Aberdeen extras: Lack of attacking threat in Hearts defeat, collective failure, Steven McLean frustration & Jim Goodwin’s excellent fashion sense

Aberdeen’s Christian Ramirez had little service. (Photo by Bruce White/SNS Group)


It would be harsh to pinpoint individuals who were off the boil, just as it would be selecting a player of the match. It was a collective failure across the pitch for Aberdeen with manager Jim Goodwin saying his team made Hearts look “very good”. They started slowly but never picked up the pace and showed any threat. David Bates was excellent in the opening stages with a couple of excellent and important interventions but eventually the pressure on the Dons defense told. The midfield was overrun which resulted in the front three becoming isolated and ineffectual. It was a night to forget for Aberdeen who barely laid a glove on their opponents.

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turning point

Aberdeen were backed by a big traveling support. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group)

In a game where it never really deviated from Hearts being in control, there were few to choose from but Jim Goodwin pinpointed the Declan Gallagher disallowed goal as the “turning point” in the match.

Goodwin felt referee Steven McLean was wrong to chop off the goal for a foul on Ellis Simms. It would have put Aberdeen in front and would certainly have changed the complexion of the game with the home side having been on top. However, McLean did blow his whistle early with Gordon making little attempt to stop the header and it could be argued that it was a foul for a Gallagher push on Craig Halkett, albeit very little in it.

Ref watch

Which brings us on to Steven McLean. A key talking point from both camps was the performance of the official. Robbie Neilson was very unhappy with the penalty award to Aberdeen, accusing Lewis Ferguson of conning the referee when he went over under pressure from Nathaniel Atkinson, with Goodwin questioning the aforementioned disallowed goal.

But there was also a build up of the little things, summed up by an exchange involving Neilson, Goodwin and fourth official Craig Napier.

Neilson was left unhappy that a free-kick was given against Craig Halkett for bringing down Christian Ramirez, seconds after it looked like Nathaniel Atkinson was brought down in similar fashion but with no foul given. Goodwin seemed to accept the home side’s manager’s point as he sauntered across the technical area and tapped the Hearts boss on the back as he passionately queried the decision with Napier.

Moments later, and it was Goodwin’s time to show his frustration after Hearts were given a throw-in when it was clearly Aberdeen’s. This time Neilson walked across and seemed to utter an assessment of the officials’ performance which many in the crowd would have agreed with.

let down

Aberdeen were far more of an attacking presence in the weekend’s draw with Dundee United. They created numerous chances in either half but were spread. It was a different story at Tynecastle Park. The Dons offered little as an attacking force. It took 43 minutes for Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon to touch the ball with his hands from a meaningful save. From open play the team’s xG was 0.16 from seven shots, only three from inside the box. Hearts were 0.94 from 13 shots and eight inside the box.

Gave us a giggle

There were few moments of levity for Aberdeen and their fans. There was a rhythm of the crowd, with celebrations from the Aberdeen fans thinking they had scored when Gallagher had the ball in the back of the net to Hearts fans responding with sarcastic cheers. Then perhaps what summed up the night better than anything was the fact Jonny Hayes and Vicente Besuijen took the ball in an area of ​​the body which is never welcome for men.

To repeat, it wasn’t an evening which brought any laughter for the big traveling support.

fashion corner

There is a growing element of fans who take an interest in the fashion choices of managers. There are those who go for the suit, others with a smart casual look and then the tracksuit managers. Goodwin falls into the latter category but he has elevated his look from him with what appears to be a brand-spanking new pair of Copa Mundials. The greatest football boot ever made.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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