Date: 3rd November 2007 at 10:14am
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It’s hard to believe only 12 weeks of Scottish football have passed since the opening day failure at Tannadice. As 6000 members of the Red Army watched in disbelief communicational skills you’d expect to see at a deaf centre rather than a football ground between Andrew Considine and Derek Soutar, which allowed David Robertson to blast the ball into the back of the net from two yards, it looked like yet again it was going to be a long, tiring season at Aberdeen Football Club.

After that the season still failed to start with sloppy late goals lost to Hearts and Celtic, before a humiliating comeback by Hibs at Easter Road. When Dean Shiels took the honours and slotted it past Soutar to make it 3-3, there was a number of people questioning whether luck had run out for the two Jimmys and it was time to move on. But finally, September came and so did the first win of the season away to Kilmarnock. A loss at home to Motherwell followed but by far the most superior performance of the season followed that one against Dnipro in the UEFA Cup. The conceding of goals was finally out the system after being mauled 3-0 at Ibrox and lightning did not strike twice at Firhill where the Dons progressed to the quarter finals of the league cup, soundly beating Partick 2-0. A comfortable yet unconvincing win against Gretna preceded undoubtedly Aberdeen’s greatest result in over a decade. Darren Mackie’s incredibly-a-like goal to John Hewitt’s against Real Madrid put Aberdeen through the the UEFA Cup group stages on the away goal rule for the first time in history and unlike the Old Firm, there was to be no European hangover as the Dons trampled over Saint Mirren 4-0. Inverness next and a fine 2-1 victory at the Caledonian Stadium before the unfortunate 3-0 loss away to PAO. The European hangover struck this time however when Falkirk stole a point at Pittodrie but the team made up for it with a fantastic 4-1 win over Inverness in the League Cup to put them into their first semi-final in 7 years.

I was shocked to find out that since Craig Levein has taken over at Tannadice, Aberdeen have failed to take three points from Dundee United. However, hopefully that record will be deminished this weekend but once again the injury crisis has come at the wrong time. Eight players miss out on this encounter – Darren Mackie, Scott Severin, Chris Clark, Jamie Smith, Steve Lovell, Zander Diamond, Richard Foster and Derek Soutar – for various reasons. But, luckily one man has pulled through and that man is Barry Nicholson. As I’m sure I’ve said many times on Vital Football, with every up there’s a down and reverse at AFC and as injury strikes at the wrong time, Nicholson’s turn in form has come at the perfect time. A hat-trick midweek has hopefully sent his confidence through the roof, just in time for his favourite opponents. Scoring against the Terrors has almost become traditional for Bazza and the first indication was undoubtedly on his debut in the season opener in the 05-06 campaign. After Lee Miller, who snubbed the Dons for United that Summer, who has now actually since arrived at Pittodrie, gave the home side the lead, Nicholson gave us something to smile about with an early 2nd half goal.

But the tides have turned since then. About 36 managers later, Craig Levein has gained back some respect for United, who now incredibly sit in 3rd place in the SPL, only three points behind champions Celtic in first. However, with our ‘neighbours’ being the most unsustainable club of the century it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a slump in form saw them drop down numerous positions come the January transfer window.

Young Sone Aluko has proved himself to be an exciting talent since making his extremely brief appearance in Athens and it looks like good times lay ahead for the teenager. A goal from him will make my day and a few here and there from Bazza won’t go a miss.

5-0 Aberdeen.