Date: 23rd October 2008 at 6:56pm
Written by:

Few men in Aberdeen football club`s illustrious history have aroused as much debate as Jimmy Calderwood. To some he is a shrewd operator; delivering four consecutive top six finishes and a return to the European arena, on a shoestring budget, while having to deal with the unavoidable loss of key players. While to others his below par signings, baffling team selections, major cup upsets and extensive tactical misjudgements cumulate in complete managerial ineptitude. The number of people following the latter school of thought (that Jimmy is a poor manager) has increased at the start of this campaign after the dons propped up the table after eight games, with a scrappy win over Falkirk merely papering over the cracks. These supporters who believe Jimmy should be sacked use the following arguments to justify their view:

1) Too many of Jimmy`s signings have not improved the quality of the squad. Evidence to support this point comes in the form of Dave Bus, Derek Soutar, Richie Byrne, Dan Smith, Jonathan Kurrant, Dyron Daal, Jackie McNamara, Jonathan Smith, Stuart Duff, Derek Young, Gary Dempsey and Stevie Crawford.

2) To be signed by Jimmy you have to be either ex-Dunfermline, ex-Dundee United, Dutch or a very poor footballer. Although this is a slight exaggeration, a very high percentage of Jimmy`s signings fit the above criteria.

3) The style of our attacking play is now both dull and ineffective. Although Lee Miller is relatively good in the air, firing hopeless long balls at him all day brings little success and does not make for good viewing for the fans.

4) Losing Russell Anderson was unavoidable; not attempting to replace him is unacceptable. The statistics speak for themselves: in the 2006/2007 season the dons conceded 38 goals, they then lost (and did not replace) Anderson in the summer and conceded 58 goals the following season. It is therefore and utter disgrace that Calderwood failed to sign a central defender this summer when it could not be more obvious we needed one. He complains of “sloppy” defending every week, but who chooses the defence? This leads to the next point:

5) The constant chopping and changing in the defence has undoubtedly contributed to Aberdeen`s shocking “goals against” statistic. It is embarrassing that Calderwood does not know, or even really have a clue, what his strongest back line is. Already we have had 7 different back lines in the 9 league matches so far this season.

6) Jimmy`s now infamous tombola whereby players positions are decided by well…a tombola, has a very negative effect on the outcome of matches. There are so many incidences of this that exemplification is not necessary.

7) Jimmy has favourites, players who play week in week out despite regular poor performances; examples of this are Darren Mackie and Richard Foster, who along with Derek Young are our only ever-presents this season! On the other hand talented players like Touzani and Lovell warm the bench and are then sold.

Having considered the above points, each of which may be expanded upon in future articles, it is clear those calling for Jimmy`s head have good reason to do so. Of course there is another side to the argument , which will be explored in a future article. But for just now I have to confess I am growing tired of Jimmy`s management: his signings, his team`s style of play and now that it seems that all progress has halted, I think it is time for a change.
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