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Spiers with a few words for Willie Miller


BobbyBiscuit
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King Willie Miller is losing the plot

 

Graham Spiers

 

 

I have one abiding memory of Willie Miller, Aberdeen legend, and it has nothing to do with Gothenburg in 1983. Rather, it is of a wet, soggy December afternoon at Fir Park in 1994, when Aberdeen, in the very death-throes of Miller’s time there as manager, were playing some of the most woeful football ever associated with the club of the past 25 years.

 

I looked down from the pressbox that afternoon when the decidedly unsilky Peter “Silky†Hetherston and other Dons players were haplessly punting the ball around — normally a long ball. In their vivid red, proud Aberdeen were sinking at the time in the Scottish Premier Division, and Miller was soon to be sacked. Yet, watching all this that day, the visiting Dons fans kept up an almost continual hymn of praise to Miller, regardless of the rubbish on the park. It was a reminder that in football, fans forever cherish greatness on the field from any player.

 

That was 15 years ago. Alas, today, with the waygoing of Miller’s once-famous moustache, I fear a sense of perspective, not to say some vital grey matter, has also been lost to Aberdeen’s director of football. Miller has been exhibiting a barminess recently that is the equal of any of his intemperate outbursts against referees on the field 20-plus years ago. I find myself forced to ask: is the Aberdeen legend losing his marbles?

 

First we had Miller’s outburst two weeks ago about SPL referee Steven Nicholls, who sent off two Aberdeen players in the 2-0 defeat at Hibernian. Then we had, at Miller’s behest, the infamous “against 12 men†rant on the official Aberdeen FC website (the famous conspiracy among Scottish referees against the Dons — that’s a new one). In recent days, we’ve had Miller continuing in this vein, claiming Aberdeen have been on the receiving end of a number of refereeing injustices over the past 12 months and that “enough is enoughâ€.

 

Bafflingly, Miller says he would like to see a situation where “football referees can get to at least half-time without having to issue any bookingsâ€. Is it just me, or is this statement truly ludicrous? While we’re at it, Willie, why can’t we just have a situation where teams such as Aberdeen can at least have two or three goals in the bag by half-time, rather than the ongoing torpor of these 0-0 games?

 

I wish Miller would stop being so fatuous. It does Aberdeen no good to have this type of drivel seeping around the club’s website or in the newspapers. There is no refereeing conspiracy involving the Dons, excepting perhaps those shrinking-violets for match officials who were once so willingly browbeaten by Miller himself on the park. So we need hear no more of this tripe.

 

I have a hunch that Miller, with his recent comments, is actually coming under a different sort of pressure — not from referees, actually, but from Aberdeen’s increasingly frustrated supporters who want him to start showing much greater evidence that he is capable of taking the club forward as Pittodrie’s director of football. Today, many Dons fans in their early 20s, who have no first-hand knowledge of Miller, the Aberdeen legend, are not so worshipful towards him and, bluntly, don’t find him too impressive in his role at the club. In recent years, there has been a distinct sea-change in some of the attitudes of the Aberdeen fans, and not all of it has been to the benefit of a figure such as Willie Miller.

 

One example of this is the Aberdeen Supporters Trust. There was a time when the popular Miller was the public face of this movement, as he espoused many of the fans wishes for their club and gave voice to many of their concerns. This, though, is long past. Ever since being installed as the club’s director of football, the last thing Miller has wanted to do is align himself with those who are critical of Aberdeen’s performance off the park, and for a very obvious reason. If you are critical of Aberdeen FC these days, then you have Willie Miller very much in your line of fire.

 

The Aberdeeen trust recently issued observations about their club’s development under Miller, in which they concluded thus: “There is no evidence of progress being made at the club — rather the reverse.†The trust also derided Miller for his handing of new, lucrative contracts to Jimmy Calderwood and his management team in January 2007, only for Calderwood and his backroom staff to be expensively sacked just 16 months later.

 

“That [the handing of a new contract to Calderwood] was a big mistake,†wrote the trust, before concluding that, under Miller, Aberdeen was “no longer improving†and was “ineffectiveâ€. These and other tart comments about his work left Miller smarting at a club where he is more used to being lauded and feted. But they also reveal the Aberdeen support will not suspend their critical faculties forever over the great players — Miller principal among them — who brought their club such glory in the 1980s.

 

The gist of many Aberdeen fans’ complaints is this: why can the club not be taken forward financially? Why does Aberdeen appear so perennially strapped for cash? And why, as director of football, has Miller allowed their club, if anything, to go backwards, not forwards, over the past 18 months?

 

Miller, doubtless, will have his own answers to these questions. One of them, for sure, will be the fact he is constrained himself by the tight financial belt Stewart Milne, Aberdeen’s wealthy owner, places around the club. Yet Miller would be better served taking his withering glare off SPL referees and, instead, focusing it on his own area of jurisdiction. He’s got a hard enough job on his hands without commenting on alleged shortcomings of others.

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Hmm. This seems to be adding together two and two to make five. While I don't believe that referees should be unnecessarily criticised, The Statement (which wasn't even attributed directly to Miller) isn't exactly the latest in a catalouge of outbursts. One strong defence against a refereeing performance in five years as Director of Football is hardly an issue.

 

Also, I think Spiers is taking the Trust's statement out of context a little, as its overall message was for the club to be rid of Calderwood. Although Miller et al made a mistake in signing him on for three and a half years, the fact that the tanned one has since left makes this particular statement a little outdated and therefore not exactly relevant as evidence against Miller.

 

I for one don't really have a problem with Willie at the moment. Although some will say that he takes this incredible, astronomical salary and does the square root of fuck all, there is clearly a benefit to having a football man (particularly one with such affinity to the club) on the board, especially with regards to managerial appointments, player trading and youth development. But hey, he canna run a chipper, so he'd best get tae fuck anyway I suppose.

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I looked down from the pressbox that afternoon when the decidedly unsilky Peter “Silky†Hetherston and other Dons players were haplessly punting the ball around — normally a long ball. In their vivid red, proud Aberdeen were sinking at the time in the Scottish Premier Division, and Miller was soon to be sacked. Yet, watching all this that day, the visiting Dons fans kept up an almost continual hymn of praise to Miller, regardless of the rubbish on the park. It was a reminder that in football, fans forever cherish greatness on the field from any player.

 

Nothing at all to do with the previous two seasons, where we finished 2nd in each.  God forbid that fans give a manager a bit of time and encouragement to change things round.

I'm with him about Peter Hetherston, though. He was hellish.

 

I have a hunch that Miller, with his recent comments, is actually coming under a different sort of pressure — not from referees, actually, but from Aberdeen’s increasingly frustrated supporters who want him to start showing much greater evidence that he is capable of taking the club forward as Pittodrie’s director of football. Today, many Dons fans in their early 20s, who have no first-hand knowledge of Miller, the Aberdeen legend, are not so worshipful towards him and, bluntly, don’t find him too impressive in his role at the club. In recent years, there has been a distinct sea-change in some of the attitudes of the Aberdeen fans, and not all of it has been to the benefit of a figure such as Willie Miller.

 

Has Spiers been reading the hat?

 

The gist of many Aberdeen fans’ complaints is this: why can the club not be taken forward financially? Why does Aberdeen appear so perennially strapped for cash? And why, as director of football, has Miller allowed their club, if anything, to go backwards, not forwards, over the past 18 months?

 

Miller, doubtless, will have his own answers to these questions. One of them, for sure, will be the fact he is constrained himself by the tight financial belt Stewart Milne, Aberdeen’s wealthy owner, places around the club. Yet Miller would be better served taking his withering glare off SPL referees and, instead, focusing it on his own area of jurisdiction. He’s got a hard enough job on his hands without commenting on alleged shortcomings of others.

 

So if you know the money thing is down to Milne, why are you questioning Miller on it?

If Miller has a genuine grievance with a ref's performance then he is exactly the person - or Mark McGhee - who should be questionning it. It is entirely possible they are attempting to bring about a siege mentality at Pittodrie, I hope they are. And if they are, they'd probably better get used to more shite articles like this one.

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And why, as director of football, has Miller allowed their club, if anything, to go backwards, not forwards, over the past 18 months?

 

???

 

Why 18 months?  Is this because under Miller we've gone forward on both the financial, youth and full team and Spiers can't admit it?  Don't see why the last 18 months is suddenly the issue, considering we've just changed the manager, who needs time.

 

Not one of Spiers' best articiles IMHO.

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Speirs is a hun bastard <nuff sed>

 

Thought the same thing. An article written by a hun, who has recently been critical of the Huns (and their support), to appease his hun paymasters. Bit of a shame because the most important point was:

 

...why can the club not be taken forward financially? Why does Aberdeen appear so perennially strapped for cash?

 

I'm sorry Mister Speirs in this instance it is you, not the Aberdeen support, who is living in the past (as the rest of your breed like to claim of us). Claiming that the current director of FOOTBALL, can in any way be responsible for the clubs racking up of debt in the ten or so years prior to his appointment or Stewart Milne's subsequent tight purse strings; is desperate straw clutching at best. At worst it is jumping on the idiots bandwagon ;) in a cheap attempt at point scoring against someone who denied your team chances of silver-wear time and again in the 80's, with the added bonus of dividing the Aberdeen support some more. I sense a desperate supporter hurting at the desperate nature of his teams plight using the tried and tested hun special of, if there is no ridiculous arguments left, deflect!  ;D

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Speirs is a Rangers "fan". I thought that had been done already. To death.

 

Miller has me grimacing with his current public outpourings about referees. That said, he is far from alone in this respect and pretty restrained in the criticism he's handed out, see other episodes involving Smith at the huns for example.

 

That said I think Speirs is being a bit disingenuous here and agree with the bits of sillyness BB has highlighted and as someone else has already mentioned, he may be basing a lot of this article on too many late bored nights when he has wandered unwittingly into the Hat.

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Again, I don't believe Spiers is a hun. After reading a number of his articles over the past decade, I would be more inclined to think he's a fan of one of the east coast teams .... and I wouldn't put it past him being an Arab.

 

Yesterday, it was just the same at Ibrox: the same anticipation, the same sense of a quickening pulse as you made your way down Edmiston Drive to the famous stadium.

 

Who knows? but strange thing to write for a supporter of any other team.

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I do agree with him on one point and that is the recent outburst on the official site was cringeworthy and ill advised and will result in a financial penalty that we can ill afford. Perhaps if this was done at an earlier stage like the mulgrew-cunt face hun prick incident at ibrox I could have understood it but I did not think there was anything wrong with the two red cards given out. Maguires would have been a yellow anyway which would have resulted him being sent off anyway.

 

As baggy89 observes though how Miller can be held responsible for debt that was run up prior to his arrival in an official capacity is a strange one. He also says that the club has gone backwards in the last 18 months but this is partly due to the cost cutting measures being imposed to try and reduce the debt.

 

It is also a strange time to be printing this two weeks after the event that is being written about. All in all it looks to me like an article written as it is a slow news day old firm wise.

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I have iun the past been a big fan of spiers, he was the only journo who seemed to get why we didnt like JC to much and wrote a very good article summing it up for one.  That said i have read a few of his in the past month that have made me wary of him.  Whilst there are a couple of reasonable points in the above it seems more personal in its criticisms than is par for the course for spiers. 

Re millers "outbursts" at ref's i believe these to simply be trying to get the siege mentality back at pittodrie after 5 years of calderwood being everyone's best mate

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I have iun the past been a big fan of spiers, he was the only journo who seemed to get why we didnt like JC to much and wrote a very good article summing it up for one.  That said i have read a few of his in the past month that have made me wary of him.  Whilst there are a couple of reasonable points in the above it seems more personal in its criticisms than is par for the course for spiers. 

Re millers "outbursts" at ref's i believe these to simply be trying to get the siege mentality back at pittodrie after 5 years of calderwood being everyone's best mate

 

If so then....

 

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :beers:

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