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P & J Editor article 13.02.2010


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It appears the editor of the P & J tunes in to AFC webchatspeaksites. "In My View" he called today's article and his first paragraph is an articulate appraisal of the rocket school of philosophy on matters AFC: -

 

Red Army yearns to be inspired for its support

BY ALEX MARTIN

 

Published: 13/02/2010

 

THE love is in short supply at Pittodrie. Little wonder. A chairman notable by his silence as he wrestles the combined role of house builder in recession and key-keeper of the region’s most important asset, a director of football who divides opinion among supporters and the business community, a manager in need of a cuddle and a team shorn of ability and determination.

 

It has not been the smoothest of starts to the New Year at Pittodrie and the Dons manager’s decision to cancel his press conference ahead of today’s game against Celtic is the latest incident in what has been a torrid campaign for the club.

 

These are difficult times and no immediate solution is in sight. Aber-deen's greatest achievement this season will be securing a place in the top half of the league come the split, and I have more than a few concerns about next week's cup replay against Raith.

 

Mark McGhee has gambled.

 

His tirade against a section of the support was a calculated risk and flies in the face of the first, golden rule of management which is to get, and keep, supporters on your side.

 

I don't agree with his assessment. I think the Aberdeen support are a quiet bunch, often in need of inspiration from their team rather than providing the motivation. But they are fair, know their football and do not, now, have unreasonable expectations.

 

If the feelgood factor is lacking it's little wonder considering some of the football on show this season, particularly at home.

 

But the Dons are not alone in lacking consistency. For a variety of reasons, only four top-flight clubs, Rangers, Hamilton, St Mirren and St Johnstone, are today led by the managers who were in charge at the end of last season following nine months of upheaval in the division.

 

Fear has become all-consuming and maintaining the status quo is the mantra which defines and unites the 10 clubs outwith the Old Firm who are scrambling for the minor places.

 

It's grim and while the Dons can at least look to the promise of a new generation, finances dictate Aberdeen's crop of youngsters will be sold.

 

Victory in the cup replay is essential. Lose and the season is lost.

 

The manager has asked for blind faith from the supporters as he attempts to transform his Dons and we are warned it will take two more years for McGhee to build his squad.

 

Time is not a luxury afforded to any manager.

 

Read more: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1603958#ixzz0fPElgZQW

 

I love the last line too, something that certain posters on another webchatspeaksite need to get the context of. When you need more material for your next article, Alex, be sure to visit again.  :wave:

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Not strictly true and a strange way to finish the piece after starting off saying the manager is in need of a cuddle... I'm sure that cuddle would be forthcoming if he asks in the right places....

For Aberdeen, you're probably right. We are conundrumenical on this point. The rest of football - and QPR and Hearts immediately spring to mind - are turning over managers at a surreal rate but with JC and MM, I think the club has shown and will continue to show a much greater degree of loyalty than industry norm. Love him or detest him, Calderwood got more than a fair innings. The timing of the needless contract extension - as he was never in demand - was 3.5 years into his reign and it was only for the fact that he was in 4 competitions at that time (late Jan/early Feb 2008), one of which you knew we were going to be slaughtered in that could possibly have justified his continued employment. In the face of restless natives, WM capitulated to the looking after of his fat mate where the signs were already there that that should have been his last season and call it quits at four.

 

As for McGhee, why should he be given anything other than a reasonable settling in period before being judged on results only, as all managers should be? There's the rub, where is the line where he can properly be judged on his own merits? Ifil, Grassi and Maclean (although far too early days to pronounce upon in his case) look hardly SPL class let alone Aberdeen. Are McGhee's signings poor picks or the inevitable result of an ever squeezed budget form a board that clearly does not have "the product" as its overwhelming priority just now, and arguably never did - RIP AFC, slowly dying since 1994?

 

One thing for sure in our case - and I think this is a positive - is that McGhee will get a fair innings and I sincerely hope that he turns it around. It's got nothing to do with the fact he was a legend player - this is irrelevant - but the combination of a lack of knee jerkism by our board who seem happy to sail along rudderless and communication-less, and the fact that MM's CV qualifies him for the role and he doesn't grate and embarrass the fans needlessly, will give him time, more time than most.

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For Aberdeen, you're probably right. We are conundrumenical on this point. The rest of football - and QPR and Hearts immediately spring to mind - are turning over managers at a surreal rate but with JC and MM, I think the club has shown and will continue to show a much greater degree of loyalty than industry norm. Love him or detest him, Calderwood got more than a fair innings. The timing of the needless contract extension - as he was never in demand - was 3.5 years into his reign and it was only for the fact that he was in 4 competitions at that time (late Jan/early Feb 2008), one of which you knew we were going to be slaughtered in that could possibly have justified his continued employment. In the face of restless natives, WM capitulated to the looking after of his fat mate where the signs were already there that that should have been his last season and call it quits at four.

 

As for McGhee, why should he be given anything other than a reasonable settling in period before being judged on results only, as all managers should be? There's the rub, where is the line where he can properly be judged on his own merits? Ifil, Grassi and Maclean (although far too early days to pronounce upon in his case) look hardly SPL class let alone Aberdeen. Are McGhee's signings poor picks or the inevitable result of an ever squeezed budget form a board that clearly does not have "the product" as its overwhelming priority just now, and arguably never did - RIP AFC, slowly dying since 1994?

 

One thing for sure in our case - and I think this is a positive - is that McGhee will get a fair innings and I sincerely hope that he turns it around. It's got nothing to do with the fact he was a legend player - this is irrelevant - but the combination of a lack of knee jerkism by our board who seem happy to sail along rudderless and communication-less, and the fact that MM's CV qualifies him for the role and he doesn't grate and embarrass the fans needlessly, will give him time, more time than most.

 

The quote function on this site is shite. It keeps scrolling up.

 

I'd only question if MM's budget is that different from JC. There is a smaller playing budget but it's hardly the stuff of the hyperbole read elsewhere, slashed etc. I just think Ifil and Grassi were poor, rushed, but probably necessary evil signings. I think there was more value to be had in Scotland Div1 at the time and he should've gone for loans instead.

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To be fair I am just wondering what a non transitional season would involve, we are chasing a top 4 spot, with a bit of luck we'd be 10 points better of this year and in the mix. We've got two lower league teams to beat and we're in a national cup semi final. I don't see this as a transitional season it just appears normal to me.

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