Date: 21st March 2009 at 11:08am
Written by:

A) Tactics: Midweek was a perfect example of Calderwood`s tactical ineptitude. Never does he seem able to get the best out of the personnel available to him, be it due to the formation, passing style or whatever. Examples of this were numerous on Wednesday. One of these was taking off Sone Aluko when had he been left on, he would have been at his most effective, by running at tired defenders. Another; playing too many high balls into Mackie and Maguire, who were unlikely to win it in the air. This tactic may have been more effective with Lee Miller or even Tommy Wright on the pitch, but surely we should have instead been looking to play the ball into the feet of Mackie and Maguire or playing balls into the channels for them to run onto. Decisions like these, unsurprisingly, leave many doubting Calderwood`s tactical knowledge.

B) Team selections: Calderwood is known for his infamous “tombola” used to select the starting 11 and their positions. Presuming he doesn`t actually select his team with the aid of a tombola, he has in the past made some bizarre decisions with regards team selection. Some players, such as Ricky Foster, will start every week (with the exception of when they have a “dramatic bust up”) regardless of performance. While others like Karim Touzani, who always impressed in a holding midfield role, or Steve Lovell or Josh Walker never got a run in the team. Under Calderwood, players are also regularly played out of position. For evidence of this see Considine wing back, Mackie or Maguire wide right, Severin centre back, Duff left back and Foster almost anywhere on the pitch.

C) Handling of the press: This is possibly what annoys me most about Calderwood. In the press he constantly talks his team up pre-match and then complains of “sloppy mistakes” or a “bad surface” post match. He often makes ridiculous claims, which often coincide with days where real AFC news is at a premium: headlines along the lines of: “Jimmy tips Byrne to fill Anderson`s boots” are infuriating for supporters.

D) Signings: The signing of players who are clearly not good enough for Aberdeen is something Calderwood specialises in. As is pretending these sub-standard signings are good players. Evidence of this comes in the form of Stuart Duff, Derek Young, Dave Bus, Dyron Daal, Jonathan Kurrant, Richie Byrne, Jeffrey De Visscher, Dan Smith, Jonathan Smith, Gary Dempsey, Derek Soutar, Stevie Crawford and Jackie McNamara.

E) Letting the fans down: Aberdeen is among the best supported clubs in Scotland, in terms of away support we have a strong claim to be Scotland`s finest. Yet too often this support is let down badly in big games, with shocking performances and results. The latest this week against Dunfermline is simply the most recent in a long list of similar stories. The most obvious ones which spring to mind are in the cup: Queen`s Park, Queen of the South and Dundee United, but there have also been occasions in the league at venues such as Tannadice and Tynecastle. Calderwood`s apparent inability to motivate his players or to select the correct personnel or tactics for big games will ensure the dons don`t win a trophy under his charge.

In the above there is certainly enough to put forward a very strong claim for Calderwood`s dismissal, of course it won`t happen: we can`t afford to sack him and he is extremely unlikely to resign. There are also those who will continue to defend him, but for me, Dunfermline was the final straw. As usual have your say by heading to the forum.