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.

 

 

 

 

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The Northern Light

The Northern Light was the fanzine that went before The Red Final. 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 that, considering there was Gordon Reid, Gio Alzapiedi and Bob Harper as the fanzine’s art department.

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Aberdeen Journals, the Press and Journal

The Lang Stracht. The case room, layouting. Happy days. A little bit of old school journalism and print was still there. A lot of good people. Deadlines, industrial swearing, the cairds, and the five a side fitba team.

I decided to leave, thought I may as well offer a couple of cartoons, they’ll never get in, doesn’t matter as I’m leaving. A few hours later, I’m holding a still warm, hot of the presses P&J. A cartoon on the front, and on the back page. Quite the experience. I was young, I was learning, in hindsight, could have done with some mentoring. There were a hundred cartoons in all.

It sold about 105000 a day, with an estimated readership of double that number. Considerably less since my cartoons stopped. Coincidence? (I will never tire of that gag)

At this time I also contributed cartoons to The Absolute Game fanzine, a brilliant fanzine that covered all of Scottish football. And later on when I lived in London to When Saturday Comes, the daddy of all fanzines (which is still running and on sale in WH Smith).

It was tough contributing unsolicited work. You never knew what would be used, or not, or how the work would be treated. I found the process difficult to deal with. I eventually had enough and packed it in completely.

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Aberdeen Football Club

Except there was one last itch. There was I think four or five jobs, I think it was over one season, while Skovdahl was there.

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The Dandy Dons

After so many years away from football work, 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, following The Dons obsessively.

And very much in charge of my own work. Standing Free!

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.

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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.

 

 

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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…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Facebook group

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

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

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

Find The Dandy Dons memes and illustrations here:

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook (main page)
Facebook (the closed group)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So to re-cap, no fuckin’ idea.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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So I did something I’m ashamed of. Really ashamed of. The video some of you will have seen on social media of the climbing of the Pittodrie floodlights… I clicked the link. I know, terrible and shameful. I clicked on a link that took me into The Daily Record website.

I’d already seen some of the comments, as I would normally just ignore that sort of thing. ‘Shocking, disgraceful, vandals, should be locked up’. But it was the floodlights and they are my favourite part of Pittodrie, maybe my favourite bits of architecture in the whole world.

So I clicked on the link. And then I went from half sneering disapproval to admiring the view, and then praying they would get down safe. Worrying what their Mums thought every time they left the house.

Then I wondered why they did it, and why didn’t they climb a mountain instead? A nice big safe mountain, with a big bouncy castle at the bottom so if they fall off, they’ll be fine. Which is how mountaineering works right? No one falls to their death there…

So why are the floodlights special to me? They are the keeper of the magical midweek atmosphere, piercing the North East sky and everything the North Sea can throw at us. The beacons that call us to the games and light up the stage. Pittodrie, the grass an electric green, the lights picking off the red on Peter Weir’s shirt as he darts between defenders.

The new stadium will have lights, but it won’t have floodlights. They are not needed, so Stewart Milne won’t have them. He won’t be designing the stadium but it will be built in his reflected style. That of his houses. Ruthlessly effective, ruthlessly sound, ruthlessly solid, ruthlessly unimaginative, ruthlessly lacking aesthetics or vision. The Stewart Milne way.

So they get down okay, and you have to admire their bravery and skill. Climbing from the lower deck to the upper deck is a particularly impressive feat, and must have had Dick Donald spinning in his grave. At the thought of them getting in without paying. And lads, stoppit! You will never reach higher than the Dandy Dons blog again, so consider your climbing career, peaked.

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The second and final part of Sandy’s photos. Some are obvious, a few legends, a missing tache, some complete unknowns, kipper ties, and  three might be from Dundee.

The comments are open at the end of the article, or comment on the link on Facebook.

Here’s part 1.

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Sandy sent in some photos from a few years ago. Some of them are obvious, particularly at the beginning, but neither Sandy or I know who a few of them are. We have some guesses, but pretty sure there are a few out there who will know exactly who everyone else is, and maybe have some stories they want to share.

The comments are open at the end of the article, or comment on the link on Facebook.

Part Two to follow.

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