Today the media is praising Derek McInnes for the way he’s staying “calm” in spite of his side’s loss at the weekend.
It must be nice to be that relaxed.
One of the reasons for McInnes “calm” is that he is never put under the slightest pressure by the media here in Scotland.
And he should be. His record is terrible.
In 31 games this year, Aberdeen have dropped points in eleven of them. Fully one third.
Now, Celtic has dropped points in nine, and we’ve played a game less than they have. But here’s the thing; not one single Celtic supporter, and not one single media commentator, thinks that record is acceptable for a boss at Parkhead. Some of us say it, constantly.
The media says it every day.
They’ve even touted candidates to replace him.
But the same pressure is never applied to McInnes, who’s Aberdeen side are allegedly “capable of challenged” us for the title. Not on this form they’re not, and in another year we might even have wrapped the thing up already. The press are kidding themselves if they think this is good form from the Dons.
A lot of store is placed in how much Aberdeen have improved from last season; they have, but marginally.
Last season they dropped points in fifteen matches, but with seven still to go there’s still time for them to do the same again. We’ve already dropped points in as many matches as we did in all of the last campaign; the jury’s not even out on whether we’ve improved or not, they are sitting shaking their heads and the judges are donning the black caps.
Here’s where I’d be worried if I were an Aberdeen fan; last season they finished comfortably ahead of Inverness – ten points better off – on 75 points. They have 65 at the moment, so may well beat last season’s score. But Hearts are nine behind them with a game in hand. Win that, and the gap between Aberdeen and Celtic doesn’t start to look even half as interesting as the one between Aberdeen and the men from Edinburgh for second spot.
If McInnes ends up in danger of finishing third what then?
Does he get put under pressure then?
Does he start having to answer questions about his own future?
Where’s the progress in the cups?
Last season they were knocked out in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, by Dundee. They got to the semi final of the League Cup before being dispatched by Dundee United. This season, another Scottish Cup exit in the fourth round, this time to Hearts. And in the League Cup? Unmitigated disaster, as Hibs took care of them in the third round.
Any other manager, who aspired to be the second biggest club in the country, would be under tremendous pressure with a record like this.
Where’s the media criticism?
Last week, one hack even suggested McInnes might be a candidate for manager of the year.
On what planet?
We all know Ronny has had a tough time this season, but so too has his main rival.
It’s just that the media lambasts one and lauds the other.
And I’m sick of it, and I’m sure everyone at Parkhead is sick of it.
No-one in the press has even called McInnes out on the massive strategic error he made in suddenly deciding to promote his team as championship material; that clearly had an influence on their performance at the weekend, and the blowing of a one goal lead.
Ronny Deila, for all his faults, deals with this stuff pretty well.
Because he knows it comes with the territory.
Or at least it does at Celtic Park.
Not so much anywhere else, it seems.