Saturday, 29 October 2011

Spirited Dons Still Can't Taste Old Firm Victory

Aberdeen 1 - 2 Rangers

Gonzalez, McArdle, Mawene, Considine, Foster, Clark (Magennis, 88), Osbourne, Arnason, Fyvie (Chalali, 79), Fallon, Milsom (Mackie, 24)
Subs Not Used: Brown, Robertson, Megginson, Grimmer.

This post would have had a thoroughly different complexion had the match finished at half time. Or even after 58 minutes. Unfortunately though, it didn't. 2-1 was the final score, and you would have to say that on the balance of play it was a deserved victory for Rangers. Aberdeen looked solid at the back and tenacious in midfield, but lacked creativity and goal threat up front. Two defeats on the bounce is a somewhat illusory statistic for the Dons - in truth, two straight victories have been followed up by consecutive battling displays against the Old Firm, by no means a success but a far cry from the embarrassments of last season. The mistakes need to be cut out, and it would be nice to see Fraser Fyvie and co. being played in their correct positions, but this was still an encouraging enough display. Are things looking up for Craig Brown's Aberdeen? My head says no, my heart, as ever says.. Maybe.

-Lee Miller looks finally to have been replaced. Scott Vernon's goals have been valuable but he lacks the ability to hold the ball up. Rory Fallon's strength and ariel ability seem likely to be an asset to the team, even if he finds goals difficult to come by. The red was unfortunate but I didn't think that there was much in it.

-Kari Arnason is a player. Tenacious, composed, aggressive, skillful and capable of playing a pass - he appears to have it all and is one of the most well rounded players I have seen at the club in years. Getting him tied down to a longer term contract needs to be a priority.

-The teams partnerships in the centre of the park are looking more settled. Considine and Mawene compliment each other well, as do Osbourne and Arnason. It's a shame that the team's wide positions are lacking in any such balance .

- Andrew Considine has improved a lot and now looks to be a vital member of our defence. He had an impressive match at centre back and looks to be forming a good partnership with Youl Mawene.

-Darren Mackie has always been a worthy member of Aberdeen's squad, for his energy and work rate if nothing else. It is impossible to ignore how much he has slowed down since returning from injury though. It would be unfair to make him a scapegoat but his role in the squad needs to be looked at.

-Rory McArdle should not be playing at full back. This was far from an abysmal showing from the Northern Irishman but he quite simply is not quick enough and was beaten time after time for pace. Ryan Jack or Chris Clark should be ahead of him in the pecking order there, particularly if Clark persists in forgetting how to pass a football in his stints in the centre of midfield.

-We need to cut out the silly errors.

-Foster managed a lucky goal (although it was a good hit) but as a team goals look like they are going to be hard to come by. Scott Vernon can be relied upon to weigh in with a few but the rest of the team need to start chipping in.

-The commentators kept banging on about Chalali never having scored a professional goal. We get it.