So it ends, and it ends in a horror show that not even I saw coming. I thought Hibs would win and I thought Goodwin would lose his job today but I did not expect a 6-0 thrashing, and another epic humiliation on top of the beating by Hearts and the Darvel Scottish Cup disgrace.
Goodwin might be a good man, but every time I hear that I’m reminded of Alec Baldwin’s searing turn as Blake at the start of Glengarry Glen Ross and the verbal annihilation of Moss, one of Mitch and Murray’s hapless real estate salesmen. “Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? F@@@ you! Go home and play with your kids! You wanna work here? Close!”
This is a ruthless business. It is a vicious business. It is a business where, as I said in my piece on the Darwinian nature of life at Celtic, there is no sentiment and those who cannot cut it get found out, and often in a brutal fashion and this is how it ends for so many, many managers.
For all that, it is impossible not to feel sorry for the guy because it’s clear he’s not the only problem at a club which is in a whole lot of trouble. The players ought to be utterly ashamed of themselves, and their own chronic lack of professionalism. Nobody is going to tell me that they haven’t downed tools, and although that was obvious before today it is a disgusting result which reflects even more badly on them than it does on the manager.
But Dave Cormack is the guy who has the biggest decision of his life in front of him. He spoke after the game and he really surprised me. I had no idea that this guy is a lifelong fan and to hear him speak so emotionally about the state they are in was remarkable.
He has made two horrendous managerial decisions in a row. He must get the third right.
The Scottish media will toss around the names of its pals. Lennon and Lambert are already being mentioned. Leaving aside Lennon’s time at Celtic Park, where he was working with the best players in the country, there is nothing in his record to remotely suggest that he is capable of taking Aberdeen forward. Lambert has even less on his CV.
So the first thing Cormack should do is ignore that nonsense. He should be looking outside of the UK entirely, and to foreign shores just as Celtic eventually did. There is better talent out there than there is in the detritus of the lower leagues of England and the unemployed list of ex-bosses who have tried their luck here and failed.
It is time for some imagination at Scotland’s most underachieving club. The hiring of Goodwin was an example of them trying to replicate the “success” of Derek McInnes, as if they failed to notice that this was a contradiction in terms. Steady as she goes will not make Aberdeen a genuine third force. It will not put silverware in the trophy cabinet and it will certainly never enable them to mount any kind of challenge for second spot, far less put them on the path towards where so many of their fans think they belong.
I badly want to see that sort of imagination. I badly want to see that club give itself a shake. This league needs better standards from its top teams and Aberdeen, who were sitting in a comfortable second spot not a half dozen years ago need to find enough self belief to come out swinging here. Their chairman loves the club.
It is his duty to steer it to better times, and that will be to the benefit of our sport, and in a backhanded way, to Celtic.