Oh dear. Keith, Keith, Keith, what have you been smoking?
Today, Jackson has produced one of those articles that makes you laugh uncontrollably up until the point where you realise he’s not making a joke, although even reading it back it sure as Hell sounds like he should be. His article on Celtic’s Invincibles isn’t all bad – he’s right to say that it’s not impossible that we’ll do this again next season; I don’t think we will, but the word “impossible” doesn’t fit this Celtic team – but one of the conclusions in it might well be amongst the daftest stuff he’s ever written. Which is saying something.
Apparently Derek McInnes “came very close to outmanoeuvring Rodgers at the weekend” and it was only when Aberdeen’s players started “running out of gas” that we were able to win the game.
Seriously? Does he honestly believe that guff?
Shortly before he wrote that line, that ridiculous, barmy line, he wrote this one:
“This man has worked wonders at Pittodrie and even though he left Hampden Park empty-handed at the weekend his aim of creating an era of sustained success in the north-east has been achieved.”
Now, I fully intended to write an article praising Aberdeen after the weekend’s game, but let’s put things into perspective here, okay? McInnes has been at the club since April 2013. He has a 58% win ratio. He has won a League Cup. He has turned Aberdeen into our closest challengers; that’s a fact. But “close” is a relative term when we won the league this year by 30 points. Indeed, the 76 points the Pittodrie club secured is their record high.
In the time McInnes has been at Aberdeen four clubs have won the Scottish Cup; Celtic, this season, Hibs last season and before that Inverness and St Johnstone. Ross County have won a League Cup in the same time, the exact same number as McInnes’ Aberdeen. We’ve won it twice.
That’s four clubs outside of ours and theirs who’ve won major Scottish honours since McInnes was appointed over there. You’d think that the second biggest team in the country would have done slightly better than that. A lot better, in fact. Their solitary cup win – the League Cup in 2014 – was secured on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Everyone accepts that Celtic underachieved over the same timeframe. That’s just a fact. But that the allegation is made at all should be telling because we’ve also won six titles on the bounce. Aberdeen have also underachieved, but few ever acknowledge it.
The truth is, McInnes is incapable of masterminding victories in major games, when they count, when the chips are down. I have lamented his tactics on this site many times; he is the textbook model of a manager who sets his team up conservatively in big matches.
Occasionally he gets lucky; his two wins over Sevco this season were pure luck.
More often than not it explodes in his face.
Jackson thinks he almost outsmarted Brendan at the weekend; how did he do that exactly? By leaving his best striker on the bench to play an unrepentant thug instead? About the only thing of note Stockley did all day was put Kieran out of the match.
Was that tactical brilliance? If so, the definition of that isn’t what I’d thought.
Aberdeen created chances. With Rooney on the park they might even have stuck a couple more of them away. So I’m not impressed.
Indeed, when Rooney did come onto the pitch it was a typical McInnes substitution; off went the thug Stockley in a like for like change, with no tactical variation whatsoever. He could have kept Stockley on and teamed them up; we were three at the back, and it would have made sense. Instead he left Rooney ploughing a lone furrow against Simo, Del and Mikael. Great work. No wonder Guardiola fears for his job at Man City.
And what of his second substitution, when Niall McGinn went off? Was that a game-changer? Was that an adventurous throw of the dice to take a risk and try to sneak the win, in a cup final? No, it was to bring off a winger and put on a defender, a wholly regressive move which saw this tactical genius try to hold on for dear life with a leg weary team against a side that has scored over 100 goals in the campaign. Because that makes sense, especially considering that had they got through the 90 minutes their exhausted players would have faced 30 more.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me who thinks that with 20 to go of the second half, if you know your players are almost dead on their feet, that you take a chance, knowing that if you get something you only have to see out the match … but that extra time will certainly be too much to handle.
Not this guy. His version of “outmanoeuvring Rodgers” was to play for that extra half hour, with an exhausted team, when we still had two substitutions to make, including possibly bringing on Dembele. I mean, why does Jackson think we left Moussa on the bench? Because Aberdeen was clearly reeling towards the end, and putting the big man on in extra time would have been game, set and match. That’s what you call tactical thinking.
McInnes couldn’t outhink himself.
We all know Keith Jackson has an odd notion of what constitutes success; he thought Craig Whyte was a billionaire. He thought the Warburton “revolution” was looking promising and that Brendan would need to be pretty special to hold it at bay.
This just in; it wasn’t and he was.
He doubtless thinks Caixinha has got off to a good start.
But Derek McInnes tactically outsmarting Brendan?
Give us a break, Keith.
I know you think the sun shines out of this guy’s arse but that’s just taking the piss.
It bears no resemblance to reality whatsoever.