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Wednesday 29th May 2024

Scottish League Cup Group Stage Draw - 1pm

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One Derek McInnes


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I think I am glad he is staying, offers a bit of continuity for the coming season which will be a good test for him and hopefully we can get in a couple of decent signings, but I really want to see some of our young lads get more game time, an area where I have been critical of McInnes.

 

Bring on the new season.

 

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I think I am glad he is staying, offers a bit of continuity for the coming season which will be a good test for him and hopefully we can get in a couple of decent signings, but I really want to see some of our young lads get more game time, an area where I have been critical of McInnes.

 

Bring on the new season.

 

Is this because McInnes doesn't want to blood youths or is it because our current crop is shite? I suspect the latter tbh honest.

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  • 2 weeks later...

http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/15373638.We_are_told_the_Rangers_are_coming_but_Aberdeen_are_already_there_and_show_no_signs_of_shifting/

 

Decent read in the Herald for a change.

 

ABERDEEN’S achievements over recent seasons, at least according to Rangers chairman Dave King, don’t count for much.

 

And, indeed, the team which has been closest to Celtic for the past three years will be swept aside in the coming campaign by the men from Ibrox. After all, they have signed plenty of players, including Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack, while the men from the North East are, on the face of it, haemorrhaging talent.

 

However, a closer inspection at what has been happening at Pittodrie, and what could occur over the next few weeks, paints a far more positive picture.

 

Read more: Ryan Jack will relish his first taste of Ibrox as a Rangers player, says former boss Jimmy Calderwood

 

First of all, Derek McInnes stayed after realising his career would suffer if he had taken on Sunderland. True, he has lost good players – and Rangers also want key midfielder Kenny McLean – but his recruitment so far has been canny to say the least.

 

Greg Tansey is a proven Premier League player. So, too, Ryan Christie who will play in red for one more season, as will Greg Stewart who scored 32 goals in just over two seasons for a poor Dundee team before moving to Birmingham City.

 

McInnes wants Shaun Maloney, who today is set to reveal his next move, and if he were to join his hometown club then even at 34 the former Scotland talisman would stroll it up here. Same could be said for St Johnstone’s former striker and cult hero Stevie May, now at Preston, who is at the moment being lured to Aberdeen.

 

And yesterday, the club revealed that goalkeeper Joe Lewis, who enjoyed a superb season including an outstanding display in the Scottish Cup Final, agreed a deal until 2020. This is all good news.

 

Keeping McLean, a fine playmaker, and getting Maloney will be vital, but the notion Aberdeen are a spent force or coming to the end of a cycle, as Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha put it, is sheer nonsense.

 

McInnes is still there and surely has done more than enough to prove he is an excellent manager. The likes of Adam Rooney, Graeme Shinnie and Shay Logan remain, and while Jack, Jonny Hayes and Niall McGinn will be missed, it could well be the case that their absence won’t be as keenly felt as some have suggested.

 

For me, Aberdeen remain the favourites to finish second which, and let’s be honest here, is all anyone else apart from Celtic can hope for. Rangers should improve; however, why anyone believes this automatically means they will leapfrog their old pals is baffling.

 

McInnes had his players back training yesterday as preparations began for their upcoming Europa League qualifier against either Ordabasy, from Kazakhstan or Bosnia’s NK Siroki Brijeg.The squad remains strong.

 

And even if McLean does go to Ibrox, Aberdeen will ask for more than £1million which would go right into the transfer kitty. We have been told the Rangers are coming for a few years now. Aberdeen are already there and will take a bit of moving.

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  • 10 months later...

Definitely been an interesting year for DM, certainly has fans split on whether he’s at the point he should move on. He’ll not get the sack but I certainly expect a club or two to express an interest this summer.

 

I think DM is a likeable guy and definitely a players coach. I’d say we’ve signed players - Christie McGinn May GMS to list a few - who may not have come here if it wasn’t for DM. We do not have the facilities nor the funds but DM seems to attract players and keep them happy. I think he’s an average coach at best but I think his man management is what seems to make him good for us. Very different from Fergie, disciplinarian and feared, and an excellent coach/tactician. Dare I say DM is more in the Ally McLeod mold?

 

This summer is huge. I’d argue last summer he got the players he wanted - May Stewart GMS - be interesting what comes our way in the next 3 months.

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A you say, it wouldn't surprise me if a couple of Championship clubs south of the border were to take an interest in McInnes this summer, especially with the manner of how we secured 2nd spot.

 

Obviously its a huge summer ahead, recruitment needs to be spot on for us to keep pushing for the top spaces next season. Also it would be nice to have enough quality in depth to make a real push for the Europa League Group Stages.

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If he recruits well and we are within 6 points of Celtic and neck and neck with sevco come Xmas then I can see a struggling Championship club come calling.

 

Recruit badly and Celtic are out of sight and sevco ( and possibly the spoonburners) have a clear lead over us then I can see the fans united in wanting him out and forcing Wiggy into action that he really doesn't want to take.

 

Either way I just have a feeling DM won't be our manager this time next year.....

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

I think he’s an average coach at best

 

I think that is a ridiculous comment given his record with the Dons.

 

A lot of posters on here were singing the praises of Lennon and Clarke this season and some plank even thought we could do worse than having Murty instead of McInnes.  It is great credit to McInnes that he finished in front of all of these managerial greats despite his so called averageness.

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Tactically I think he’s an average coach, we’ve seen that over time with our tactics and way we play. Our team relies very heavily on individual talent and a piece of magic from a player. It’s his man management that is his strength. Very clear with the closeness of our players, and they work for him. There’s been many a successful coach who are actually not a great x and o coach who have done well.

 

What would you say are his strengths and weaknesses?

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Tactically I think he’s an average coach, we’ve seen that over time with our tactics and way we play. Our team relies very heavily on individual talent and a piece of magic from a player. It’s his man management that is his strength. Very clear with the closeness of our players, and they work for him. There’s been many a successful coach who are actually not a great x and o coach who have done well.

 

What would you say are his strengths and weaknesses?

 

The individual talent which he has developed himself - he helped make Hayes and McLean better than they were when they left than when they arrived, and developed McGinn as a winger producing countless assists, after he had a 20 odd goal season playing up front under Craig Brown.

 

Tactically it doesn't always come off, but that's the same for every manager under the sun. He's found a way to beat the lesser teams in the league week in, week out over several years with the 4-2-3-1, which is harder than it sounds. Lack of a Plan B is often the cry and I accept that point, but generally speaking when he tries something different he's derided for fannying about with things too much - the life of a manager under self entitled football fans I guess.

 

The result and mindset in the bigger games is the issue for me, but I think that perhaps was due to lack of faith in this set of players in comparison to previous seasons (which does point to a recruitment issues), but the last game especially shut a few people up.

 

I'm pleased that he's our manager. I don't know if he's as good as we can get at present, but he's done well enough that it's going to take a bit more than "punt him and hope somebody else better turns up" to convince me there should be a change.

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Tactically I think he’s an average coach, we’ve seen that over time with our tactics and way we play. Our team relies very heavily on individual talent and a piece of magic from a player. It’s his man management that is his strength. Very clear with the closeness of our players, and they work for him. There’s been many a successful coach who are actually not a great x and o coach who have done well.

 

What would you say are his strengths and weaknesses?

 

He's clearly not average though, he's very much above average. Calderwood was average, Levein is average. Two seasons running he has finished above his budgeted position - that's quite rare. It relies on sevco making a slight cunt of it, but even they didn't finish far off the tims. The league strengthened enough to make the tim fare 30 points worse, but we only finished 3 points worse. Most of that was down to McInnes' tactics. His tactics are what ground out results, that no other team could, against the bottom 8 teams:

 

Tims 3/12

Huns 1/12

Hibs 7/12

Killie 10/12

Hertz 5/12

Well 6/9

Saints 9/9

Dundee 9/9

Hamltn 7/9

Partick 7/9

RossCty 9/9

 

Those are very strong stats. His current weaknesses are recruitment, recruitment and recruitment. Probably subs as well, in that they take too fucking long and rarely change a game (although, as the stats show, we rarely need to). No plan B wasn't a choice by McInnes, he just made poor signings which meant we couldn't adapt to anything else. That changed, and so did our form, with the introduction of Cosgrove. That shows he at least recognised the issue. It's important to mention that our budget is a huge limiting factor in our recruitment success too. The Tims made some poor signings that made no impact too (Massonda, Roberts, the defender they signed in January and probably others), but they had a squad of 20 others to fill the gap. A 50% success rate on signings is probably about right. Last summer that didn't happen, we need to get back to that. 

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He's clearly not average though, he's very much above average. Calderwood was average, Levein is average. Two seasons running he has finished above his budgeted position - that's quite rare. It relies on sevco making a slight cunt of it, but even they didn't finish far off the tims. The league strengthened enough to make the tim fare 30 points worse, but we only finished 3 points worse. Most of that was down to McInnes' tactics. His tactics are what ground out results, that no other team could, against the bottom 8 teams:

 

Tims 3/12

Huns 1/12

Hibs 7/12

Killie 10/12

Hertz 5/12

Well 6/9

Saints 9/9

Dundee 9/9

Hamltn 7/9

Partick 7/9

RossCty 9/9

 

Those are very strong stats. His current weaknesses are recruitment, recruitment and recruitment. Probably subs as well, in that they take too fucking long and rarely change a game (although, as the stats show, we rarely need to). No plan B wasn't a choice by McInnes, he just made poor signings which meant we couldn't adapt to anything else. That changed, and so did our form, with the introduction of Cosgrove. That shows he at least recognised the issue. It's important to mention that our budget is a huge limiting factor in our recruitment success too. The Tims made some poor signings that made no impact too (Massonda, Roberts, the defender they signed in January and probably others), but they had a squad of 20 others to fill the gap. A 50% success rate on signings is probably about right. Last summer that didn't happen, we need to get back to that.

 

 

What makes you think he's stronger than Calderwood and Levein? I'm not saying he's not, but why say that? I'd put it down to having better players and team chemistry, due to man management. All season we've not had a settled team, formation, and consistent style of play. Are we winning games because of tactics or even despite tactics? We've not been pretty to watch but we grind out results.....is that tactics or simply because we have better players motivated to play? I'd go with the latter. DMs go to tactic is to get it to the wide guys to create and stretch the field to give the central attacking mid space, pretty basic, or to go route one. We've struggled because the wide guys weren't as strong as previous years and plan B is close to hit and hope - he did have plan B but it was poor. I'd say occasionally DMs tactics won us games but plenty of times - most of the old firm and Edinburgh teams - our tactics have been weak. Post split we were much better, not quite sure what changed.

 

Celtics points total has nothing to do with DMs tactics. He's done a very good job of grinding out results but that, to me, is having better players than the other teams and motivating them to play together and compete. That's motivation and man management, not tactics. That's DMs strength and he's done well to get us to 2nd again. But not because of tactics.

 

You've seen posts of the guys singing on the bus, messing around in the dressing room, even Shay and Shinnie posting pics. Pretty clear it's a very tight group and DM and Doc certainly deserve credit for that. They work for each other more than most.

 

Lastly, did he really recognize the issue or was it simply that May was gash, Rooney no better, that he went to cheap as chips Cosgrove? Was that tactics or desperation?

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May isn't gash. Just for most of the time he was played he was asked to do the job Cosgrove did in the last few games. May just isn't physically capable of playing the lone striker role when there is a large separation between him and the midfield. Cosgrove, being that bit more physical, is able to carry out the role very well.

 

Hopefully next season we will find a way of playing the pair of them together up top. If we get Jason Naismith in.....and now apparently there will be a fee involved as their manager has stated there is no relegation release clause and he is under contract to 2019.....going to a back 3 of Naismith, Devlin and McKenna might allow us to do just this.

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May isn't gash. Just for most of the time he was played he was asked to do the job Cosgrove did in the last few games. May just isn't physically capable of playing the lone striker role when there is a large separation between him and the midfield. Cosgrove, being that bit more physical, is able to carry out the role very well.

 

Hopefully next season we will find a way of playing the pair of them together up top. If we get Jason Naismith in.....and now apparently there will be a fee involved as their manager has stated there is no relegation release clause and he is under contract to 2019.....going to a back 3 of Naismith, Devlin and McKenna might allow us to do just this.

 

So what you are saying is the tactics were gash and he couldn't do what he was asked to do because they didn't match his ability and strengths. Same argument for Rooney playing wide left? Or expect Stewart to play wide and track back?

 

Tactics should match and exploit the strengths of our players. We clearly didn't do that this year and I feel that was the reason we juggled the starting line up for the entire year. The tactics didn't match the players abilities......don't your players talents determine how you play?

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I’d say McInnes is above average for the spfl but tactically naive or rather too cautious against the bigger sides. You can say he maybe he didn’t have faith in his team this season, but he’s played the same tactics against the bigger teams ever since Rodgers came onto  the scene. That season was when we started playing negative pish against the tims, then the Huns the following season. He really needs to play to players strengths though, that’s been my biggest criticism of him.

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What makes you think he's stronger than Calderwood and Levein? I'm not saying he's not, but why say that?

 

All round professionalism. Any dons player will tell you that Deek is meticulous in his planning for games (too meticulous in my opinion) and leaves no stone uncovered. Calderwood was all about having his mates around, and Levein takes the latest fashionable formation and tries to apply it to a ridiculous degree when it's obviously not working.

 

I'd put it down to having better players and team chemistry, due to man management. All season we've not had a settled team, formation, and consistent style of play. Are we winning games because of tactics or even despite tactics? We've not been pretty to watch but we grind out results.....is that tactics or simply because we have better players motivated to play? I'd go with the latter.

 

My point was in regard to getting results against the bottom 8. We've been ultra consistent in our setup for those games (the occasional back 3 against Motherwell and Hertz) and we've won the vast majority of them by playing to our strengths. We've not fucked up against the little guy - in the league - like Hibs and the Huns, because McInnes is very precise in his tactics. He plays to our strengths, and is cautious when we go ahead. We didn't lose a game when went ahead this season - because of his tactics - where Hibs and the Huns did. We lost against the tim and hun because our personnel weren't up to the standard required (more so when any single player was injured).

 

I'd say occasionally DMs tactics won us games but plenty of times - most of the old firm and Edinburgh teams - our tactics have been weak. Post split we were much better, not quite sure what changed.

 

Cosgrove is what changed. It was the ability to play the One or two high up the pitch without being turned over. It was first used in the Tims game against their back 3 when they completely destroyed us. We repeated it against Hearts with Cosgrove and it worked perfectly. It wasn't weak tactics against the scum, it was personnel, hence why it worked when Cosgrove appeared. Deek's tactics were clear against them, when you were at the game it was very obvious what he was trying to do against both Tims and Huns, we just lacked the personnel to actually beat them. I actually believe that he had more shouty Calderwood/Lennon traits then he'd have taken more points in those games. There was blatant evidence of poor effort by players in those games, rather than poor tactics. I'd say that he over-thought them, trying to find the perfect system to beat them. I came on here after each scum game asking what formation folk would have chosen with our personnel to beat either team and all anyone could say was "press higher" - that's not a formation, that's a function of effort. When you looked around our squad, we just didn't have the options to play differently, which was required against better teams. No point in having a plan B if you don't have the personnel to change to it (May too similar to Rooney, Stewart to McGinn/Christie, Wright to GMS, no big centre mid, no cover to allow Shinnie to left back, no option to replace Logan when not on form etc. - all personnel issues). I'm 100% convinced it was a personnel/recruitment issue this season that saw us dropped points in the old firm games (i.e. they were a better team with better players), and equally as convinced that Deek's preparation, analysis and caution was what won us many games that under previous managers we'd have lost.

 

Celtics points total has nothing to do with DMs tactics. He's done a very good job of grinding out results but that, to me, is having better players than the other teams and motivating them to play together and compete. That's motivation and man management, not tactics. That's DMs strength and he's done well to get us to 2nd again. But not because of tactics.

 

I wasn't suggesting that Celtic's total had anything to do with Deek's tactics, I was suggesting that it was evidence that the league was stronger, and we've only finished 3 points worse off.

 

 

You've seen posts of the guys singing on the bus, messing around in the dressing room, even Shay and Shinnie posting pics. Pretty clear it's a very tight group and DM and Doc certainly deserve credit for that. They work for each other more than most.

 

I'd agree generally, but we've seen more than our fair share of games where effort was questioned. Stewart, GMS, Christie, O'Connor, Logan could all have been questioned about their motivation at times this season.

 

Lastly, did he really recognize the issue or was it simply that May was gash, Rooney no better, that he went to cheap as chips Cosgrove? Was that tactics or desperation?

 

There is evidence that he recognised the issue because A) he signed Cosgrove to fit that role and B) he tried it disastrously against Celtic earlier in the season with Rooney and May.

 

He's not a tactical genius, but he absolutely isn't naive, and definitely above average. I think he could do much better at raging players into a frenzy for the bigger games against better teams when tactics alone aren't going to cut it, and I think that is far more an issue for him. You could switch him for Lennon and we'd tank the huns a couple of times a season but we wouldn't finish second; he doesn't have Deek's discipline.

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I think you’re correct in highlighting more of DMs strengths. His professionalism, clearly highlighted by Arneson when he re signed. He said it was like a different place. DMs professionalism and approach is excellent and has rubbed off on players and all at pittodrie. His performances in the media is good too. And yes, I think he’s embraced modern technology and his pre game preparation is very strong. All good points but I still think his actual coaching, his x’s and o’s, his tactical adjustments during games is average. The whole DM package has to be considered and I think he does a good job overall but I still think he’s not a great coach.

 

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

Good discussion and many different aspects to consider.

 

As far as "coaching" is concerned, to me that is the ability to get your ideas across to the players and to make them better.  I think it's fair to say McInnes has made most of our players better, demonstrated by the fact that we have had McKenna, McLean, Christie and Shinnie called up for Scotland.  None of these players were internationals before they came to the club.

 

Also, other clubs now want some of our players which hasn't happened for a number of years which again suggests he has done something right in terms of improving players.

 

Tactics is a more difficult one to gauge in my opinion.  Very easy to say that Mourinho or Ferguson are tactically brilliant but if you are passing on instructions to Keane, Vidic or Drogba you are more likely to get better results that if you ask O'Connor, Ball and Maynard to do the same thing. 

 

 

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Good discussion and many different aspects to consider.

 

As far as "coaching" is concerned, to me that is the ability to get your ideas across to the players and to make them better.  I think it's fair to say McInnes has made most of our players better, demonstrated by the fact that we have had McKenna, McLean, Christie and Shinnie called up for Scotland.  None of these players were internationals before they came to the club.

 

Also, other clubs now want some of our players which hasn't happened for a number of years which again suggests he has done something right in terms of improving players.

 

Tactics is a more difficult one to gauge in my opinion.  Very easy to say that Mourinho or Ferguson are tactically brilliant but if you are passing on instructions to Keane, Vidic or Drogba you are more likely to get better results that if you ask O'Connor, Ball and Maynard to do the same thing.

 

I don't think he improves our players, in fact I would that McLean went backwards under him until he signed for Norwich. The transformation in his play since the turn of the year I wouldn't give credit to McInnes for.

 

McKenna would probably never have got the chance if it wasn't for the Motherwell League Cup defeat and if he had a shit game in his debut he would probably be in the released list this week.

 

Shinnie would be a great player regardless who was manager, he was great for Caley and has been great for us.

 

Christie has been poor ever since we have seen the real McLean, so again I don't think he has improved as a player under DM. There is ability in him, but we cannot afford to buy the player who we saw for the latter part of the season.

 

As much as I have serious doubts about McInnes as our manager going forward you cannot argue with his record with us overall. To me his skills are in man management and the players seem to like playing for him. He likes to play a system and struggles when we need to adapt tactics, but as a manager he is still fairly young and could still well change his ways and he was pretty much spot on with his tactics in the post split games so be interesting how we set up next season, but with his record I think it is only a matter of time before he jumps ship as there are far poorer managers in bigger jobs than DM.

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

I don't think he improves our players, in fact I would that McLean went backwards under him until he signed for Norwich. The transformation in his play since the turn of the year I wouldn't give credit to McInnes for.

 

McKenna would probably never have got the chance if it wasn't for the Motherwell League Cup defeat and if he had a shit game in his debut he would probably be in the released list this week.

 

Shinnie would be a great player regardless who was manager, he was great for Caley and has been great for us.

 

Christie has been poor ever since we have seen the real McLean, so again I don't think he has improved as a player under DM. There is ability in him, but we cannot afford to buy the player who we saw for the latter part of the season.

 

 

So to summarise, McLean is no better than he was when he left St Mirren, McKenna is no better than when he was on loan at Ayr, Shinnie was always this good when he was at Caley and Christie is no better than when he signed for Celtic?

 

Aye ok. 

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And for what it’s worth, didn’t DM call out his players/squad for not being good enough after we lost the semi? He doesn’t do that, he’s very protective of his players. After that we go on a run and have the best post split record of the top 6 teams. That’s a guy who knows his players mentally and has trust, and that sparked a response. Nothing to do with tactics but DM being DM and playing to his strengths.

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Some denial, some happy clapping and some short memories in evidence in this thread.

 

Blinded by the euphoria of lifting the big gleaming silver polished coming 2nd trophy.

 

I'd argue that the short memories also occur each time we lose a game, and hysteria ensues. Describing McInnes as "above average" seems to be the best it gets on this thread, which I wouldn't call happy clapping. We didn't have a great team this season with a lot of failures last summer in the transfer market, but he's been above average for the club in his time here, earning him the chance to make the same mistakes again or prove he's got the ability to improve on his recruitment.

 

Finishing second has to be given the recognition it deserves, as it is a good (above average) achievement, and pretty significant in terms of retaining some pride in the club. Had the hun finished second, we'd have seen a tail off in support and a "welcome return to business as usual" approach by the press. Second place fucks a lot of people in Scottish fitba over and is rightly celebrated. In any other circumstances it would just be another league placing, but in Scotland it's important - vital, even.

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Some denial, some happy clapping and some short memories in evidence in this thread.

 

Blinded by the euphoria of lifting the big gleaming silver polished coming 2nd trophy.

 

In fairness Rocket, we actually had a trophy double.

Not only the finishing second trophy, but also the winners trophy for finishing top of the top six post split mini league  :)

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Rico "I think he could do much better at raging players into a frenzy for the bigger games against better teams when tactics alone aren't going to cut it, and I think that is far more an issue for him. You could switch him for Lennon and we'd tank the huns a couple of times a season but we wouldn't finish second; he doesn't have Deek's discipline."

That's the key issue for me.  We'd probably be happier if we had a team of lennonesque scrappers (no disrespect, I would have him as a manager) because that's the way of fitba fans but I doubt if we would be as successful, a relative concept I know c.f. Arsene Wenger.

Having happily clapped a succession of sh*te mangers from Pearson via Porterfied to Patterson etc. we Dons have seen only 4, so far , who have gone against the old political paradigm that "all careers end in failure".  Turnbull, Macleod, McNeil and Ferguson.  Maybe McI will get poached and do the same; I hope so because we could do with a change but to deny his success is a bit odd.  Meanwhile he will have to dig in and do what the aforementioned 4 didn't have to and play the free/cheap market, at about third tier England level, with the hope of finding the odd gem.

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Guest kiriakovisthenewstrachan

we could do with a change

 

Not sure why anyone would think like that Ernie. 

 

Most sensible supporters would admit that second in the league is the best we could hope for unless someone invests a massive amount of cash into the club.  We're there already so why change? 

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