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Wednesday 19th June 2024

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Who should McInnes be keeping and who should he be moving on?


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See the papers are reporting that apparently McInnes has spoken to all of those out of contract and they have all indicated that they are keen to stay.

 

 

Can't really see any of them getting a better gig elsewhere so not much of a surprise if true.

 

 

I still think we should let Osbourne go as he's clearly never going to be fit enough for a long period.

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Can't really see any of them getting a better gig elsewhere so not much of a surprise if true.

 

 

I still think we should let Osbourne go as he's clearly never going to be fit enough for a long period.

 

If its true it does put the club in a stronger position to pick and choose who they keep hopefully.

 

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Done a piece vaguely related to this last week if anyone's interested. [/shamelesselfpromotion]

 

http://www.terracepodcast.com/1/post/2013/04/player-performance-1213-aberdeen.html

 

For a season which began with tentative, yet relatively well-founded hope, 2012-13 has been something of a disappointment for the Dons. Whilst never being fully detached from the upper echelons of the SPL, Craig Brown's side never really had a firm grasp of their coattails either, a failure he has arguably paid for with his job.  Writes John Callan.

 

Going through the squad individually sheds some light as to why the campaign unfolded quite so meekly. Whilst there is certainly some quality in there, particularly in defence, there are issues which the new management team of Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty will likely have noted and will need to address. More generally, you'll note a few recurring themes. Players starting the season well and fading. Players getting repeatedly injured. Players playing out of position. Players not being all that good. Or, if none of these apply, players being Niall McGinn.

 

 

Jamie Langfield

 

While it has been a relatively positive season by his standards, some legitimate misgivings remain over Langfield. Being a good shot-stopper sadly isn't enough to negate patchy distribution and a more concerning habit of struggling in important matches. Although it is an observation repeated to the point of cliche, there is an underlying feeling that he always has a mistake in him, an issue which has undoubtedly proved costly over the years.

 

Coupled with the fact he has only teenager Danny Rodgers and unknown quantity Dan Twardzik for competition, neither of whom played a moment for the first team this season, don't be surprised if Aberdeen dip into the market for a new 'keeper. Or two.

 

 

Clark Robertson

 

Since making his debut in 2010, the full-back has impressively racked up over fifty appearances before yet reaching his twenties. This season has generally been one of steady progress for Robertson, afforded more responsibility in the team than ever with the prolonged absences of Gary Naysmith. That said, his best performances this campaign have come when operating on the left side of a back three (most notably in the Scottish Cup tie at Fir Park), suggesting that playing him as a traditional left-back isn't making the best use of his skill-set.

 

 

Russell Anderson

 

Naturally, Russell's AFC reputation will always be largely unimpeachable, at least for those who remember him at his imperious peak. The club's best player in the SPL era and an influential captain, he embodies the type of figure any team needs in their ranks. It would be a shame though, if he were to slip into 'elderly relative' territory, concentration-lapses this season (a shaky performance at Tannadice last week springs to mind) have been worryingly frequent and his lack of pace is a hindrance to an already ponderous side. Contracted until the end of next season, by which time he will be 35, 2013-14 could, regrettably, be his final campaign.

 

 

Andy Considine

 

A nasty, yet clearly accidental, collision in the Dundee penalty area at Dens drew Considine's season to a premature close in late December. The resulting broken leg put paid to what had been a highly encouraging start to the season for the centre-half, following on from a season where he matured into one of the Dons' most important players.

 

Now 26, he has combined the raw defensive talent which was always apparent with greater maturity and composure in possession, doubtless helped by the accompanying presence of Anderson, rather  than the reckless heavy-touch-merchants of recent years, such as Zander Diamond or Jerel Ifil. If he regains full fitness and picks up from where he left off, he'll be around Pittodrie for some time to come. Just don't play him at left-back. Please.

 

 

Gary Naysmith

 

One of the legacies from Craig Brown's ultimately frustrating reign will be the group of experienced yet injury-prone players he based his transfer policy around. While some of these, Naysmith included, are clearly still able to perform at SPL level, no team outside of Celtic can afford to carry bodies available for fewer than half of the season's fixtures. The full-back is said to be a positive influence in the dressing room, but may be justifiably moved on in the close-season if he can't get on the park - eleven outings in total is scarcely good enough.

 

 

Mark Reynolds

 

As dependable an SPL centre-half as Aberdeen could hope to have.  After converting a couple of loan spells into a permanent move in January, it seems that Reynolds will form the basis of the Dons' defence for the foreseeable future having been rewarded with a modern SPL rarity: a four-year contract. If he and Considine are available, central defence will be the least of Derek McInnes' immediate concerns.

 

 

Joe Shaughnessy

 

2012-13 has been a breakthrough season for the energetic Irishman. Deployed at full-back, wing-back and centre-half, he has combined good defensive qualities with a tendency to maraud down either flank. December in particular was a highlight, his first real run in the side earning him the SPL Young Player of the Month award. To top it off, he capped a tremendous performance against Motherwell on the right hand side of a 3-4-3 with a goal. Whether or not he nails down a position on the pitch in the immediate future remains to be seen but, with a contract running until 2015, he will likely be on it, somewhere.

 

 

Ryan Jack

 

The combination of his hefty appearance haul and a mature playing style makes it easy to forget that Jack is still only 21. His three month absence through a broken foot picked up on international duty was keenly felt, and has made this season a difficult one for him. Unlike a lot of youngsters, he doesn't seem to be a player overly reliant upon physical attributes, too. A decision needs to be made though as to whether he will be a right-back or centre-midfielder in the long term. Although impressing for Scotland under-21s at the former, he seems most at home in the middle of the park. Next year could be important for him in fully establishing himself as a crucial player for AFC.

 

 

Gavin Rae

 

Whilst one of the older guard taken on by Brown, Rae is distinguished from the rest by keeping himself fit throughout the season, 30 league appearances thus far being a terrific return for a 35-year-old. Performances have mirrored that of the team itself though, after starting the season magnificently (with four goals under his belt by early October) as part of a dynamic midfield three, his influence upon matches has diminished since then. Rae still looks capable at SPL level, but McInnes may be understandably reticent to award the Aberdonian a new deal at the season's end.

 

 

Chris Clark

 

Of all the players to arrive at Pittodrie following spells south of the border, Clark's return has undisputedly been the least successful. He was hardly a popular figure during his first spell, supporters often dismissing his attacking contribution as negligible, but even critics would admit he had an industry and reliability which made him something of an asset. With these positive qualities eradicated by injury in his second stint, patience is understandably wearing thin. Clark hasn't been sighted in a Dons top since November. Unkindly, many will see this as a blessing. On borrowed time.

 

 

Rob Milsom

 

Another instance where McInnes will have to weigh up the midfielder's contribution against the time he spends keeping the physio company. Milsom seems to have the rudimentary tools of a decent centre-midfielder, but has had just 258 minutes this season to show it. Many of those were spent playing as a left-winger too - Craig Brown attempting to force a particularly square peg into a round hole - which certainly impinged upon his performances. The post-split fixtures are probably more important for him than most if he is to be in the north-east for next season.

 

 

Jonny Hayes

 

It is rare for a signing to illicit any kind of excitement down Pittodrie way nowadays, but Hayes' arrival was certainly a scoop by recent standards. A strong start to the season (sound familiar?) on the right side of a front three justified such promise, chipping in with four goals and seven assists by the turn of the year. His goal in the league defeat at Motherwell in particular highlights the type of dribbling and finishing he is capable of.

 

His form has tailed off noticeably since then though, with Ryan Fraser's departure focussing the creative burden and the attention of opposition defenders squarely on the Irishman. As a result, he's mustered only one assist and is yet to score in 2013. Hayes' pace, creativity and willingness to run at people remains crucial for the Dons; he just needs others to chip in too.

 

 

Peter Pawlett

 

After spending the first half of the season on loan at St Johnstone, some would have concluded that the 22-year-old had used up the last of his chances at Aberdeen. For a player who burst into the first team with electric pace and trickery, his injury-mitigated failure to kick on from such promise remains a source of frustration.

 

Fraser's departure in January seemingly necessitated his return, but he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes in red this season. While he still looks a useful attacking option at times, it is telling that Brown would more frequently turn to younger alternatives when chasing games in recent months. Needs to make a mark, and sharpish.

 

 

Isaac Osbourne

 

Ah, the old ability-fitness paradigm. 'Ozzie' was undoubtedly injury-prone when he signed. Indeed, he would probably be playing at a higher level were it not for his woes in this area. Capable at right-back and more commanding in his natural habitat of centre-midfield, what he lacks in pace he makes up for in strength, tackling and 'doing the simple things well', to borrow some well-worn words.

 

With his contract due for renewal though, it will only be lengthened with the caveat that he's unlikely to make many more than twenty appearances per season. And as Osbourne himself (currently out with his second hamstring tear of the campaign) has dropped hints about leaving in recent months, his Dons career could be nearing an end.

 

 

Stephen Hughes

 

When the Reds began the season lining up in a 4-5-1, Hughes put in a handful of encouraging performances at the head of a midfield triumvirate, supporting the attack from deep and even pulling off a Guti-esque backheel when through on goal at McDiarmid Park in August. Since then though, displays have oscillated between insipid and anonymous, lacking the pace or influence to ably occupy the midfield berth in a 4-4-2 or 3-4-3 he's been so often afforded this term. Contracted until the end of next season, to the frustration of many in the stands.

 

 

Scott Vernon

 

Aberdeen's top scorer in his first two seasons at the club, it has been a torrid season for 'Crespo'. He can be counted unlucky to a degree. A slow start combined with the excellent form of McGinn led to him becoming acquainted with the Pittodrie bench for the first time since moving here, before a spate of injuries landed him inexplicably in an even less familiar environment: the centre of midfield. A decent finisher and efficient penalty-box striker he may be, but he is ill-suited to a place in the engine room, despite clearly working particularly hard for the good of the team.

 

By the time he returned to the front line he was understandably low on confidence, and three goals from 31 league appearances is a remarkably poor return. One of the McInnes' first utterances upon arrival was a warning to under contract players that they weren't necessarily assured of their futures at the club; after a difficult campaign all-round, he may well have been referring to Vernon.

 

 

Niall McGinn

 

Aye, he's done all right.

 

A debut campaign for AFC which has surpassed all expectations and is difficult to put into words without repeating the same superlatives. Aside from a goal tally not seen in these parts (in the league at least) for twenty years, McGinn's all-round play has been exceptional, looking a constant threat, direct and dangerous. A nine-game spell from late September yielded seven goals, - punctuated by a wonder-strike for his country against Portugal - a 'perfect' hat-trick against Dundee combined a range of different finishes, and at home to St Johnstone in particular he stood out by a mile, restricted to a mere brace by some terrific goalkeeping. Aberdeen's only problem will be holding onto him this summer, with just a year left on his deal. The board's resolve will almost certainly be tested.

 

 

Rory Fallon

 

Goal at Fir Park in the Scottish Cup? Check. Inexplicable wonder-strike from distance? Check. Slow and cumbersome 'impact sub' appearances littered across the season? Check. Lengthy spell out through injury? Check. 

 

It has been a fairly predictable season for the affable Kiwi. Just don't expect any supporter campaigns to have his contract extended beyond the summer.

 

 

Josh Magennis

 

Difficult to know which position to file him under. The man who notoriously spent most of his youth career as a goalkeeper was clearly the subject of some 'My Fair Lady' style wager last summer, when Craig Brown declared he'd be the one to convert the striker into a full-back. In recent weeks though, he's been deployed mainly as a winger. It is understandable therefore, that his positional sense is often a little haphazard, and it would be unreasonable to expect unwavering continuity in form from a player shunted around the park so readily between his 35 appearances.

 

For all that he is derided by supporters and pundits for lacking in ability, his raw pace and determination often makes him a useful contributor to the side, not to mention his occasional penchant for a long-range screamer. Another whose contract expires shortly, the decision upon which opinion remains polarised.

 

 

Nicky Low, Jamie Masson, Declan McManus, Cammy Smith

 

Lumped together due to amassing only fleeting appearances, there have been some encouraging signs from these attacking young players, none of whom will be leaving Pittodrie permanently any time soon. Smith in particular has displayed serious promise, the dynamic forward hardly looking out of place among his elders (a slightly overawed full debut at Easter Road aside) despite not yet reaching his 18th birthday. Masson enjoyed a decent run in midfield across December and January, Low looked sprightly last time out against United and McManus' under-20 haul of 23 goals so far this season has engendered some hope that he could find a more regular place in the goal-shy first team. Next season is important for each of them.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Scott Arfield released by Huddersfield. Worth a look?

 

Surprised he has been released as always looked decent when Huddersfield on TV. Worth a talking to him I would have thought although would expect him to get other offers in England.

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I hear that McInnes is deeply unimpressed by AFC - the setup, the players he's left with and the vision for the future. I get the feeling that if he could, almost all of the senior squad bar the obvious ones - Anderson and McGinn basically - would be moved on. He's a big job in the summer, but at least it sounds as though he realises this and wants to get on with it.

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I hear that McInnes is deeply unimpressed by AFC - the setup, the players he's left with and the vision for the future. I get the feeling that if he could, almost all of the senior squad bar the obvious ones - Anderson and McGinn basically - would be moved on. He's a big job in the summer, but at least it sounds as though he realises this and wants to get on with it.

 

Aye, certainly sounds like by what he has said after the game today. Sounds like a big summer clearout which is no bad thing.

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Ossie looked very comfortable on Sat playing in central defence.

Fair likes a a pass back though, which could be (and was on one occassion) problematic with Clangers behind him.

 

If kept fit he really could be a key player for us

 

I've always liked Milsom, but looked out of sorts when he came on on Saturday

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I heard that Milsom and Fallon are oot. Osbourne will be offered a new deal.

 

Sounds good so far. Osbourne staying would be a major plus for us. Fallon can get to fuck, not too worried about Milsom either. Only showed glimpses of what he could do and has been injured far too much.

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I hear that McInnes is deeply unimpressed by AFC - the setup, the players he's left with and the vision for the future. I get the feeling that if he could, almost all of the senior squad bar the obvious ones - Anderson and McGinn basically - would be moved on. He's a big job in the summer, but at least it sounds as though he realises this and wants to get on with it.

 

Yep, it's a brown legacy he's inherited alright.

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Ossie looked very comfortable on Sat playing in central defence.

Fair likes a a pass back though, which could be (and was on one occassion) problematic with Clangers behind him.

 

If kept fit he really could be a key player for us

 

I've always liked Milsom, but looked out of sorts when he came on on Saturday

 

 

The rumour I'm hearing now is that Clangers is off (to St. Mirren) because McInnes has told him he's bringing in a new #1.

 

#pray

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