So Adam has gone. Very sad, but it’s football, everything changes, everything stays the same. As an Aberdeen player his position in Aberdeen history is that of a footballing legend. Never to be forgotten.

No other player had their own illustration page on the dandy dons website, seriously, after the Balon d’Or, that’s the honour.

His significance to the McInnes era is enormous. The goalscorer, the poacher, the top of the Xmas tree. The penalty taker, you never doubted. The goal at the cup final. Rooney was the symbol, the point of action, the end result, the hero, Rooney was the man. And with all that, an incredible humility. His Twitter bio ‘Tap ins / headers / pens – thats my thing!’.

Anyone listening to him on Red TV doing commentary while he was injured, got a further insight into who the man was. A smart, articulate, funny man, deserving of a career in the media, when he is ready to hang up those goal scoring boots.

A team player with an extraordinary nose for goal. We will miss our number nine. We will miss that open mouthed, slightly horsey smile of joy, he did for literally every goal. We’ll miss it forever. And never forget it.

Adam Rooney, it’s been a pleasure.

All the illustrations.

rooney-aberdeenadam-rooney-70-goalsrooney-100adam rooney Aberdeen fcadam-rooney-aberdeen-fcrooney-penalty-aberdeenadam-rooney-aberdeenhomer-afc

Football's coming home

Football's coming home

The World Cup brought up all the old discussions on whether Scottish people should support England, whether ABE was a bit of banter or full on hatred/bigotry.

We are all individuals, there are thousands of different reasons for backing or not backing England (presuming you are Scottish) and even for you to both back them, and want them to lose, and be pleased for them, during the same game. Because it’s football. Damn you, and your non binary world.

I have an odd handle on it that comes from living in Denmark for a long time. When I moved over here years ago, a lot of my friends were English. It starts with meeting people at language school, you go to a pub for the football, and you’ve landed yourself in a predominantly British group of people, there are some Danes, everyone’s partners will be Danish, and you hang out together, and get shit faced together.

Now we didn’t/don’t always behave that well. And it’s not just a British ex-pat thing. I’ve friends of different nationalities, slagging off the country you live in, particularly in the first three or four years, is something that people do. Certainly when they come from a Western country. Non economic migrants. It’s not okay, I gently remove myself from people who do it, you have to see the positive in where you live for your own sake, and it’s exceptionally rude and disrespectful to the country you live in.

Football, beer and bad company can bring out the worst in you. And it can be a bit of a laugh. Particularly as a lot of these guys have, half English, half Danish kids. And all the West Ham strips in the world aren’t going to stop them supporting FC Copenhagen and Denmark. Just like their mates at school. And listening to their bilingual kids speaking English, with their mother’s Danish accent. It’s called the mother tongue for a reason.

So our bad behaviour would involve collectively hoping Denmark would always lose. (unless their kids were there and we’d have to fake it!) I know, such a lovely sweet country, red and white, the Laudrup brothers, Schmeichel, nice football, nice culture, nice people, nice beer, how could we? Seriously, how could we? Well quite simply before a game you’d be somewhere between not that bothered to hoping it goes well for them, the game starts, and the fucking commentator would be doing your head in. Remarkably quickly into the game.

Now as I said, our behaviour was bad, and wrong. And after a game I certainly could be pleased for Danish people I know, but a result going badly getting it right up the commentators and pundits was lovely. Past tense.

Not for a second, is there anything wrong with what the Danish commentators said or thought. They are Danes, talking to Danes. Of course they are biased. It would be wrong if they weren’t.

So what interested me in this observation, with the odd irony that predominantly English people were involved too, was the power of pundits and commentators to piss people off. To the point of wanting a team to lose.

England, and English people in England should get all the 1966, football coming home, Gary Lineker in your face, until the cows come home. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, absolutely should not. There ought to be separate coverage. Separate commentators. An opt out, opt in option should be there. It wouldn’t cost that much relative to what the BBC pisses money away on. Andrew Marr’s 500k a year salary?! When did supposedly impartial journalists being multi-millionaires become acceptable?

I am now very happy for Denmark when they win. It is brilliant to be around a large group of Danes watching football. I’m still 100% Scottish. An England Denmark game years back almost made my head explode. A Danish commentator making me back England.

I also remember Euro 96. Scotland went out, and on TV that night Skinner and Baddiel were taking the piss, waving to a train leaving Euston Station. Oh, the bants! When England went out, it was like the death of the Queen. The whole of the media, everyone talking sombrely, nursing a heart broken country through a traumatic event.

Well Modric says The Coming Home song, and the perceived arrogance of presuming they’d get to the final, inspired Croatia to knock them out of the World Cup. Ha!

A reminder that our big signings will come late….

 

 

 

chicken football

chicken football

Everyone in football is currently waiting for the call. Real Madrid want you, it’s 250 k a week, every week for three years, plus endorsements, plus a free supply of Pepsi Max for the rest of your life.

Not a lot of people are going to get that call.

Others have lower expectations. 55k a week, every week for three years at Newcastle Utd. 21k a week, every week for three years at Hull City. 9k a week at, where did Ash Taylor go again?

And you are not going to accept an offer, until you are absolutely sure that’s the best deal you will get. Checks phone again, that’s not a Spanish dialing code is it…

Because let’s face it, in football, it’s a bit of a lottery. Do managers or clubs do due diligence on every signing? Are all football managers really totally aware of how good or bad a player is? Have agents got a deal for a player based on a 2 minute YouTube highlight reel from three years ago? Have players, agents and managers conspired to syphon off a bit of cash from a club via a dodgy signing… course not.

Signing players is a very imprecise science. Players can turn out to be a bit shit, or occasionally turn out to be way better than expected.

As we have a rough idea of an Aberdeen player’s salary, in comparison to most other clubs offer, we can work out a player who signs for us early isn’t expecting to get more money elsewhere. They may well want to be coached by McInnes and his team, they may well ‘fuckin’ love’ rowies, but ultimately our best signings will probably come much closer to the transfer deadline. Where someone is a very good player, and less knowledgable managers haven’t noticed they are available, and the lack of approaches from other clubs, has them a bit freaked out, making Pittodrie look very appealing.

It’s a giant game of chicken.

————

I have been busy designing t-shirts and posters for the shop. They are coming on great, I just can’t be arsed sorting out the payment system on the website as I keep getting distracted by the Danish beaches. Definitely ready for Xmas. Just maybe not next xmas…

 

ryan-christie-aberdeenAfter the game against The Rangers Tuesday 8th, yesterday, I got stuck into Ryan Christie on the Facebook page. I said, after a poor second half, the good news was he wasn’t going to play for us again.

Quite a few people agreed, quite a few disagreed.

I don’t like to criticise Aberdeen players, it seldom happens on the FB page, but I just ‘let go’ on this one. Stevie May also got it. In particular seeing the two of them ending that game, got me a bit wound up. Particularly when it was so important. It’s the end of the season, there’s one, probably horrible game to go.

Ryan Christie has been very poor. Very ball greedy, very much making bad decisions, losing possession when he has tried something fancy, when he should have kept it simple (much like Stevie May). There’s a weird undistinguishable line between ‘trying too hard’, and very egotistically making it about yourself, your career and development.

As an individualist you give your maximum, create a bit of brilliance and you are the hero. As a team player, you do what is best for the team. When it is not going well for an individualist, there’s a problem.

I’m sure Ryan Christie is a great person, and a great player. I wish him nothing but the best, unless playing us. If he were to join us, as an Aberdeen player, I’d be delighted. I have a sneaky suspicion, he is actually our level. And once he knows that… team player.

I don’t have a problem with other loan players, anyone pulls on the red shirt, and they are ours, and I really hope Greg Stewart becomes a permanent signing.

The other niggle on top of Rooney not coming on in such an important game, but May did, was thinking that Peter Pawlett left, getting similar treatment as Rooney now is getting, while loan players were preferred, and how in this difficult transition season, we could have done with Pawlett, and his clear understanding with his team mates, having played with them for so long.

I’m upset about something else. Just like everyone else. The health of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Pittodrie has three stands. One named after a point on a compass. One named after the street it sits on. One named after the dullest adjective imaginable.

Can we get that fixed please. Those Gothenburg greats aren’t getting any younger either. We take the new stand names with us.

 

 

 

 

meme dump

Gru meme

This meme is so on point, it’ll cut you in half. Despite being from an eight year old film, in the world of memes, it’s brand new, as of March 9th 2018.  http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/grus-plan. You mean you didn’t know you can trace a meme’s history?!

The gag works by the third and fourth panel being the same text. This landed on the Dandy Dons page the morning after we knocked out Steve Clarke’s Kilmarnock. 14/03/2018.

Only 38 likes on Facebook, you bunch of bastards. Not for the first time, can’t help thinking I’m wasted on you people.

Jim Bowen

In the week the great Jim Bowen of Bullseye fame passed away. Yes it was so worth it getting it right up Steve Clarke in the quarters to be tanked by Motherwell in the semi…

I discovered a poll option in The Dandy Dons closed group.

dandy poll

‘Shake it all about’ came second! One in the eye for the exceptionally nasty element on Twitter.

It strikes me the nasty element in the Afc support on Twitter divide into two categories. Gammon faced old men who haven’t had this much fun bullying people since they were arseholes at school, and fat, seventeen year old, angry, male virgins.

My analysis is scientific.

beer afc

Aye, about the semi.

sheep

I really hate that fucking blue strip now…. Then, by a weird coincidence, I found out in the same week, I’ve done this gag before.

the northern light

I hadn’t seen The Northern Light for twenty five years. Bought four copies on eBay, arrived that week. It’s the same gag. Mo Johnston had signed for Rangers…

I clearly didn’t know how to draw hands back then. Still can’t.

oconner aberdeen

So O’Connor took a pop at the Afc support for ‘not being good enough’… does the ‘O’ stand for ‘Oirony’ by any chance Anthony?

Douglas Ross

During an Old Firm match, the Conservative MP for Moray Douglas Ross, who is also a referee, waved like an excited puppy when spotting the opportunity to send off a Celtic player. You can read what your exceptionally banker friendly MP votes for here  www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/25531/douglas_ross/moray/recent

snow man

It was snowing a few weeks ago…

 

Big Doug Aberdeen

I did three or four of these a couple of years ago. This was a new one. I was very pleased with the Spanish, until someone asked why he was asking for a pie in a Dundonian accent.

easter heids

 

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

containing-game

containing-game

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

the-northern-light-fanzine

the-northern-light-fanzine

The Northern Light

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

Just. Kidding.

willie-miller-press-journal-cartoon

Aberdeen Journals, the Press and Journal

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

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

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

ebbe-skovdahl-aberdeen-danish-day

Aberdeen Football Club

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

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

aberdeen-shop-slider

The Dandy Dons

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

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

 

 

 

trolling

trolling

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

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

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

Happy clappers and the miserable prick element

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

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

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

 

 

kermit-meme

mcinnes mememckenna

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

scott-mckenna

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

stevie-may-breaking

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

stewart-milne

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

one-city-one-team

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

heids

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

mcinnes-star-wars

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

redtv

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

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

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

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

aberdeen-dark

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think we all know the answer to that one…

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

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

heids

 

kenny-mclean-aberdeen
giggs-beckham