As Callum McGregor’s shot hit the back of the net yesterday, Andy Walker was expressing his sympathy for Aberdeen.
He was not the only one.
Across some of the media was the same tired nonsense about how they gave all they had and deserved to take something from the match.
But as I’ve said on this site before, no team who puts eleven men behind the ball for 90 minutes deserves anything from a game except to be beat.
Imagine praising a side sitting third in the league, playing at home, and who decide to play spoiler football all afternoon instead of venturing out of their goal. It is a joke. Why does that type of football deserve to be lauded when it should be condemned?
I was gratified to discover that, in the aftermath of it, that Willie Miller had been scathing on Radio Scotland. Others too weighed in with how poor Aberdeen were.
Celtic are the ones entitled to praise. For playing all the football that was on display. For not giving up the fight. They made us frustrated but not once did they make us fear that we might lose the game. I didn’t even think we’d drop points. We knew we had it in us to score. They didn’t make it difficult; their tactics invited it.
Where is the credit in that?
More and more I hear this from people in the media; “Oh credit must go to so-and-so …” because they kept us at bay for much of the game. But those games invariably end in Celtic victories, so how much credit should they actually get?
“They came with a game-plan.”
Yeah, they did, and that game plan failed. If we’d scored in the first minute, what was Plan B?
When I wrote an article last month on the paltry number of tickets our fans got, their supporters bombarded my inbox with outrage.
To those fans I say, save it for your own manager, but know that I’m partly in your corner here.
It’s no wonder you cannot fill your stadium every week, and not even for the visit of the champions, when you know you’ll be watching a shameful performance like that, one which showed no attacking intent or ambition to speak of.
I wouldn’t pay to watch my team play like that either.
Aberdeen were not unlucky. They were not unfortunate. They were not hard-done by. They were not desperately close to a deserved point.
They were dreadful. They were gutless. They were cowardly. They made no attempt to win the game and so they got exactly what they deserved from the exercise.
When Sky published the passing stats there was not an Aberdeen in the top performers highlighted; I wouldn’t be surprised if Callum McGregor had completed more passes than the whole of their midfield and forward line combined.
That’s damning. Their manager should get no praise whatsoever. Michael Stewart summed it up when he pointed out that they were the home team and ended the game with 19% possession, and they have nobody to blame for that but Jim Goodwin.
That’s how he set his stall out today; with no intention of winning but aiming not to lose.
That’s why they are stuck in the mud over there, and they will never move forward as a club as long as they employ people who think that is a viable strategy.