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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

🔴⚪️ Come on you Reds! ⚪🔴

European Group Stage. A Worthwhile Exercise?


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I know we've still to play Eintracht Frankfurt but do people think the European Group Stage adventure has been something you'll look back on in years to come and remember with great fondness?

I was saying to my brother Paul in Australia whose also a Dons fans but probably not as big as me that when Eintracht Frankfurt and PAOK Salonika were paired together it was the only Group I wanted to be a part of as long as we got somebody cool in Pot 4 which I think in HJK Helsinki we did.

I didn't make an effort for the Play-Off home leg against BK Hacken.  I hate repetition.  We'd only had them two years previous. 

That's why I didn't go to second Pittodrie game against HNK Rijeka in 2019.  Just as well in hindsight given we were 1-0 down and a man sent off inside first twenty minutes.

I think we can all agree the team somewhat surprised us with their level of performance in Germany losing very narrowly.

I would have liked to have been at Pittodrie when HJK Helsinki came to town.  I have followed from a distance the Riski brothers who have played for them for years albeit neither played that evening.  Would have been nice to take in my 20th Aberdeen European fixture with a 1-1 draw like we earned.

In many respects given how PAOK Salonika match ended I'm quite glad I wasn't there to witness such a cruel loss in the flesh.  I was feeling quite depressed at the time and that horrible conclusion could have tipped me over the edge especially being so far from home.

Very proud of the players for how they've managed to secure two comeback 2-2 draws in Salonika and Helsinki.

A week Thursday will be what it is.  Quite pleased I'm not making the trip up given they'll be no away support and fact game is like a glorified friendly with nothing at stake.

 

But what are your thoughts?

 

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I think as long as lessons are learned for future then this probably has been worth while. We now know we need to have a big enough and balanced squad to be able to rotate the team in games after Euro game. Money earned by club also helps.

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Will have been at five of our games.

The two against Hacken I was in Greece on holiday.

European adventure has 100% been worth it and had given the club a chance to bench mark where we are in terms of being able to compete at that level. Having said that failure to reach the group stages on a year after year could negate the experiences and benefits we have gained this time around.

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Worthwhile? Absolutely, but totally frustrating. A more experienced or better manager would not have allowed us to surrender a 2-0 lead at home. Think we’ve seen a lot of positives but it does also make the domestic performances even more annoying and I get that Europe is always different, but the levels haven’t been there domestically.  ultimately, it will have given a lot of our team some important experience playing against good European sides, rather than mediocrity we usually face in the play offs. 
 

it will be interesting to see how we go in from this moment. It’s all a bit pointless if we don’t get back up the table.

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I think it's been absolutely gash, and has ruined our season. We were nowhere near ready for it, it's taught us nothing and it's unlikely we'll ever have the money to build a squad good enough to compete in league and European competition. It's a farce of a setup, that takes away from football, rather than enhancing. Knockout football is what Europe should be about, leagues are for dicks.

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Absolutely worth it. Got to start somewhere. Funds from this year will help us reinvest in the squad. While we’re shit under Robson we’re still only 10 points off third with a game in hand, couple of strong signings and 3rd is well in reach. Then Europe repeats itself but we’re better prepared. 

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