This morning, Aberdeen sacked Stephen Glass. As regular readers will be aware, I’ve been predicting that for a while now. Since, in fact, the day and hour he was hired. I looked at that appointment at the time and saw no merit in it whatsoever. What in God’s name was Dave Cormack, who one must assume is an otherwise smart man, thinking?
Glass had once played for the club; other than that, there was nothing to commend him for this job at all. It is way too big a role for a rookie, or someone still trying to make his way in the game. Glass’s previous experience was a short, disastrous spell in the US. I cannot fathom how he convinced the Aberdeen board to let him have a go of this.
Talking heads in the media are already saying that Glass should have got more time. To do what exactly? To lead his team into the Championship? Because that was the trajectory. Right now they are sitting at ninth. In a better season for St Johnstone they would be tenth, and the drop zone would be right there in front of them.
Left field appointments are, by and large, a kind of triumph of optimism over reason. We should know. Our board went for one, perhaps the greatest gamble we’ve taken in decades. Ange could have been a disaster. With no real experience of European football and having never coached in anything like this kind of media landscape, there was every chance that this could have detonated like an atom bomb, scorching the earth around our club.
The same arguments were made about Ronny Deila. But there is a crucial difference between what we did in both of those cases and what Aberdeen attempted to do here; Ronny and Ange were winners before they arrived at Celtic Park.
They had already cut their teeth in title races and cup competitions, and Ange had managed at a World Cup. These guys had records you could fall back on, records which offered some justification for why they were given the job in the first place.
Left field appointments should have some logic to them. Glass’s didn’t, and especially when Callum Davidson would have left St Johnstone to take the Aberdeen job in a heartbeat, and he should have been the first person who they asked.
Aberdeen are paying for taking a punt.
Hibs have taken a similar one on Shaun Maloney, but I reckon that one stands a better chance of being a success, as Maloney has spent a long time working as the assistant to Roberto Martinez and has doubtless learned an awful lot along the way.
Celtic’s punt looks, of course, like being a remarkable story, the sort of mind-boggling one that will, in time, tempt others to take chances on managers from that part of the world. With similar results, I suspect, that we’re seeing in Aberdeen.