A lot of Rangers fans are tonight using Aberdeen’s latest humiliation as living proof the Dons only raise their game against Rangers.
It’s hard to entirely disagree with the logic – having battled to a 2-1 loss at Hampden, their follow-up was a dismal 5-0 loss to Hearts, before the worst result in their history v Darvel, then an even worse catastrophe v Hibs who crushed them 6-0, themselves also in chronic shape.
Jim Goodwin was fired inside 20 minutes of the final whistle.
But do these last three matches prove Aberdeen only play v Rangers? Sort of.
Basically Aberdeen only truly get up for matches v the Old Firm. If you recall, Michael Beale’s second match was against the Dons at Pittodrie, coming away with a battling 3-2 win.
What is quickly forgotten is the Dons came within three minutes of getting a point when Celtic visited them only a few days earlier. They sat in and defended for their lives – because Celtic overwhelmed them with possession and shots, but the Dons battled more for the point that day than easily remembered.
But Rangers, with our porous backline left it open for them to get a goal or two – Michael Beale has already admitted we’re vulnerable.
So yes, the Dons do raise their game against Rangers, but they do so against Celtic as well.
What is undeniable is the players got their manager fired. Goodwin isn’t very good, that’s the truth. We have no idea why they hired a St Mirren boss in midtable as being good enough to put any real challenge on that third place, but it failed miserably. And the players, recently, 100% downed tools and chucked it. They made sure today that he got fired. Classy bunch.
The last time they played was against Rangers in the cup. And yes, of course they raised their game – it’s a cup semi-final for heaven’s sake. Any team would have. Unless, you believe Rangers strolled it v Queen of the South in that final all those years ago?
This is far from defending Aberdeen – horrible little team with the most toxic fanbase in Scotland, but despite being ‘one of them’, Goodwin has actually been a decent sort who has never dug at Rangers in any way and generally been respectful. He was a hatchet man on the pitch, who left his leg in all the time, but in the press and media as a manager he’s never trolled our club in anyway.
So while out of his depth, we’re not dancing all over the man losing his job. But there is schadenfreude at Aberdeen being so hopeless.
It’s easily, right now, the worst run of results in their club’s history, and it couldn’t happen to a nicer lot.