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http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/football/spl/aberdeen/2010/03/25/aberdeen-decline-started-18-years-ago-when-fans-drove-alex-smith-out-says-dons-legend-john-mcmaster-86908-22137574/

 

Aberdeen decline started 18 years ago when fans drove Alex Smith out, says Dons legend John McMaster

 

Mar 25 2010 By Gordon Parks

 

JOHN McMASTER can trace the decline of Aberdeen's fortunes as accurately as he could thread a pass for the Dons during the glory days of the 1980s.

 

The Pittodrie legend believes the moment fan power was allowed to oust Alex Smith by protesting at the front door 18 years ago it was a watershed from which the club has never recovered.

 

Now history beckons once more with current gaffer Mark McGhee on the brink of going where no manager has gone before by leading the club to 12 games without a win.

 

St Mirren arrive in the Granite city on Saturday determined to cement that statistic but McMaster has told the Red Army that the only demonstrations taking place should be a show of unity and support towards the team.

 

He said: "The last time I saw crowds as low as they're getting at the moment was when I was a kid at Aberdeen and Jimmy Bonthrone was the manager.

 

"We were only getting 6,000 people turning up and they're now dwindling to below 10,000 once again. Fans aren't daft and whether there's a credit crunch or not, it doesn't look good.

 

"The fans now dictate things whether it's at Aberdeen, Celtic or wherever. We saw how fan power worked against Alex Smith when there were two hundred people staging a protest to get rid of him, which was a nonsense. I believe that ever since then we have struggled.

 

"It was the moment that changed everything and proved supporters can control things. Throwing scarves, ripping up season tickets and abusing the manager is a nonsense.

 

"There are other ways to vent - you don't need to do silly things.They should support the team or not turn up.

 

"Fans are entitled to have grievances but not by taking things to a personal level. It's time for a reality check and a bit of patience."

 

The dismay McMaster has for Dons' on and off-field problems is tempered by an acceptance of unrealistic expectations generated by a bygone era of success.

 

The man who now works with Middlesbrough's scouting team is adamant McGhee can get things right but admits it's been painful viewing this season.

 

He said: "I keep waiting for them to turn the corner as they always seem to come back from a defeat by doing well against the likes of Rangers and Celtic. It's the bottom clubs and the ones they should be beating that they seem to be struggling against.

 

"Every club has lost a bit of quality because of the credit crunch. I have a lot of feelings for the club and everyone needs to get together.

 

"My sons are Aberdonians born and bred and they're getting it heavy from their friends and it's not nice to see. Hopefully Mark will get it right and be given time. They need stability and the last thing Aberdeen should do is fire another manager.

 

"As a club we haven't been very good at that and with the exception of the Jimmy Calderwood era there has been no stability at all.

 

"We were firing managers every season or so which was unheard of at this club. I pity the man who takes over from Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United or Walter Smith at Rangers as they'll be firing managers until 2040 trying to emulate their success. It's a frightening situation.

 

"Aberdeen's decline has saddened me but it will be the same for Mark and everyone associated with the club.

 

"Mark has lost important players and it always takes a while for a squad to understand what a new manager wants. The team were set in their ways under Calderwood but Mark has come in and changed things.

 

"When he was appointed I was excited after the way he'd turned things around at Motherwell but things just haven't gelled as he would have liked. Maybe that's down to the transition."

 

Former Dons striker Stevie Cowans, who shared a dressing room with McMaster, believes it's time for the current squad to roll their sleeves up and take charge of their own destiny.

 

He said: "If you don't apply yourself and don't put the right things in place to get results then you'll find yourself inthesituationAberdeenarein.It'sonly hard work that brings a run of results like that to an end.

 

"Like all the teams struggling in the bottom half of the table, Aberdeen haven't got someone who scores goals on a regular basis.

 

"Darren Mackie has been there for 10 years yet he averages around five goals each season and they've taken Steven MacLean on loan yet he finds himself on the bench.

 

"But only time will tell if Mark McGhee is the right man for the job."

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Guest ally s

 

I was only 11 when Smith got the sack and I remember thinking at the time he had to go.

 

I often wonder what would have happened if Smith wasn't sacked, we had a long list of injuries to key players like gillhaus that season didn't we?

 

To be honest I think the decline of AFC started more than 18 years ago, I reckon we started going downhill when Chris Anderson passed away.

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I was only 11 when Smith got the sack and I remember thinking at the time he had to go.

 

I often wonder what would have happened if Smith wasn't sacked, we had a long list of injuries to key players like gillhaus that season didn't we?

 

To be honest I think the decline of AFC started more than 18 years ago, I reckon we started going downhill when Chris Anderson passed away.

 

There were injuries, to the extent that van de Ven ended up centre half at times and Mason and Ten Caat at full back now and then but the fact is it was just clear that it wasn't working any more.  Whether Smith had lost the respect of the players after bottling it at Ibrox the previous season or if the players themselves had lost confidence I'm not sure, but something had to change. That was a team who should have won the league, and they were on the slide. To be in mid-table with that set of players was nothing short of criminal.

 

Agree on your Chris Anderson comment too.  Also wish Dick Donald had listened to him more when he was around.

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The fact is there's no merit to McMaster claim as Miller finished runners up in 4 or 5 competitions to rangers the following two seasons if I remember right. At that time rangers had a great team and Miller tried to change it to move us up a level.

 

I don't also think that Chris Anderson dying had anywhere near the impact that Murray's millions at rangers and latterly McCann's turning around of celtic did.

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Thats our ritual telling off from the weegia over and done with foe a wee while then.  Same utter garbage spouted in different ways.

 

1) It is Aberdeens supporters fault.

2) It is our fault as we have "unrealistic expections" after the halcyon days of the 80's.

3)Smith was hard done by.

4)It is ok for support of the ugly sisters to behave as if success is thier divine right, but if outwith "them" we should be more tolerant of gash performances,

 

The glasgow press can go fuck itself.

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Thats our ritual telling off from the weegia over and done with foe a wee while then.  Same utter garbage spouted in different ways.

 

1) It is Aberdeens supporters fault.

2) It is our fault as we have "unrealistic expections" after the halcyon days of the 80's.

3)Smith was hard done by.

4)It is ok for support of the ugly sisters to behave as if success is thier divine right, but if outwith "them" we should be more tolerant of gash performances,

 

The glasgow press can go fuck itself.

 

The Aberdeen press is really that much better?

 

I'm no defending the press hereabouts by any means but the press in general is pretty fucking rotten.

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The Aberdeen press is really that much better?

 

I'm no defending the press hereabouts by any means but the press in general is pretty fucking rotten.

 

I'd go as far as to say that the good people down at Aberdeen Journals are even worse than their friends in Glasgow.

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I do agree that the standard of Aberdeen Journals is poor.  However, yhey are a local paper and with that in mind, they cater for local news and opinions, whilst probably trying to rectify the utter unbalances content from supposed NATIONAL papers as is the case with the retard and hun.

 

The only time that shower take any notice of us is to take a dig.

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