Sunday, 27 March 2011

Brazil 2 - 0 Scotland

Brazil: Cesar, Alves, Lucio, Silva, Santos, Lucas Leiva (Sandro, 86), Elano (Elias, 82), Ramires, Jadson (Lucas Rodriguez, 72), Neymar (Renato Augusto, 89), Leandro (Oliveira, 78)

Scotland:McGregor, Hutton, G. Caldwell, Berra (Wilson, 73), Crainey, Adam (Snodgrass, 78), Brown, Morrison (Cowie, 90), McArthur (Bannan, 56), Whittaker (Commons, 64), Miller (Mackail-Smith, 87)

Sometimes it's fun to sit back, relax and enjoy an utterly inconsequential game of football. We all know that Scotland are nowhere near as good as Brazil, we all knew that they would get beaten today and most of us probably had a good idea of the sort of unambitious football that Scotland would utilise. Of course none of this stopped me watching Sunday afternoons match, and largely enjoying it, despite the predictable nature of the result.

Scotland were pretty abject throughout, looking woeful and shorn of ideas both with and without the ball. The plan seemed to be to get the ball to Charlie Adam - playing in a deep lying central position - as quickly as possible, with Adam looking to ping balls out to the wings. Sadly, one excellent free kick delivery aside the Blackpool midfielder had a poor match, often looking to do much and misplacing several passes. For a player playing just in front of the back four he also seemed to lack any defensive instinct whatsoever and eventually gave away the penalty that led to Brazil's second goal. Craig Levein chose two fairly conservative wide players in Scott Brown and Steven Whittaker, with much of the former's attacking instinct having been curbed in his time at Celtic. The plan seemed to be for them to get up down the pitch, providing an attacking outlet while still tracking Brazil's wide man - Jadson and the brilliant Neymar. Sadly neither provided much in the way of each attacking intent or defensive solidarity, with Brown in particular looking lost throughout and failing to get forward and support an increasingly isolated Kenny Miller.

James Morrison and James McArthur looked like strangers playing in the centre of midfield and both put in undistinguished performances. Morrison probably looked the most exciting Scottish player of the day (albeit in very brief instances) but lacked time on the ball and struggled to play the right passes. Perhaps surprisingly, the team looked a lot more cohesive after Barry Bannan came on for McArthur. Bannan is clearly a cracking young talent, looking good on the ball as well as intelligent without it. I would like to see him starting alongside Charlie Adam in the centre of Scotland's midfield. The defence put in an archetypal 'blood and guts' performance, never saying die but looking outclassed by a below par Brazilian frontline. Gary Caldwell's spectacular double block in the second half was a particular highlight.

Levein was quick to remind the public post-match that Scotland are missing a lot of players, but this was a still a poor performance. Scotland are obviously technically inferior to Brazil but also seemed to lack both the off the ball movement and work rate of their South American counterparts. More importantly, they often struggled to string more than two passes together, leading to ironic cheers during a brief spell of second half possession. There were encouraging signs - Barry Bannan's impressive cameo for one - but they were few and far between, at least from where I was sitting.

On a solely personal level I was pretty gutted that Chris Maguire didn't come on, I am obviously ridiculously biased but I still think he deserved at least a few minutes at the end. Maybe next time - as long as he keeps putting the performances in for the Dons of course!

Friday, 25 March 2011

What Next for Walter Smith?

Walter Smith has hit the headlines this week after clinching the Scottish League Cup, his 20th trophy as Rangers manager. It has been no secret that Smith will leave Rangers in the summer, but what seems to have often been lost in the shuffle is that he plans to remain in management after his four year tenure at Ibrox comes to an end. Even Smith's wikipedia page suggests that the Rangers legend will be retiring in the summer but comments made by the Scottish manager in November suggest that this is not the case, with Smith apparently planning to remain in football in some capacity.

The big question in any case seems to be, if not Rangers, where else? Of his 30 year management career Smith has spent 11 years with the Glasgow club and a further 11 years in various roles within the Scottish National team's structure. Just four years have been spent South of the border, during a relatively unsuccessful spell at Everton and a brief stint as Sir Alex Ferguson's assistant at Manchester United. Indeed, Smith's departure from Rangers could be born more of a desire to prove his managerial credentials elsewhere than anything else.

As with many other elder statesmen of the game, an international role seems likely and would possibly sate his need for the game without bringing the day to day to pressures of club management. Sadly Smith's inauspicious abandonment of the Scottish National Team in favor of a return to Rangers may have burned bridges with the Scottish FA and current manager Craig Levein seems to have the support of the men in charge, if not perhaps all of the fans. If Smith's unhappy spell at Everton has put him off English club management a move abroad could be an unlikely, if semi-logical step. David O'Leary and Tony Adams have recently been lured to the Middle East, due in no part to the no doubt hefty pay checks accompanying their arrivals. While such a move would possibly not be as attractive to Smith from a footballing perspective, the idea of Don Revie-esque semi retirement could appeal to him.

While initially seeming pretty ludicrous, a return to Manchester United to link up with old friend Sir Alex Ferguson could also be an interesting proposition to Smith. Current Assistant Manager Mike Phelan, while being a reliable presence often sadly resembles a court jester who has been promoted to a position far above his station. Most Manchester United fans would react with horror to the idea of Phelan having any sort of tactical input, with Dutch Coach Rene Meulensteen seeming to provide the brains of the operation. Equally ludicrous might be the idea of Smith replacing Sir Alex, but his links to Sir Alex and his experience steadying the ship with Rangers after Paul Le Guen's disastrous misadventures at Ibrox may make such a idea slightly more tenable. One thing that would count against him in this regard is his lack of tactical nous and stoicly pragmatic nature. Given the choice Smith would always stick with his old favourites, as seen by his loyalty to players such as David Weir and Lee Mcullough. His propensity for conservative tactics would also probably not sit kindly with many United fans, nor the men at the top.

Sadly it seems that despite being an obviously capable manager, Walter Smith's love affair with Rangers has severely limited his potential options. Most British football fans would scoff at his unfashionably negative tactics and loyalty to veteran players, despite the widely favorable results they have achieved over the years. To me, the most likely scenario for Smith would be either a move abroad - whether in club or International management - or a reconciliation with the SFA and a return to the Scottish National Team. Whatever his future brings, what cannot be denied is Smith's status as one of the greatest managers ever to grace the Scottish league. Ally McCoist is set to take over at Ibrox in the summer, and the difficulty of the task on his hands should not be underestimated.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

The Return of Ricky Foster?

One of the more confusing transfer deals of last summer was Ricky Foster's loan move from Aberdeen to Rangers, with perma-crocked striker Andrius Velicka heading in the opposite direction. While Velicka was largely a disappointment at Aberdeen, failing to get a run in the side and scoring just one goal before his release in January, Foster has performed generally well at Rangers, earning plaudits for his Champions League displays against Manchester United and Valencia.

You would have thought that Aberdeen fans would be delighted at the potential return of a defender with experience at the very highest level. Sadly many cannot see past the rivalry between Rangers and the Dons, with Foster earning the ire of some after comments such as 'Ibrox is the best stadium that I have ever played at' and 'I feel at home at Rangers'. Football fans are notoriously reactionary and it is perhaps not surprising that many would greet Foster's return with flaming torches rather than banners, but you might expect a little more realism from supporters of a team who until January were without a single natural full back. Whatever Foster's limitations he is certainly a more capable full back than Rory McArdle and is not as prone to falling apart as David McNamee seems to be. Wherever Foster's loyalties ultimately lie, as long as he puts in 100% for the Dons it would be foolish to condemn him - his return would see the Dons squad strengthened with McNamee and Smith potentially leaving in the summer.

Foster himself seems pragmatic about the situation, conceding today that as things stood he would be a Dons player next season and that he was looked forward to working with Craig Brown and Archie Knox. These could merely be the words of a professional trying his best not to burn potential bridges, but Foster is under contract until 2013 and would command a decent enough transfer fee if he was to decide to move on.

Despite the Foster/Velicka swap largely proving disastrous this season, at the very least it will add an extra zero to his future transfer fee, and could potentially see the Dons possessing a far more experienced and accomplished player next season, working under an undoubtedly superior management team. In my mind the omens seem to be pretty good for Aberdeen.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Chris Maguire to leave Aberdeen?

Chris Maguire's six year spell at Aberdeen looks to be coming to an end after the 22 year old forwards agent admitted that he had rejected an initial offer from the Dons and would be speaking to other clubs. Aberdeen would be due a compensation fee if Maguire was to move on, but it will no doubt be a blow for Craig Brown and his top six aspirations. Despite a relatively modest goal return of 14 in 122 league appearances for the club Maguire has cemented his first team place this season after a successful loan spell at Kilmarnock last year. Aberdeen have been linked with Brechin forward Rory McAllister as a possible replacement for Maguire in recent weeks - the 23 year old Aberdonian has scored 45 goals in his last two seasons in the Scottish 2nd Division and is out of contract this summer. Craig Brown yesterday conceded that he was interested in McAllister when speaking to the Evening Express newspaper.

For my money losing Maguire would be a blow for both the player and the club. If Aberdeen are to move forward they need to keep their best players - particularly given Maguire and Scott Vernon's blossoming partnership up front. McAllister is in good form but is unproven at the top level. The potential compensation fee of £300,000 would hopefully allow Craig Brown to bring in a striker with more SPL experience as well as possibly freeing up the funds to strengthen other areas of the squad.

What is most important of course is not to jump the gun - Maguire is still an Aberdeen player and has not personally commented on the matter. While it seems unlikely that he will stay at Pittodrie next season there is every chance that his circumstances will change. I for one will be fully behind Chris for the rest of the season.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

My Favourite Pundits: Rob MacLean

Being described as the Scottish Gary Lineker is not likely be a comparison that elicits rejoicing from most broadcasters North of the border, but given MacLean's role fronting SPL highlights program Sportscene it is an obvious one to make.

While MacLean has not enjoyed Lineker's illustrious footballing career the similarities do not end with their job descriptions. MacLean is far from the stereotypical dour Scotsman and is always an affable presence. Despite reporting on a league where allegations of bias and corruption are as rife as the zero's in Wayne Rooney's bank account MacLean is also refreshingly even handed. As with Lineker, MacLean seems so at ease in the presenters chair that a certain air of (obviously unintentional) smugness can creep in from time to time but it is thankfully always reined in to managable Pierce Brosnanesque levels.

Despite Sportscene's many faults as a highlights package the quality of its guests cannot be faulted, with a revolving door SPL managers taking part and even national team manager Craig Levein taking time out from hunting down passports and birth certificates to make the occasional appearance. It is with these high profile guests that MacLean demonstrates his aptitude for hosting, keeping discussion ticking over nicely without ever dominating proceedings himself.

His critics would perhaps argue that he is bland, but I would say that in an age where self promoting, obnoxious pundits are the norm a presenter of MacLean's quality deserves more plaudits than he generally recieves. ESPN sign him up!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A Cup Semi and a Call Up for Aberdeen

Aberdeen had two pieces of good news last night after following their Scottish Cup Quarter Final Replay defeat of St. Mirren, striker Chris Maguire was called up to the Scottish National squad for the second time. Maguire won his first cap as a substitute in the friendly victory over Northern Ireland last month and will be looking to add to it against Brazil next Saturday. With Kenny Miller the only out and out striker in the squad, I think Maguire can be fairly confident of getting a few more international minutes under his belt.

It was Maguire's goal that opened the scoring against St Mirren, before Scott Vernon put the Dons two up shortly before half time. Despite Nikola Vujadinovic's calamitous own goal just seconds after coming on, Aberdeen managed to hold on and have booked a Scottish Cup Semi Final against this seasons bogey team, Celtic. Despite our shocking record against them this season, I would much prefer to win the Scottish cup having beaten one of the Old Firm, and have every confidence that Aberdeen can finally avenge the 9-0 capitulation earlier this season. Come on the Dons!

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Aberdeen Vs St. Mirren: Match Preview

Kick Off: 7.45pm
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland

Craig Brown will be looking for a reaction from his Aberdeen side after they only managed to scrape a 1-1 draw on Saturday. Facing a probable semi final draw against Celtic will have most likely dampened Aberdonian hopes of a cup final but going through would be a great result nonetheless.

David McNamee is a major injury doubt after limping out of Saturday's match, and Rob Milsom could also miss out. Ryan Jack and Sone Aluko could both come in after being rested and dropped respectively, with Jack potentially replacing Milsom in the centre of midfield or playing out on the right hand side. If McNamee misses out he will most likely be replaced at right back by Rory McArdle, who came on for him on Saturday. Fraser Fyvie, Darren Mackie and Yoan Folly are still all out with long term injuries.

I would personally like to see Craig Brown keep it simple, particularly with home advantage on the Dons' side. Steven Smith had a good game on Saturday but I would rather if he moved back to left back, with Andy Considine moving inside to partner Zander Diamond. Scott Vernon has gone a few games without a goal and you could easily make a case for his exclusion but I would like to see him start -he has an ability to hold the ball up not present in any other Aberdeen player and has linked up very well with Chris Maguire in the past, even if their understanding was not really there on Saturday. Josh Magennis has been in good form of late but I prefer having him as an option on the bench.

There are no more excuses anymore - with no wins in four improvement will be needed tonight. I'm not doing a prediction for superstitious purposes, suffice it to say that I will not be happy if Aberdeen crash out tonight!

Monday, 14 March 2011

Aberdeen on Crossbar Challenge

An amusing video I found while browsing youtube - last seasons Aberdeen squad appearing on Soccer AM's 'crossbar challenge' segment. Particular highlights include Derek Young's self deprecating introduction, Charlie Mulgrew reminding us why a lot of people dislike him and Davide Grassi managing to sum up his Dons career in one hilarious vacant stare. Enjoy!

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Match Report: St. Mirren 1 - 1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen: Langfield, McNamee (McArdle, 13), Diamond, Vujadinovic, Considine, Magennis, Hartley, Milsom, Smith (Aluko, 71), Maguire, Vernon (Blackman, 63)

St. Mirren: Gallacher, van Zanten, Mair, Potter (Higdon, 60), McGregor, Travner, Muray, Thomson, Goodwin (Mclean, 67), Dargo (Mooy, 87), McGowan.

If ever there has been a match that sums up the bipolar nature of supporting Aberdeen it is this one. Despite being pumelled for large portions of the second half, Rory McArdle's last gasp equalizer earned the Dons the chance of a home replay next Wednesday, prompting euphoric scenes at the final whistle.

Craig Brown went for a slightly confusing team selection, with Chris Maguire returning to the starting line up after suspension, Josh Magennis earning a start after an impressive cameo on Monday night and Nikola Vujadinovic also coming in. Ryan Jack was rested while Sone Aluko and Derek Young dropped to the bench. Despite the presence of three centre backs and two full backs suggesting a 3-5-2 formation, Aberdeen actually lined up in a more orthodox 4-4-2 shape. Andrew Considine shifted to an unfamiliar left back position with Steven Smith on the left hand side of midfield and Josh Magennis on the opposite flank.

The formation worked fairly well in a drab and even first half. Man of glass David McNamee hobbled off in the early stages, replaced by Rory McArdle. Beyond that the first 45 minutes passed largely without incident. Steven Smith got up and down the left flank very well, compensating for Andy Considine's lack of natural attacking instincts. Despite this Considine actually had a solid match, growing in confidence as the game progressed and looking assured in possession. Sadly Scott Vernon and Chris Maguire's flourishing partnership looks to have stalled a little after two matches apart, they did not link up very well and Vernon looked starved of service. Maguire's return was a little disappointing after I built him up to near messianic status during his absence. He offered plenty of industry - causing what looked like hundreds of pounds worth of damage to St. Mirren's advertising hoardings - but little invention.

The second half started as drably as the first half ended but came to life after St. Mirren's top goalscorer Michael Higdon came on at the hour mark. An Aberdeen defence that had looked good up until that point suddenly fell apart, with Vujadinovic and Diamond getting dragged apart too often and Rory McArdle looking lost at right back. It was only Jamie Langfield's fantastic work in goal that prevented the Don's being on the wrong end of a drubbing, but even Langfield could not stop the Saints taking the lead after 77 minutes, following some typically shambolic Dons defending. While St. Mirren deserve their fair share of credit for some good attacking play, I would partially blame Craig Brown after some underwhelming substitutions. Nick Blackman is undoubtedly a hugely talented young man but does not have half the workrate of Scott Vernon. After he replaced the Dons top scorer Aberdeen tended to lack an outlet when on the break. While Aluko was very lively after coming on, without Steven Smith on the pitch the Dons also looked very vulnerable on the flanks.

Aberdeen gradually lost their shape as the minutes ticked by, with Vujadinovic seeming to realise that he is not a very good defender and trying his luck up front. Sone Aluko gave the team an injection of pace and skill that they had previously been lacking, which begs the question - why wasn't he starting? It was Aluko's good work on the right wing that led to Aberdeen's goal, earning a free kick. Paul Hartley caused havoc with one of his trademark deliveries before Rory McArdle took advantage of a goalmouth scramble, poking home with just 30 seconds left on the clock.

If I'm honest I was a quivering wreck for much of the second half and therefore not in a position to give any intelligent analysis on the subject. Despite this there are a few main conclusions that can be drawn from yesterdays match.

1. Brown should stop messing around with the team. While we looked ok in the first half it is frustrating to see our most talented player on the bench with others playing in unfamiliar positions. Save the experimenting for less important league fixtures.
2. McArdle and Considine should be given another shot at centre back together. In my opinion they have been our best two central defenders this season, I have a feeling that Diamond is in the team on reputation rather than merit - we have generally looked better without him this season. Vujadinovic is slightly more confusing. He has good pedigree and looks a talented player but seems to lack concentration and go walkabout too often for my liking.
3. Scott Vernon is knackered. He hasn't scored for a while and probably needs a rest. I would like to see him fit and raring to go for the replay - now is the time to give Blackman a proper go in his preferred position - up front, partnered by Chris Maguire. No excuses now.
4. No more playing centre backs at full back. I don't think I need to elaborate. Rory McArdle is a good centre back but looks awful playing at full back. Considine largely had a good game but I would rather see him in the middle.
5. Play Aluko. Even off form, when given the right service he is probably our most dangerous player. We can't afford to have someone as talented as him warming the bench.

A much better performance will be needed a week on Wednesday. With home advantage Aberdeen should go through but will need to be wary of complacency. We have been in an eerily similar position before and still managed to cock things up in spectacular fashion...

My Man of the Match: Jamie Langfield
Runner Up: Andrew Considine

Friday, 11 March 2011

St. Mirren Vs Aberdeen: Match Preview

Kick Off: 12.15 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Scotland

After their top six aspirations ended on Monday night Aberdeen will be hoping to restore some semblance of meaning to their season by cementing a place in this years Scottish Cup semi final. Saturday's opponents St. Mirren are also in the midst of a disappointing season, currently a place below Aberdeen in 11th, seven points ahead of rock bottom Hamilton with a game in hand.

Chris Maguire returns from suspension and should go straight back into Aberdeen's starting XI with Zander Diamond also looking set to retain his place at centre half despite suffering a head injury on Monday night. Craig Brown's most difficult decision looks to be whether to partner Chris Maguire with Scott Vernon up front in a 4-4-2, or to use Maguire and Sone Aluko either side of Vernon in the more experimental 4-3-3 formation that they have lined up with on occasion this season. Fraser Fyvie, Darren Mackie and Yoan Folly are all still long term absentees for the Dons and all look to be out for the rest of the season.

St. Mirren haven't won at home since October 30th, when ironically enough they defeated a poor Dons side 2-1. Craig Brown will no doubt be looking for a reaction after three matches without a win - he has called this his most important match of the season and will find little disagreement among Dons fans. Defeat would see their season all but over while a victory would bring some much needed excitement to the North-East. My prediction: A nervy 1-0 victory for the Dons.

St Mirren (from): Gallacher, McAusland, Travner, McGregor, Potter, Murray, Thomson, Goodwin, Dargo, Higdon, McLean, van Zanten, Mair, Mooy, McGowan, Cregg, Wardlaw, Samson.

Aberdeen (from): Langfield, McNamee, Blackman, Diamond, McArdle, Smith, Considine, Young, Milsom, Aluko, Magennis, Hartley, Jack, Vernon, Maguire, Howard, Vujadinovic, Pawlett, Paton.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Match Report: Dundee United 3 - 1 Aberdeen

Aberdeen: Langfield, McNamee (Blackman, 75), Diamond (McArdle, 31), Considine, Smith, Hartley, Aluko (Magennis, H/T), Young, Jack, Milsom, Vernon.

Dundee United: Pernis, Dillon, Douglas, van der Meulen, Watson, Conway (Shala, 54), Robertson, Swanson (Robertson, 70), Buaben, Gomis, Goodwillie (Russell, 88).

A very disappointing defeat and a poor performance to match from an Aberdeen side without defeat in four before last night. Dons boss Craig Brown opted for a versatile 4-3-3/4-5-1 hybrid, with fit again Zander Diamond replacing Rory McArdle and Derek Young coming in for Nick Blackman.

In truth Aberdeen were poor throughout, with their defence never looking settled and often struggling to hold a decent line. A Zander Diamond header was the only real chance during a poor opening 15 minutes, the defender sustaining a head injury in the process. Diamond was replaced by similarly head-injured Rory McArdle after 31 minutes. The first Dundee United goal came just two minutes earlier while Diamond was off the pitch. Craig Conways corner being headed in by Barry Douglas would most likely not be a strange sight to Dons fans used to seeing their side concede from set pieces. While there were suggestions of a foul on Paul Hartley there were still a number of Aberdeen defenders in the box and they really should have done better. David McNamee had a poor game overall and it was his poor headed clearance just four minutes later that gave Craig Conway the opportunity to test Jamie Langfield. Langfield spilled Conways shot into the net, a bad mistake that will come as a blow for a keeper who had been in solid form recently.

After a hugely lackluster first half performance Craig Brown replaced the ineffective Sone Aluko with Josh Magennis, reverting a more traditional 4-4-2 formation with Magennis partnering Scott Vernon. It took the hulking striker just six minutes to make an impression, heading home Scott Vernon's intelligent flick on. Despite a brief resurgence Aberdeen soon faded, severely lacking in shape and conceding a third goal on the hour mark, Danny Swanson's superb half volley eventually proving too much for Aberdeen to come back from.

Overall Aberdeen were very poor, lacking both cohesion in defense and inspiration in midfield. Chris Maguire's work rate and movement up front were sorely missed. Scott Vernon had one of his worst Aberdeen games, largely due to a lack of service. Derek Young was poor, Hartley struggled to get into the game and Robert Milsom looked good on the ball but lacking in the creative spark necessary to invigorate a sluggish looking Dons side. Magennis almost changed the game after coming on - he provided a directness not previously seen by Aberdeen and looked a handful despite limited service. Steven Smith was a rare bright spot in a dreadful defensive performance, working hard and getting up and down the pitch well despite lacking an end product. The rest of the defence were simply not good enough - David McNamee in particular had a shocker - his distribution standing out as being very very shoddy. Aberdeen have a talented midfield on paper but they will not be able to perform if they aren't given decent service from the defence, something that was not happening last night. After looking very assured in Zander Diamond's absence against Hearts and St. Johnstone, Rory McArdle and Andrew Considine really struggled after Diamond's injury, a worrying sign for an Aberdeen side that had recently looked very solid in defence.

Sadly this result most likely ends Aberdeen's top six aspirations, attaching greater importance to Saturday's Scottish Cup Sixth Round tie away at St. Mirren. The Dons will need to find form quickly if anything is to be salvaged from a very underwhelming season.

As always, all comments and criticisms more than welcome.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Dundee United Vs Aberdeen: Match Preview

Kick Off: 19.45
Coverage: Live on ESPN at 19.30

Aberdeen's push for the top six continues at Tannadice tonight, as the Dons face Dundee United. Craig Brown has no fresh injury concerns but is still without long term absentees Fraser Fyvie, Darren Mackie and Yoan Folly, as well as perenially crocked Peter Pawlett. Zander Diamond could return from injury and is in contention for a place at centre back but with no goals conceded during his two match absence he will have a hard task on his hands displacing the stand in partnership of Rory McArdle and Andrew Considine. Nikola Vujadinovic completed half an hour against St. Johnstone in midweek and should be fit enough for a place on the bench. Up front Chris Maguire serves the second of a two match ban and should be replaced by on loan Blackburn Rovers striker Nick Blackman. The Dons will really miss Maguire's energy up front - while Blackman is clearly a talented player and a proven goalscorer at SPL level he lacks Maguire's work rate and has looked fairly lacklustre so far for Aberdeen.

After two consecutive goalless draws Craig Brown and Archie Knox will be desperate for a win against their top six rivals. Dundee United have a few injuries but are strong opponents, despite their slightly inconsistent home form lately. If Blackman and Vernon's so far unproductive partnership can flourish then there is every chance that Aberdeen can continue their solid recent form.
My prediction: 2-0 to the Dons.

Dundee Utd (from): Pernis, Dillon, Dixon, Van der Meulen, Watson, Douglas, Swanson, Gomis, Conway, Buaben, Armstrong, S Robertson, D Robertson, Conway, Goodwillie, Russell, Banks, Dow, Smith.

Aberdeen (from): Langfield, McNamee, Smith, Considine, Diamond, Vujadinovic, Milsom, Jack, Young, Aluko, Hartley, Vernon, Blackman, McArdle, Paton, Magennis, Anderson, Howard.

Sunday, 6 March 2011


Welcome everyone! As both a keen football fan and writer I thought it would be good fun to start up a blog where I can jot down a few of my thoughts on the world of football. I am a keen fan of Aberdeen FC, both the city that I was born in and the team that my dad supported during their period of greatest success in the 1980's. Unfortunately due to circumstances beyond my control I have never actually lived in Aberdeen, aside from a brief spell in Shetland I have always resided South of the border. Despite it being a challenge I always do my utmost to support the team I love in whatever way I can, whether it be watching as many live matches and highlights as I can to babbling on to my friends about the latest Dons issues (hopefully this blog will help a little with that).
In terms of other football, I follow Manchester United in England (for Fergie) and also really enjoy watching Serie A, so expect a few posts on those two subjects as well as whatever other football I've been watching. Anyway, hope you enjoy the blog!