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Calderwood in the Scotland on Sunday


Kowalski
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http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/sport/Jimmy-Calderwood39s-second-coming.5988951.

 

Jimmy Calderwood's second coming

 

Published Date: 17 January 2010

 

HE STILL doesn't understand it. Back in work, he knows he has to let it go but new Kilmarnock manager Jimmy Calderwood still can't rationalise his enforced departure from Aberdeen in the summer.

"I'm going to talk to you about this now and I'm sure I will be asked about it again next week before we play them, but after that I'm not going to talk about it any more. But it still hurts. I loved my time up there and I wasn't the only one at the club who was emotional that last day. I did a good job.

 

"The board still haven't given me a reason. Maybe they can't," he says with a shrug.

 

Maybe they think they don't need to. After all, whether it should be considered valid or not, the reason was splashed across internet sites, repeated time and again on radio phone-ins and newspaper hotlines and was the subject of morose mumbling among the Aberdeen faithful. They wanted cup success and he couldn't deliver.

 

"I never ducked those comments, I remember being at one of these fans' forums and being told by one person that he would rather have a cup final appearance than a place in the top six. He didn't even care if we won the cup final, he just wanted his day in the sun and (former Dons defender and Aberdeen Evening Express columnist] Stewart McKimmie agreed with him. I couldn't get my head around that. Top six meant more money, better games and the chance to get into Europe and I gave them top six every year and I'm very proud of that record and I think I'm right in saying, other than Aberdeen, only the Old Firm could boast that record during my time there."

 

It's a record he would dearly love to protect even though he has taken over a club immersed in a relegation fight. Rather than look down, he is looking up and with sixth-placed Aberdeen seven points above them, he has 14 games left to bridge that gap before the split. It's a big challenge but it's one he believes is also realistic. He wouldn't have contemplated taking on the role vacated by Jim Jefferies if he didn't, regardless of how keen he was to end his exile and how much his assistant Jimmy Nicholl was pestering him into accepting.

 

"It's my neck on the block, my reputation and I'm still very ambitious," he says. "I was desperate to get back into football, I was hating being out of it, but not that desperate that I would take just anything."

 

An evening's contemplation was needed, during which he studied the names of players at his disposal. In doing so he came to the conclusion that even with no money to bring in new faces, he had the personnel to move up the table. "There are good players at Kilmarnock and they shouldn't be where they are. That's no disrespect to Jim and Billy (Brown], who I have a lot of time for but maybe they just need to hear a different voice and get a bit of confidence back."

 

Having met the squad on Friday afternoon, he immediately laid down new ground rules, all designed to bolster a feeling on togetherness. Wee things really, but he wants them all travelling to away games together, instead of various pick-up points and a fragmented journey. At home matches he has told them no one leaves until 6.15pm. A room has been set aside for the players and staff and their families. "I did the same at Dunfermline and Aberdeen. If you don't, they all shoot off and I don't want that because that's where I can have a word with them after a game or they can have a chat with me. If they mess up they have to face their mates or the manager, and when we win we get to celebrate together. I think it's a good thing."

 

At the first training session, too, there was scope for optimism. "I was very impressed. I don't know if they train to that standard every day, but from now on they'd better. I told them that. They have now set their own standards."

 

A sociable type, Calderwood's drive is often underestimated. His fluid tactics are sometimes considered baffling or even suicidal, but he says that organising his teams is one of his strengths. "Making those changes works more than it doesn't but no one talks about those ones," he says. "And when I push more players forward, it's when we are already losing and trying to get back into the game. No, you can't commit suicide if you're already dead. I'm not being kamikaze, I'm fighting to give us a lifeline and take something from the game!"

 

His affability is definite but when it comes to the daily grind, there is no slacking, no Mr Nice Guy. "Jimmy and I have very big demands. I think that was one of the good things we learned when we went on our trip around Europe watching the training at Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Ajax, Manchester United. We learned that we have been doing a lot of things right. We demand a high tempo and high standards in training. We are always making demands of ourselves and our players and if people don't like it they can leave.

 

"Jimmy keeps a track of everything we do, every player we bring in or let go and I think he said we had 50-60 players during our time at Aberdeen. It helps freshen things up, and it's a reflection of those standards we set. But look at the players who react well to the demands, they've got the chance to go down south and do well for themselves."

 

That is still the aim for Calderwood. He did not hide the fact when he discussed his contract with Killie. He wanted a deal until the summer. No longer. After that he still hopes a job will become available in England. He has friends in high places and has made many good contacts while scouting for players.

 

"That's where I want to test myself. I had offers to go to places like Dubai and I could have had all the money and the cars and the lifestyle but I'm not ready for that yet, not while I still have my ambition. Imagine it, players turning up some days and not bothering other days, I couldn't deal with that. I want to win too much to accept that attitude. It would drive me mad."

 

No, being out the game for seven months has not made him crave the pipe and slippers or even a day sat by the pool with a bit of training in the evening sun. The enforced vacation has made him even hungrier for all the success he previously craved.

 

And he believes in himself and his inherited Kilmarnock squad. Much will depend on luck and he will need his best players fit but the rest is down to organisation, tough training and enhanced belief. His enthusiasm had threatened to wane as self-doubt nibbled at his synapses but, seeing his smile and his enthusiastic gesturing, listening to the infectious optimism about how it can all be made good, it's clear Jimmy Calderwood is back.

 

He smiles wryly as he acknowledges the ultimate irony would be a good cup run with Kilmarnock this season but he will not allow himself to look beyond tomorrow's fourth round tie against Falkirk. He has a fantasy idea of how the next few months will pan out, though. "I turn things around, take Kilmarnock up table and protect my record, then I'm off," he says with a theatrical wave of the hand. "Off to England and a new challenge. That would shut some people up." A fantasy at the moment… but no one will demand he turns it into reality more than the man himself.

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"Off to England and a new challenge. That would shut some people up."

 

that sounds rather bitter and you can only assume he's talking about certain sections of our support as he has a generally good rapport with the media.  He had a bit of a snidey dig at the fans on Goals on Sunday a couple of weeks ago which was a bit of a shame after all the good things he said about the club beforehand.

 

"The board still haven't given me a reason. Maybe they can't," he says with a shrug.

 

Two things here:

 

I think that's spineless and extremely unprofessional of the board if true. Calderwood served us well and should have been afforded more respect than that.

 

Secondly, Jimmy knows why he was sacked. The board telling him why would only have confirmed what he knew anyway.

 

"I never ducked those comments, I remember being at one of these fans' forums and being told by one person that he would rather have a cup final appearance than a place in the top six. He didn't even care if we won the cup final, he just wanted his day in the sun and (former Dons defender and Aberdeen Evening Express columnist] Stewart McKimmie agreed with him. I couldn't get my head around that. Top six meant more money, better games and the chance to get into Europe and I gave them top six every year and I'm very proud of that record and I think I'm right in saying, other than Aberdeen, only the Old Firm could boast that record during my time there."

 

The top six thing is a false achievement.  You get bigger games after the split compared to the bottom six. None of the games after the split in Jimmy's time were bigger than a cup final.  He can talk up his top six "achievements" all he wants, but I reckon the lack of a cup final never mind even winning the thing must haunt him, and this whole thing is merely a project in self promotion.

 

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I noticed this earlier today and thought he didn't come out of it looking very good. I still think, if there had been a club in England interested in him, he would have bitten their hand off. And if it didn't come after all these "top 6" finishes, I doubt it ever will. I thank JC for what he did for the club, but the embarrassing domestic cup campaigns were ultimately his downfall and the bit you highlighted BB is probably why we never pushed on. He didn't know what it was like to win and therefore didn't understand it.

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Guest rocket debris

He's in the Sunday Times as well. "Scores to settle" page 8, Sport section.

 

It's the fault of chairmen that he's been out of work apparently.

 

but then they (chairmen) go for somebody who has played there; there are people who have been sacked three or four times and walk into another job. Where do some of these chairmen get their ideas from? I'm convinced that if I had stayed at Birmingham City (where Calderwood played more than 100 games) I would have been manager at some point. It's strange, you wonder if they do their homework.

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He's in the Sunday Times as well. "Scores to settle" page 8, Sport section.

 

It's the fault of chairmen that he's been out of work apparently.

 

You have to admit that he, kind of, has a point.

 

How people like Megson, and Hart in the last couple of season managed to get gigs in the EPL, is beyond me. Peter Taylor, Kevin Blackwell, Allan Pardew, Colin Calderwood... ?

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You have to admit that he, kind of, has a point.

 

How people like Megson, and Hart in the last couple of season managed to get gigs in the EPL, is beyond me. Peter Taylor, Kevin Blackwell, Allan Pardew, Colin Calderwood... ?

 

Whilst I see his point, people in England have no idea who the fuck he is, and chairmen generally will want to go for a "name" first and foremost.

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You have to admit that he, kind of, has a point.

No, I don't have to admit that he has a point. A person is either sought after or he's not. He evidently isn't.

 

What qualities does Jimmy have that would make him an attractive proposition? What level are we talking here?

 

He wouldn't be my choice for a part time team let alone a professional outfit.

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Hold on...For a manager to take 2 failing teams and re juvinate them is quite a task and he done that at Dunfermilne as well as here...It might not be the biggest name to go for but he has a proven track record (Minus the cups up here) but apart from that i cant see much wrong

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Ill take it your not a fan then? I wasent his biggest but its obvious that he has turned two clubs on their heads and sorted them out

Given the budget he had at both, I don't agree that his record is as good as you obviously do.

 

I believe that his personal qualities are such that he will never get a big gig again.

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The budgets were huge ::)Was it not 250k on Lovell the most he spent up here and the rest were pretty much free signings...

In comparison to other clubs in the SPL, he did not outperform them at Aberdeen. His player budget was always 3rd or 4th in the country.

 

But that's off topic. On topic, the two articles today reveal the depth of his ignorance and a false notion of his own self worth.

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My god you would think that my view was a wildly minority one. What did I say?

 

Am I allowed not to like him? Are you forgetting his continuous blaming of the players in his first two years until Aberdeen Journals kicked that out of him? Have you forgotten the infuriating tombola and tactics that failed more often than not? What about his insulting references to the fans and the North east? Did you not hear him say that we didn't support the team enough, that we are cowardly "keyboard warriors" and that we all had unrealistic expectations?

 

When you listen to him, does your instinct not inform you that he is a blustering charlatan? Do you not understand that he will never get a job with a club with an average crowd of five figures? Are his comments in two of today's papers not evidence of bitterness towards us and a complete ignorance of why he's no longer at Aberdeen? I thought that it might be pretty obvious that his own notion of self worth was off the plant with regard to unrealistic.

 

But my purpose was not to come on here and reveal the obvious about him. I merely added an actual quote from the paper. Then, incredulously to me, 4 posters thought that he had a point. I disagreed and now you take a strop. What does puzzle me is that a number of you won't hear any criticism of the man despite the evidence to the contrary. That's fine but accept that different people have different views and in my experience the majority of Aberdeen fans were delighted to see the back of him. He's history, and now that he has emerged as a competing manager in the SPL then I'm sure we'd all like to see him off with a defeat next week.

 

Equally puzzling is what anyone finds to like within the man. Is it symapthy for who he is, do you genuinely rate him or is it just taking an alternative stand for the sake of it?

 

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My god you would think that my view was a wildly minority one. What did I say?

 

Am I allowed not to like him? Are you forgetting his continuous blaming of the players in his first two years until Aberdeen Journals kicked that out of him? Have you forgotten the infuriating tombola and tactics that failed more often than not? What about his insulting references to the fans and the North east? Did you not hear him say that we didn't support the team enough, that we are cowardly "keyboard warriors" and that we all had unrealistic expectations?

 

When you listen to him, does your instinct not inform you that he is a blustering charlatan? Do you not understand that he will never get a job with a club with an average crowd of five figures? Are his comments in two of today's papers not evidence of bitterness towards us and a complete ignorance of why he's no longer at Aberdeen? I thought that it might be pretty obvious that his own notion of self worth was off the plant with regard to unrealistic.

 

But my purpose was not to come on here and reveal the obvious about him. I merely added an actual quote from the paper. Then, incredulously to me, 4 posters thought that he had a point. I disagreed and now you take a strop. What does puzzle me is that a number of you won't hear any criticism of the man despite the evidence to the contrary. That's fine but accept that different people have different views and in my experience the majority of Aberdeen fans were delighted to see the back of him. He's history, and now that he has emerged as a competing manager in the SPL then I'm sure we'd all like to see him off with a defeat next week.

 

Equally puzzling is what anyone finds to like within the man. Is it symapthy for who he is, do you genuinely rate him or is it just taking an alternative stand for the sake of it?

 

Things I liked about Jimmy Calderwood:

 

1. Our league placings improved markedly after his arrival

2. He won more games than his predecessors

3. He led us to memorable games against Copenhagen, Bayern and the like

 

Things I didn't like about Jimmy Calderwood:

 

1. The football was a little primitive at times

2. He had a poor domestic cup record, with occaisionally gutless pperformances in these competitions

 

Anything else to me, and I'm sure many others, pales into insignificance. I don't think judging him personally through his media work is at all relevant compared to his results on the pitch.

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Anything else to me, and I'm sure many others, pales into insignificance. I don't think judging him personally through his media work is at all relevant compared to his results on the pitch.

I agree. If his results had been acceptable, we wouldn't cared what came out of his fat gob but having to endure shite performances, humiliating cup exits, continuous excuses and insults, it's no surprise when he got torn apart. We'll see in the future just how good a manager he is, from his results on the pitch. I predict that he'll get found out big time at whatever low level he ends up at.

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I agree. If his results had been acceptable, we wouldn't cared what came out of his fat gob but having to endure shite performances, humiliating cup exits, continuous excuses and insults, it's no surprise when he got torn apart. We'll see in the future just how good a manager he is, from his results on the pitch. I predict that he'll get found out big time at whatever low level he ends up at.

 

Nonetheless, the extent to which he failed on the pitch is not as great as you make out. Surely if he was an unequivocal failure you would have little need to resort to various press ramblings as a stick to beat him with, as the results would perhaps speak for themselves?

 

As for where JC ends up later on in his career, do you really care? He's proved himself as a capable manager by succeeding in stabilising AFC, of that there is no doubt at all and of course this is the only thing that matters. To allow your view of this to be clouded due to the incredibly insulting/frustrating/hurtful things he's said only evokes a certain bitterness that you accuse him of.

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Guest rocket debris

Nonetheless, the extent to which he failed on the pitch is not as great as you make out. Surely if he was an unequivocal failure you would have little need to resort to various press ramblings as a stick to beat him with, as the results would perhaps speak for themselves?

 

As for where JC ends up later on in his career, do you really care? He's proved himself as a capable manager by succeeding in stabilising AFC, of that there is no doubt at all and of course this is the only thing that matters. To allow your view of this to be clouded due to the incredibly insulting/frustrating/hurtful things he's said only evokes a certain bitterness that you accuse him of.

Of course he failed on the pitch. He wouldn't have been sacked otherwise. Personally, in this my sixth decade of supporting AFC, I only once turned my back on the club. I never saw Aberdeen for the whole of the 2007 calendar year as I was sick fed up with Calderwood's pish performances. You might have agreed with Jimmy's self-assessment and his declaration of success. Perhaps this concrete ceiling loser mentality has now pervaded the whole culture at AFC.

 

No I don't give a fuck where he ends up but if you're so right about how good a manager he is, then we shall see in the future.

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Of course he failed on the pitch. He wouldn't have been sacked otherwise. Personally, in this my sixth decade of supporting AFC, I only once turned my back on the club. I never saw Aberdeen for the whole of the 2007 calendar year as I was sick fed up with Calderwood's pish performances. You might have agreed with Jimmy's self-assessment and his declaration of success. Perhaps this concrete ceiling loser mentality has now pervaded the whole culture at AFC.

 

No I don't give a fuck where he ends up but if you're so right about how good a manager he is, then we shall see in the future.

 

If parts of calderwood's tenure at the club has been the only time you've turned your back on AFC then I can only assume that you must have been on hallucinogenics through the spells of paterson, hegarty etc as these spells were significantly worse. And that's only in the time I've followed Aberdeen.

 

You come across as very bitter towards Calderwood and incapable of letting go now he's gone. Seems that you have a huge chip on your shoulder after his "criticism" of Aberdonians/Aberdeen fans.

 

the extent to which he failed on the pitch is not as great as you make out.

 

Exactly

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Of course he failed on the pitch. He wouldn't have been sacked otherwise. Personally, in this my sixth decade of supporting AFC, I only once turned my back on the club. I never saw Aberdeen for the whole of the 2007 calendar year as I was sick fed up with Calderwood's pish performances. You might have agreed with Jimmy's self-assessment and his declaration of success. Perhaps this concrete ceiling loser mentality has now pervaded the whole culture at AFC.

 

No I don't give a fuck where he ends up but if you're so right about how good a manager he is, then we shall see in the future.

 

In terms of re-establishing our position at the correct end of the table, when put into context of the previous 10 years, he was a success on the pitch. The league performances plateaued however, and following poor cup performances he was justifiably removed. Whether this makes him a good manager or not is a matter of opinion , but to deny his achivements with us, whilst citing a 'loser mentality', seems a little churlish.

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If parts of calderwood's tenure at the club has been the only time you've turned your back on AFC then I can only assume that you must have been on hallucinogenics through the spells of paterson, hegarty etc as these spells were significantly worse. And that's only in the time I've followed Aberdeen.

 

You come across as very bitter towards Calderwood and incapable of letting go now he's gone. Seems that you have a huge chip on your shoulder after his "criticism" of Aberdonians/Aberdeen fans.

Most of the 90's and 00's were terrible. The play off v. Dunfermline under Aitken was probably the low point and we then had over a decade of incompetent managerial appointments by this current chairman. I missed fitba on a Saturday so I came back but under no illusion of what it would be like, given what my mates were saying and what I was hearing in match commentaries and what I was reading in the papers.

 

I am not bitter. As I said, I never rated the cunt and never warmed to him and I'm delighted he's gone and he's now our history. Your impression that I have a chip on my shoulder is wrong. I'm become intrigued why you, and others (mostly on DT it would appear), are so vociferous in his defence though? Do you rate him as a manager and were grateful for our performances and results under him?

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