merkland-elevation-one

Big game Saturday v Kilmarnock. Maybe the biggest game of Derek McInnes entire Aberdeen career. Don’t want to up the pressure any further, but don’t think it can be upped any more. And I didn’t build the pressure to start with, so, don’t blame me. But why is it so big? Where are the pressures?

The obvious one first, not going into detail, but the team are playing very badly, and have been for some time. But what else have we for pressure?

The Red Shed. A superb initiative, presumably direct from Cormack. That’s going to be one very noisy, very concentrated, very drunk, very passionate block of our, usually sleepy home support, hyped up and organised like our excellent away support. Brilliant backing for the team, scary as fuck if they don’t deliver.

On top of that, it’s only a week since the assistant manager went on the attack on a section of the support for criticising the manager, which led to the scum of the earth that is the Glasgow media, to roll out their tired prejudiced anti Aberdeen FC supporters’ views. Well played there Doc. Another tactical masterclass. Still waiting for that apology, albeit McInnes saying he too would have booed the St Johnstone performance shows just maybe they’ve cottoned on to the idiocy of blaming the supporters, or any element of the support.

I’ve thought about this a bit since it happened, the sheer idiocy of it. If Sir Alex Ferguson at the height of his powers had lost 5 games in a row at Man Utd, they’d have been plenty calls for him to be sacked. His reputation, his previous success would have meant nothing. That’s football.

The cup

Then we have the cup itself for pressure. And the very poor preparation from the under pressure manager that includes, phrasing along the lines of ‘we have to do well in the cup’. A piss poor piece of pre-match psychology, that he has been guilty of before.

The most important and basic piece of football psychology, one game at a time. Shut the fuck up about Cup Finals, Hampden, Quarters , Semis and runs in the cup, and make the game against Kilmarnock the cup final. That’s all that matters, that’s all that needs to be in the players head before and during the game.

For anyone saying that is defeatism, “nae ambition min”, it’s got nothing to do with that. It’s about the players’ psychological preparation. If they go 1-0 down, which can happen in any game, psychologically, they need to equalise, and score a winner, and win the Quarter, the semi, and the final, all at the same time, while 1-0 down. Because all that has been put into their heads pre-match. A task that will mentally, lead them to panic, and go to pieces, and not be able to equalise.

But if their only task is to equalise (that would lead to a replay) that’s a psychologically manageable task, that they are perfectly capable of doing. And from that, the psychological momentum will go with them, and they win the game. Or the replay.

That’s why the phrase, one game at a time, is a fucking cliche. Because it’s true.

So for the lead up to Saturday, for the manager, the players, the directors, the marketing people, all lines of external communication, make it the ‘cup final’ Saturday. The only game that matters. That will transfer to the support, The Red Shed in particular, and TOGETHER, we will dig our way through whatever it takes.

Just one game, shut the fuck up about everything else. (And that’s not directed at the supporters.)

Otherwise, the season will be over, and so will quite a lot of other things. No pressure.