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aberdeen will seek scotland under-21 coach to take over as new manager at pittodrie

Stark reality facing Dons as McGhee implodes

By Paul Third and Michael Gannon

 

Published: 10/11/2010

 

The Aberdeen board has identified Billy Stark as one of its leading candidates to succeed Mark McGhee as Dons manager.

 

McGhee's tenure at Pittodrie has not yet been officially ended but he surely must go.

 

Last night's 2-1 defeat by Inverness was the final chapter, following on from the Dons dreadful 9-0 humiliation at Celtic.

 

Inverness inflicted an eighth Dons defeat in 10 SPL matches with a first-half penalty from Adam Rooney and a late winner from Grant Munro either side of a Andrius Velicka equaliser. A parting of the ways is now expected in the next 48 hours once severance negotiations can be concluded for McGhee, his assistant Scott Leitch and fellow coach Colin Meldrum.

 

The process of sourcing a replacement has already began and Stark is in the frame to succeed McGhee at Pittodrie. The 53-year-old former St Mirren, Aberdeen, Celtic, Kilmarnock, Hamilton Academical and Kilmarnock midfielder has impressed the Dons directors with the work he has done with the Scotland under-21 side.

 

Stark has been in the position since 2008, having previously managed Morton, St Johnstone and Queen's Park, and, having taken the young Scots to the European under-21 championship play-offs last month, his stock has never been higher.

 

The former Dons favourite was linked with the Hibernian job last month before the Edinburgh club appointed Colin Calderwood.

 

Dons director of football Willie Miller is a short-term option to return to the dugout while a successor for McGhee is found although the club is also considering putting captain Paul Hartley in charge on a caretaker basis alongside an experienced assistant – with former Dundee manager Jocky Scott a potential candidate.

 

Another former Don, Ross County manager Derek Adams, has a clause in his contract which would allow him to leave Dingwall should an offer come from an SPL club.

 

Adams is also in contention, but whether his father George, who serves as director of football Victoria Park, would also move to Pittodrie with him is unclear, as a move for father and son would surely bring Miller's tenure at the club to an end.

 

Any new manager would need to galvanise the Dons support. Only 5,917, the lowest of the season, turned up at Pittodrie for what was a tense evening. Aberdeen went behind in the first half when referee John McKendrick awarded a tame penalty to Inverness after Darren Mackie was judged to have pushed Munro in the penalty area.

 

Adam Rooney converted but the Dons struck back after the interval when Andrius Velicka, on as a substitute for the injured Mackie, calmly grabbed his first goal for the club to level.

 

The Highlanders stuck a winner with nine minutes remaining when Munro pounced to head home.

 

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I don't understand the Billy Stark thing. He's not got a great record at club level and as U21 manager, he's beaten teams you'd expect us to beat before losing to Iceland.

 

Derek Adams and Jocky Scott would be mistakes.

 

There's not really any standout candidate. I thought Hibs were silly to go for Calderwood over Steve Clarke, so he may be an option, and there's Eric Black as usual who I think would do a good job, but I think if we were ever going to appoint him, we would have done it by now.

 

There's not really anyone else in the SPL that I'd fancy. Maybe someone like Alan Curbishley, someone that's got a good reputation but has been out of work for a while?

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I don't understand the Billy Stark thing. He's not got a great record at club level and as U21 manager, he's beaten teams you'd expect us to beat before losing to Iceland.

 

Derek Adams and Jocky Scott would be mistakes.

 

There's not really any standout candidate. I thought Hibs were silly to go for Calderwood over Steve Clarke, so he may be an option, and there's Eric Black as usual who I think would do a good job, but I think if we were ever going to appoint him, we would have done it by now.

 

There's not really anyone else in the SPL that I'd fancy. Maybe someone like Alan Curbishley, someone that's got a good reputation but has been out of work for a while?

 

To be fair, that Iceland side had a few very talented young lads in their side.  One of whom was recently transfered for several million pounds.  I watched a bit of the game and our boys did well, Iceland just had better players.

 

Steve Clarke would be one of my preferred options, however I’m unsure if we could afford the sort of wages he’s become accustomed to in the EPL.

 

We don’t have a great deal of money, even less once we’ve compensated McGhee.  The new manager is going to have to work on a shoe-string too.  In my opinion, what we need now, is to identify an up and coming manager, someone who is at the bottom of an upwards trajectory, who could drag us along for part of the ride.  Someone, probably from the lower leagues, who’s shown that they may have the potential to make a silk purse from a sows ear.

 

The best thing, in my opinion, would be to draw up a list of ambitious, hungry, motivated early career managers... interview them, and identify the most impressive candidate.... However, I have my doubts as to whether WM, SM and the rest of the board are perceptive enough to make the correct decision.

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I don't understand the Billy Stark thing. He's not got a great record at club level and as U21 manager, he's beaten teams you'd expect us to beat before losing to Iceland.

 

Derek Adams and Jocky Scott would be mistakes.

 

There's not really any standout candidate. I thought Hibs were silly to go for Calderwood over Steve Clarke, so he may be an option, and there's Eric Black as usual who I think would do a good job, but I think if we were ever going to appoint him, we would have done it by now.

 

There's not really anyone else in the SPL that I'd fancy. Maybe someone like Alan Curbishley, someone that's got a good reputation but has been out of work for a while?

 

As SOTR says, that was an excellent Iceland u-21 side, one of the best I've seen at that level in terms of technique and physique.

 

Eric Black will not take the job.

 

Adams would be a mistake unless working in a co-manager capacity with someone like Jocky Scott, but Ross County have been pretty ding this season too.

 

Stark... I'm not sure about, always seen him as an assistant rather than a boss in his own right.  But there is no outstanding candidate. I hope Marco Tardelli applies for it again, just to add a bit of glamour to things...  ;)

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Alan Curbishley would be great IMHO but never gonna happen - surely he'd cost a fair bit.  He's used to working on with comparitively low budget though.

 

The board need to bin McGhee today, otherwise the board have basically cost us 6 points this week (if McGhee is still in charge for Saturday).  Who's to say a new manager in charge yesterday would not have won, mainly because the players would have been desperate to impress?

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was at the U21 game v iceland. remember iceland are a country that invested big time in youth about 15 years ago. Also that iceand team had something like 70 full international caps between them. They are no mugs. That was a good game of fitba by both teams.

 

If stark can get us to play the same way as the U21 i for one will be happy.

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was at the U21 game v iceland. remember iceland are a country that invested big time in youth about 15 years ago. Also that iceand team had something like 70 full international caps between them. They are no mugs. That was a good game of fitba by both teams.

 

If stark can get us to play the same way as the U21 i for one will be happy.

 

I believe it was 92 caps they had, and if you took the Scotland first team squad from the next day and ignored Fletcher & Miller they would have had more caps then our first team (i've never checked this fact for accuracy).

 

The original article sounds like they've read a thread on here and just put names in at random.

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