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P&J - Defeat casts doubt on manager’s signings


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www.thisisnorthscotland.co.uk

 

Defeat casts doubt on manager’s signings

 

Published: 11/08/2008

 

JIMMY Calderwood's chickens have come home to roost. Feathers will doubtless have flown in the home dressing-room but only so much blame can be attached to the players for their lack of pluck.

 

The team the manager has assembled is the product of his transfer dealings, and its opening performance did nothing to assuage pre-season concerns.

 

It is not so much the quality of the players brought in, although it was noticeable the extent to which Aberdeen's midfield instantly improved when Scott Severin was pushed into it after an inauspicious hour of McDonald and Kerr.

 

It is questionable whether this will turn out to be a better pairing than the captain and Touzani would have been.

 

The problem is chiefly with the type of player recruited.

 

Adding two such defensive options to the midfield mix would be acceptable if chances were being fashioned elsewhere, either with a third central midfielder behind one attacker or from both flanks.

 

But in this 4-4-2, with the Dons' only fearsome winger gone back to Birmingham without being replaced, it rendered the midfield completely devoid of creativity.

 

Aberdeen's wide men, perhaps scared away from the touchlines by the assistants’ garish outfits, posed no threat to Caley Thistle's full backs, with Jeffrey de Visscher looking no pacier even after a full pre-season and Jamie Smith apparently exhausted after 15 minutes.

 

Neither says much for the value of Calderwood's summer programme which, five years in, has yet to deliver a win in either of the first two competitive matches of any campaign.

 

Yet despite acknowledging the superiority of Caley Thistle's more numerous midfield, Calderwood resolutely refused, through three substitutions, to counter it with a fifth man and allowed his team to be passed off the pitch.

 

Inverness were sharper, fitter and the more inventive team. In Andy Barrowman they had an impressive figurehead in attack who was aggressive and has the ability to navigate his way around the box without the aid of a map.

 

He would have provided an excellent foil for Lee Miller but, coming from Ross County, is not the sort of player in whom Calderwood trusts. Instead, Aberdeen's own number 10 is still here, punting the ball over from directly beneath the crossbar.

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Aberdeen's own number 10 is still here, punting the ball over from directly beneath the crossbar.

 

Nice to see that someone else actually values something other than effort when it comes to appraising Darren Mackie's "contribution".

 

His turn and shot from 6 yards and his blocking of a shot (which appeared bound for the top corner) before skying the rebound miles over were, for a professional footballer, embarrassing.

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I'm half in agreement with this article. I say half because, whilst clear wastes of space like Mackie really are still here after nine years ... and STILL punting the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range ... I think we need to be fair on this Dons team.

 

Half of them haven't played together before, whereas ICT are a very settled side with little squad movement over the summer. This was the first full competitive match many of these players have played together. Yes they are all professional footballers (with the exception of Mackie who is not a footballer!!), but it takes a few games for the players to start understanding and learning how each other tends to play and who tends to stray into what areas of the park. Our immense back line of two years ago, for example, included Anderson, Diamond and Hart. That's three players who have come through the ranks of Aberdeen FC. They've played in the same team for years. They have played and trained alongside each other for many many years.

 

Kerr & McDonald met about a month ago! My verdict on the new team will wait until we've played the first month of fixtures. Then I think they will have few excuses. Mackie, however, ran out of excuses years ago.

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I'm half in agreement with this article. I say half because, whilst clear wastes of space like Mackie really are still here after nine years ... and STILL punting the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range ... I think we need to be fair on this Dons team.

 

Half of them haven't played together before, whereas ICT are a very settled side with little squad movement over the summer. This was the first full competitive match many of these players have played together. Yes they are all professional footballers (with the exception of Mackie who is not a footballer!!), but it takes a few games for the players to start understanding and learning how each other tends to play and who tends to stray into what areas of the park. Our immense back line of two years ago, for example, included Anderson, Diamond and Hart. That's three players who have come through the ranks of Aberdeen FC. They've played in the same team for years. They have played and trained alongside each other for many many years.

 

Kerr & McDonald met about a month ago! My verdict on the new team will wait until we've played the first month of fixtures. Then I think they will have few excuses. Mackie, however, ran out of excuses years ago.

 

What he said :thumbsup:

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Kerr & McDonald met about a month ago! My verdict on the new team will wait until we've played the first month of fixtures. Then I think they will have few excuses.

 

Does that explain why MacDonald couldn't tackle and Kerr couldn't pass?

 

I'm all for giving players the opportunity to build up a rapport, but come on. MacDonald was anonymous on Saturday and Kerr just didn't seem to know which side he was on.

 

Their performances on Saturday had nothing to do with the fact they don't really know each other. It looked far more like they were simply under-prepared and ill-advised by the manager on what their job actually was.

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It looked far more like they were simply under-prepared and ill-advised by the manager on what their job actually was.

 

Mate, see Severin in defence, Clark at left-back, Foster everywhere except goals, Nicholson on the wing ... and Mackie on the park. JC's got a habit of playing players where they don't normally play.

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Mate, see Severin in defence, Clark at left-back, Foster everywhere except goals, Nicholson on the wing ... and Mackie on the park. JC's got a habit of playing players where they don't normally play.

 

But Kerr and MacDonald are central midfielders, and were played in central midfield on Saturday.

 

I agree entirely that JC plays people out of position, and have been arguing pretty strongly about it in the Aberdeen Vs. Inverness thread. However, Kerr and MacDonald have no excuses in this respect. Their performances were simply very, very poor. Part of that is down to them, but part of it is down to JC and his management of players, even when they are in the right positions.

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The arguments about central defensive pairings are wearing a little thin too.

 

Considine and Severin must have some sort of fucking clue about each other, having been in the same squad for how many seasons?

 

Leaving aside the fact that a half of a successful defence have not been replaced is utterly reprehensible.

Thing is nobody knows what Severin will turn up or what Severin will do next.  Usually either brilliant or more often awful and all over the place nowadays.

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I'd like to see us set up something like this...

 

Langfield

 

New Rightback - Diamond - New Centrehalf - Mulgrew

 

Kerr

 

McDonald - Severin

 

Duff

 

Miller - Smith

 

In a diamond shape or a flat 4-3-3 with Mackie/Bebo coming in for Duff because Aberdeen really don't work with wingers.

 

I also think we're destined to play long ball no matter what, so if we have two players running off Miller's flick-ons then that doubles our chances of someone getting on the end of it immediately.

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Thing is nobody knows what Severin will turn up or what Severin will do next.  Usually either brilliant or more often awful and all over the place nowadays.

 

Seve is not a centre half. He should be playing in midfield alongside Kerr however that is unlikely to happen as we are short a centre back.

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I also think we're destined to play long ball no matter what, so if we have two players running off Miller's flick-ons then that doubles our chances of someone getting on the end of it immediately.

 

With the signing of Tommy Wright that is almost a cert.

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I'm half in agreement with this article. I say half because, whilst clear wastes of space like Mackie really are still here after nine years ... and STILL punting the ball over the crossbar from point-blank range ... I think we need to be fair on this Dons team.

 

Half of them haven't played together before, whereas ICT are a very settled side with little squad movement over the summer. This was the first full competitive match many of these players have played together. Yes they are all professional footballers (with the exception of Mackie who is not a footballer!!), but it takes a few games for the players to start understanding and learning how each other tends to play and who tends to stray into what areas of the park. Our immense back line of two years ago, for example, included Anderson, Diamond and Hart. That's three players who have come through the ranks of Aberdeen FC. They've played in the same team for years. They have played and trained alongside each other for many many years.

 

Kerr & McDonald met about a month ago! My verdict on the new team will wait until we've played the first month of fixtures. Then I think they will have few excuses. Mackie, however, ran out of excuses years ago.

 

See, you're right enough Reekie about players needing time to gel, but it was basic shite from players who've been here a long time that cost us on Saturday. Smith should NEVER have been thinking of dribbling the ball at the edge of the box. The fact he was nearer the right wing than the left wing he was playing on was almost as bad. Then, to compound it, you've got Considine, Seve, Langfield (and Mulgrew, but he at least tried to close down both Tokely and the winger Smith had left him with) all missing/leaving the slowest cross in the world.

 

Then you've got Langfield sclaffing what seemed like every single passback. At one point in the second half, he hoofed it about 20 yards right of where he was stood, to 2 Caley players chasing him down and was very lucky to get away with it.

 

Foster could barely find a red shirt if he was put in front of a mirror before kick off and told to look closely at what he was wearing. Basic, basic errors. Errors that no amount of new players disrupting the team could be blamed for. Errors you'd struggle to see in a year of watching Sunday League/Dutch amateur games.

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