimately share a certain ‘One Love’ in common.

Take me for example. Ten Aberdeen FC opinions. Of which there are probably ten thousand more, and more tomorrow, some of which will be the opposite. 1. I like and back McInnes 100% 2. Consider the Dick Donald Stand architectural vandalism 3. Didn’t like Shinnie 4. Loved Willie Miller 5. Thought Charlie Nicholas a bad signing who largely did nothing and couldn’t believe Celtic were stupid enough to give us 100 grand for him. 6. Loathed Alex Smith 7. Loved Darren Mackie 8. Love Dave Cormack 9. Hate what the club are currently doing regarding attacking the Scottish government 10. With city centre property prices going through the floor and all sorts of pieces of land becoming available all the time, with much more to come, any move to Westhill… let’s just end that one there.

Does that make me a ‘happy clapper’? Does that make me a ‘so-called supporter’. It possibly makes me mentally imbalanced, but trust me, if you’d met me, and if you’d met the psycho step-family I lived with as a kid then…

I am no more a supporter than you, and I am no less a supporter than you. And frankly no-one is. Actually that’s not true. Those who go to every game home and away, they are the ‘real supporters’ and should carry some sort of Red tick verification on social media. You miss a game, one game, ever, no excuses, that Red tick is off!

*Mumbles under breath* not many Red ticks during a pandemic though.

Also while we are going into the minutiae of who is, and isn’t a ‘real’ supporter, if you have a social media page with over, I don’t know, 11,530* say, then surely that (double red tick?) makes you better than… anyway, I digress.

Where does this ‘top trumps’ bollocks of a need to feel superior to others in the Aberdeen support come from? You need to feel superior? There’s a couple of Glasgow teams’ supporters to sneer at, there’s the God awful Glasgow media, that Hearts supporting prick at The Guardian Ewan something, there’s Douglas frigging Ross MP and his ilk, every MSM fraud journalist… anyways who am I to even question what the Aberdeen support do or think, or write on social media. We are but people, just like other people, just like other supporters, no better than those who support Motherwell or Celtic, Cove Rangers or Albion Rovers, well… apart from the two European trophies that is.

*Plus 4900 in the Facebook group, 1600 on Twitter, 400 on Insta…18,500 ish, (almost a capacity home game) albeit a few duplicates.

mcinnes-aberdeen
mcinnes-aberdeen

I quite like that we just went out in the first round of a cup. It feels so retro. So Roy Aitken. So Jimmy Calderwood. So shit managers from the past… the ghost of Aberdeen Xmas past (and perhaps future) has just visited.

If there is one thing the Stewart Milne years taught me, it’s how to spot a bad managerial decision.

‘I think they should give Darren Fletcher a go’.

Oh FFS. This never fails to get me. A former (is he still playing?) player who ‘must be’ an exciting new managerial prospect. Because why? Alex Ferguson, Wenger, Stein, Mourinho, were not great players. Why, when they are not bringing their boots, would you think someone who was good at football a potential manager?

Fletcher was a poor man’s Roy Keane. Did you see Roy Keane’s managerial career? Arguably one of the best midfielder’s in the world in his day. Captain and leader. Managed by Ferguson and Clough. Probably the two greatest ever football managers were his teachers. He learned nothing. So why would a shit version of Keane magic into a football manager, when he has never managed before?

But Fletcher seems articulate and studied under Alex Ferguson all those years? Yeah like Gary Neville. Did you see what that fucking clown did at Valencia?

I am so confident of my ability as a manager, despite never having managed, I will manage in another country despite not speaking the language, and appoint as my assistant, not someone Spanish who knows the league and speaks the language, but my idiot fucking brother, who presumably brings literally nothing extra to the job having had a remarkably similar career, and the almost identical genes, all because… narcissist… And then to prove he is singularly a fucking idiot, instead of taking that knowledge he learned as a football manager during his very short spell at Valencia and moving down to a level fitting with his skills and knowledge to learn more and become a better manager… (which is what an actual football manager would do) no he went back to being a TV ‘expert’ telling everyone what they are doing wrong. And he’s a multi-millionaire from playing football. He never needed the money from either job. And no-one in this Donald Trump world of fucked-up self confidence over actual ability, will question it. Valencia have a 46800 capacity. He just wanted to play at being a manager. Without learning the language. His brother. The only person who he wanted help from. Another version of himself. Because presumably he couldn’t actually clone himself. He probably tried. He must have tried. Narcissist. No-one talks about it…

When Alex Ferguson puts self-belief into people, he really puts self-belief into them.

Oooh what about Paul Hartley?!?! Yeah the guy that failed at Dundee has somehow become the real deal at the mighty Cove The Rangers. Get in the fucking sea.

Paulo Di Canio!!!! What are you, twelve years old?! Have you really not watched this guy’s managerial career. And let’s just gently ignore his politics.

‘Let’s give Barry Robson a chance’. Fuck off. And when you are done fucking off, fuck off again. I don’t doubt Barry Robson is a thoroughly good bloke. And a very good coach, and may have a very successful managerial career in front of him. But have you learned nothing from the Milne years that no one gets to manage our club, who has never managed before. We are not a plaything, for someone who fancies ‘giving it a go’. See G. Neville above.

We know Barry Robson’s not good enough, ‘what if we team him up with Eric Black as assistant’ The Dream Team!- excuse me while I wank into a bucket. Oh you fucking idiots. Hartley and Hewitt. Russell Anderson and Alex fucking Smith. Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off. The idiocy of teaming up someone who clearly isn’t good enough, say an Ole Gunnar Solskjær, with a say ‘highly rated’ Mike Phelan. Because someone who comes with a ‘highly rated’ tag, but has never actually managed, ALWAYS turns out to be a disaster. You can’t make the number 1 guy better, by getting him an exciting number 2. If number 1 doesn’t have it, and very few do, it aint gonna work. (Barcelona have announced Henrik Larsson as assistant manager… that’ll work)

Career opportunities

Then we’ve got careerists. A subject that has fascinated me since Alex Smith’s time at Aberdeen, and while watching the work of Andy Roxburgh and Craig Brown at Scotland. And there is another one at the moment in Scottish football for everyone to analyse, if they are paying attention.

I like Neil Lennon. Perhaps it’s because he has been around so long, for whatever reason, he seems like a good bloke. He is also fascinating to watch, and much can be learned from his interviews and behaviour.

Neil Lennon isn’t much of a football manager. Very few are in football. He isn’t a complete fraud in the way some are, but he’s no Brendan Rodgers, who was clearly the real deal. Anyone who saw what he got out of his Swansea team knew this. There are not many in football who can do that. Since Rodgers left Celtic, his legacy has been slowly frittering away. Players are not improving, the team unit is not a cohesive entity that slides into the groove during games anymore. In true ‘Scottish football style’, there is a lot of talk of ‘not trying hard enough’ and ‘winning mentality’ and not enough about the specifics of why that team is playing poorly and what is no longer happening during training and why the manager can’t get the best out of the players. Because that would involve learning about what it was Rodgers could do, and the Scottish way doesn’t involve learning or education. ‘They’re just nae trying’. Someone needs to shout at them more. Or blame them publicly. That’ll work.

Lennon is brilliant in his interviews at putting the focus onto other things, giving the media a story, which takes the pressure off him. He is clearly very intelligent, and I would say far better at managing his career, than managing a football team (effectively the definition of a careerist – see also re-writing of history long after the event. Alex Smith’s recent claim Jocky Scott was not co-manager. And you waited thirty years to tell us! To just tweak that CV one last time to go into the history books as sole Aberdeen manager… careerists never retire. And here’s Craig Brown to remind us about his time as Scotland manager as apparently he has an anecdote to share on every team Scotland play always and forever. With neither the talent or achievements of a Stein, a McLean or a Ferguson, they’ll get themselves remembered as a ‘great’ by the power of self promotion. Breaking News: Ally McCoist has been voted second greatest Scotland player in a poll of fucking idiots who didn’t see him play. (that actually happened recently) Self confidence and self promotion over actual talent. Whatever happened to Scottish football? – for anyone who didn’t see McCoist play, probably every forward who got a Scotland cap before 1990 will have been a better footballer than ‘Super’ Ally. And that’s not really a subjective opinion).

You can see with Lennon’s relationship with journalists (From what I have seen he has cultivated friendships there – a smart thing to do if you aren’t that good) they don’t go after him. Even that prick from The Guardian (that doesn’t narrow it down much) you know, the awful Hearts supporting one, Ewan something? even he appears to have Lennon’s back, so I’m guessing he must have befriended all of them…

Brendan Rodgers didn’t cultivate friendship with journalists on the golf course, as he was too busy working at managing a football team. At the time of writing Lennon is still in a job, (while I wrote this, Celtic went out of the cup to Ross County) but I suspect he is gone as soon as Celtic find a replacement, (the Strachan rumours lowering expectations before a ‘sexier’ appointment) and I suspect he knows that (his body language points to a man looking forward to having Xmas off). And when someone like Chris Sutton goes from attacking Green Brigade for stating the obvious, to a 180 degree turnaround in a week, it’s safe to say Sutton knows something too. There has to be some sort of payback for pumping out all that PR.

But reputation management will take care of Lennon and his pretty dubious legacy and he will be on the cozy pundit sofas venerated as a legend, sometime soon.

What about Derek McInnes

So then we’ve got McInnes. I can criticise McInnes for plenty. But as there are others doing that all over social media at the moment I will be ‘mister contrary’. Not to provoke, just because…

What if Derek McInnes hasn’t taken us as far as he can take us. What if Derek McInnes has taken us as far as we can go. Not saying it is, just what if?

What if the real reason for a lot of supporters (a lot of loud supporters on social media) wanting rid of McInnes is not because there is a need for change, but because you, as an individual, are bored of McInnes. You are tired of this TV programme, and you want to change over to almost anything. If a relegation battle is the result and all our young players stop developing, you will think it worth it, as you got to watch something different for a bit.

‘That’s just saying what about McGhee all over again you happy clapper!’

I’m not a happy clapper! So fuck off social media voices arguing in my head. (I’ll deal with Covid lock down however I wish!)

What if the unpalatable truth is Aberdeen under McInnes is the best we can be? We know, it can be hugely massively worse. If you are older than twelve at any rate.

‘Lack of ambition!’

The screaming voices of some thundercunts on Twitter yell in my head.

Who is McInnes?

Who would be a similar manager to compare Derek McInnes to? I think it would be Davie Moyes or Roy Hodgson.

Some managers come into a job, and it’s all very exciting, and dramatic. They take over a team, they revitalise it, it’s all brilliant, and then bit by bit within six months it all falls apart.

A different type of manager works from the ground up. Ensures everything is done properly. Talent is developed slowly and carefully, the maximum is gotten out of players, and slowly but surely a solid team is produced, and further solid teams are produced further along the way. That is the McInnes way. It isn’t sexy. It isn’t dramatic. It’s long and solid and safe. And when it works it’s fantastic. We also play with two wingers. Two fucking wingers. Believe me you will miss than when he’s gone. When you see Aberdeen teams start with no wingers. Oh it’ll happen! Oh mouthy prick kids on Twitter, what a lot of fun you’ve got ahead of you, you know nothing dipsticks.

Of the three managerial styles I named above. A complete fraud. A careerist. Or the real deal. McInnes is in the real deal section. McInnes is the best manager available for our club, and deserves enormous respect and thanks for transforming the utter fucking car crash he inherited into a club that is ‘demanding’ more and more. To repeat an overused phrase, McInnes is a victim of his own success.

One way or the other he will be gone soon. Probably had it not been for Covid, and certainly Cormack taking over, he would be already gone. And when he goes it will be brilliant. A new manager, with new ideas, and different tactics, and smug cunts on Twitter patting themselves on the back at their own brilliance, their own all knowing genius, before slowly but surely all the ground work done by McInnes will slowly wear away, and it’ll turn out the new guy isn’t doing things properly, and bit by bit, we’re fucked again. Just like when Pellegrini took over from Moyes at West Ham. It’s all sexy and fun at the beginning, but if that foundation work isn’t being done, and keeping getting re-done, it all falls apart… one step forward, three steps back. Because some cunt on Twitter, with an ego the size of a house, and a desperate need to feel superior, I was into the band before you, I knew McInnes was rubbish before you, had to destroy the best manager we’ve had in decades.

I back, and always will back Derek McInnes, and if you think that makes me a happy clapper that’s fine, I think you are a fucking cunt. You started it, you called me a happy clapper.

But I am an Aberdeen supporter, and I back what I think is best for Aberdeen. I wanted Alex Smith out, as he was rubbish. I wanted Milne out for the same reason. I knew Alex Miller would be dreadful. Ditto Craig Brown. I want McInnes to stay, as in a few weeks we’ll be good again. And that’s what’s best for Aberdeen. So I’m not being contrary for the sake of it.

McInnes goes when the time is right, and we thank him for his sterling work from the bottom of our hearts. And perhaps, just perhaps, the next manager will build on his good work and bring us to a higher level. Bring us more silverware. It certainly wasn’t going to happen under Milne. The appointment of McInnes being sheer blind luck. But Cormack is different, very different. The only possible worry, the only nagging doubt, we get someone ‘highly rated’ from US football. Who uses the word ‘soccer’ and can’t pronounce ‘Notre Dame’. Then we’re fucked. Proper fucked.

Also whether you support or don’t support McInnes, how about not being a cunt about it.

His salary? He has generated that himself multiple times over. Just stop being a cunt about it.

‘He only won a cup on penalties’. Shame on you if you have ever said that.

Looking at the ground during an interview. Because the man is upset you daft bastards. He cares as much as we do. Where is your basic humanity.

Through the Facebook page and group I asked for your stories on Gothenburg, and a lot of you did and this free download was the result. So let’s do another one as social media is particularly good for collecting stories, and none of us are getting any younger. Also perhaps a way to help get us all through ‘this thing’.

These stories are to be your personal memories, or perhaps those a relative/friend told you about. Again whatever becomes the end result won’t be for sale, it belongs to everyone so will go out for free. No-one will financially benefit from your story.

Stories can be sent by email, info@thedandydons.com or shared on the social media comments of The Dandy Dons as that was a great way to chat about memories last time, and trigger memories for others.

What is different this time? Stories on anything at all connected to the Dons from before 1983. Queing for Liverpool tickets. Starting that fire in the board room (kidding). Cup finals in the 70s, the 60s. Do you have a Zoltan Varga story no-one has heard, or when George Best played, Ipswich, Hamburg, there has to be a million events that could lead to a fun story, whatever you have got. Take another look at the Gothenburg book. It can be one sentence. It can be paragraphs, or perhaps a chapter. Photos (previously unpublished) or of memorabilia pre 1983, fantastic.

One of the issues that came up with the Gothenburg book, was everyone getting a bit uncomfortable about writing. Well as it turned out, the nature of the book, being in lots of voices, turned out no-one gave a shit about the grammar or the style of everyone’s prose, it was the story that mattered, and the audience is people just as obsessed with the Dons as you and I.

So get writing. You’ve a good few weeks if you want to take a run at it. There will be reminders and nagging and fake deadlines along the way.

Stand Free, Iain

stovies-aberdeen

A few months back a thing happened involving Aberdeen FC. You’ll probably have forgotten what it was now, it really wasn’t that big a deal. Eight men went for a pint! There was a fair bit of material on it, but we’ll skim over that quickly.

Okay done with that one now! Well a wee statement went out when they returned to the football after their ‘little holiday’.

And now you all fancy a plate of stovies!
Then I put this out, and things got a bit ‘interesting’ on the Facebook page.

So yeah, we are all struggling in different ways, and at different times, with this thing we are currently living through. I don’t want to upset people, I don’t want to provoke, at any time, least of all now. I also very strongly despise racism. I did it because I kept seeing really horrible comments from within the AFC support, with regard to the team taking the knee.

A brief explainer

I don’t know why I do this Dandy Dons thing, for the most part I enjoy it, it certainly isn’t a business, the club are never going to use me for anything, so I do it to entertain is the ‘thing’ that I am doing. You may well be of the opinion I fail in that aim! What I don’t want to do is to get into arguments. But this just blew up. About 350 likes, reasonably popular post, over 300 comments, just fuckin’ awful in the main part. It was really wearing, several hundred left the page.

But then, in for a penny…

This is Colin Kaepernick. The man who first took the knee. Well that calmed things down. Not really, however by this time the comments were changing. Others joined the comments equally disgusted at the racism being spouted. Plus I kicked out the worst/loudest offenders, and the odd phenomena of social media from my experience, the quieter majority took over. The racist morons are loud. But very much in the minority. This next one was also a very popular post, but some of those against, quite shocking.

So away from politics, a North East hero got a new job, so he deservedly got a special statement.

I thought this was a fitba website! So we have a new hero on the pitch. We’ve a few actually, but this fella…

I so wish we would retire that 6 shirt. A training pitch just is not enough.

And then we lost a legend. RIP Ebbe.

ebbe-skovdahl-aberdeen

A look at the late great Ebbe Skovdahl and his time at Aberdeen. This is built on a previous article about the Skovdahl years and has been amended to reflect his passing. The person writing it isn’t a journalist or writer.

Aberdeen post Fergie

Of those who became Aberdeen manager after Alex Ferguson up until Derek McInnes arrived, every single one was sacked, except Ebbe Skovdahl.

Of all the football managers Aberdeen had post Sir Alex Ferguson, Skovdahl is probably the only manager who left behind a significantly better team, than the one he inherited.

It is worth looking back at what Skovdahl inherited, and from who. One of Stewart Milne’s first pieces of work as Aberdeen chairman was offering Roy Aitken a new contract. I think Milne later said he was a bit star struck by Aitken. Then as the team were atrocious Aitken had to be sacked, as he was never a football manager, and in came, unbelievably, Alex Miller. A man who had been sacked as Hibs manager as his team were nothing short of abysmal, and somehow became highly rated on the back of a successful spell as assistant manager in England. Well that’ll work.

In a complete surprise to no-one who had been paying attention, Alex Miller was an abject failure, a huge amount of money was wasted and yet another manager left with a massive compensation cheque in their pocket. This is where Aberdeen were going seriously into debt.

Aitken into Alex Miller into around five months of Paul Hegarty as interim manager running the club into the ground led to Skovdahl arriving at Aberdeen FC at ‘ground zero’. Post Alex Ferguson Aberdeen were as low as they could be. An absolute shambles.

Skovdahl wasn’t found by Milne, a team of headhunters were sent into Europe to find the next manager.

Skovdahl was a very successful manager at Brøndby in Denmark, (with his passing he is still their most successful manager, winning four Danish championships and three Danish Cups) they won trophies, they developed talent, and sold talent expensively, and they did it on similar budgets to Aberdeen. Skovdahl regularly stated how important it was training facilities were needed, requesting multiple times publicly.

It’s interesting listening to some of his former players being interviewed about him. To be fair they are hit with leading questions, designed to get them to laugh at him or belittle his ways, which they do, and then they say something properly enlightening like ‘but it was weird, as he introduced stuff like weight training which was unheard of then, but everyone does it now’. Yeah lads, you had a state of the art European coach!!

The first year would lead to avoiding relegation by the skin of our teeth, but two cup finals, and the crowd were firmly with Skovdahl. There was hope. The team were improving from a very low position. Young players were getting better.

The team would come together to form quite a unit, manager, players and support. We missed out on third to a high spending Livingston that would eventually be liquidated. We won nine games in a row. There was a Danish Day to celebrate the renaissance of the club. See the artwork below.

There was a dark thing that kept happening. The team kept being turned over by Celtic. Huge terrible defeats, that blighted everything. It’s worth remembering what that Celtic team had back then. Larsson was reputed to be on 42k per week. At that time, that was as high as the highest EPL salary (Ryan Giggs may have been earning less at the time). Sutton and Hartson were in the 30k pay bracket, again EPL players, on top EPL salaries. Barry Ferguson at Rangers was on about 30k a week (which ended well for his employer).

Aberdeen players were on a fraction of that. They still are almost twenty years later. The team was young, and they went to pieces many times. On top of that there was the Glasgow media. Led by Traynor then at the BBC and the Daily Record Aberdeen were and still are a very easy target for the Glasgow media to go after. They went at Skovdahl constantly.

At that time the Scottish national team was appalling and we really were not developing talent in Scotland. Not once did I hear Skovdahl get asked about it. At the same time as Denmark had players playing all over Europe at the highest level. Many of those players Skovdahl had a hand in their development, Brøndby had some of the best youth development in Europe, he was related by marriage to the Laudrups FFS (European football aristocracy). The lack of journalistic curiosity that so… maybe not today.

So Skovdahl was on a hiding to nothing from the media. During his time when things were going well for Skovdahl at Aberdeen, Scottish football got hit by a TV deal collapsing, and for a variety of reasons Skovdahl got a significantly reduced budget. Not long later he announced he was leaving.

One of the very telling parts regarding Ebbe is during his time at Aberdeen and since, whenever he is mentioned someone always has a story to tell of meeting him. And he was always the loveliest guy, who showed great interest in the person he was talking to. By all accounts an absolute gentleman.

Ebbe Skovdahl 1945-2020 RIP

Danish Day illustration.

A free Niall McGinn poster in a print ready PDF to download. Take it to your local printer or use an online one like Vistaprint. You can also use up all the ink on your work’s printer.

If you can afford a donation to the Afc Community trust page. www.justgiving.com/campaign/20kin2020forAFCCT

A free PDF (ready to print) poster of Andy Considine. The poster is 42 x 39cm. So any size up to that size will print well. So take it to your local printer or use an online printer like Vistaprint.