Lennon’s last season at the club had plenty of low moments for us all, but for me the worst one of the lot came when we equalised, late, at Easter Road in a game we had thoroughly deserved to lose and where I believed a defeat would have led to an unstoppable momentum against the manager.
As it was, my heart sank at that goal because I knew that our pain was not yet over but that some would view it as the proof that he could turn the corner.
But when you’re watching a team every week you know, by instinct, if that’s impossible to do. I think every one of us has a different breaking point, but long before it comes I think most of us can see it in the road, and we dread it and yet long for it at the same time.
I’ve felt that way about break ups.
And about Celtic managers.
Sometimes something is finished long before the end, and I knew that at full time that day that we were going to go through much, much more pain than was necessary in propping up something that needed the blow of a sledgehammer to bring it down instead. Even Ross County ending the proudest cup run in the history of football on this island didn’t move Lennon more swiftly to the exit.
Aberdeen fans should feel two conflicting emotions this morning, but they should hold on hard to one of them. The Jim Goodwin nightmare is now surely over, there can be no coming back from that, no surviving it, no redemption for an SPFL manager whose team goes out of the Scottish Cup to a tier six side. No chairman could tolerate that result.
This is the moment when their board has to make a critical decision; not about Goodwin, that is surely done. But about what comes next and who replaces him. The next Aberdeen manager has to be someone of quality, someone with fresh ideas, someone with imagination and a reputation for making players better. They surely to God need it.
They need someone who makes those players feel like they have nothing to fear from anyone. It’s not that long ago that the Ibrox club needed extra time against ten men to get past them in the League Cup, so they aren’t nearly as bad as that result makes them look tonight … but they aren’t particularly good either, which needs to be acknowledged.
But they can take heart from the fact that this is rock bottom, and let’s be honest there’s really nothing worse that can happen to them at this point so the only direction they can go in is forward.
The managerial decision has to be bang on, and if they are wise they will steer well clear of the assortment of media darlings being linked with the gig, including Lennon himself.
When that long horrible season ended, that was the lowest moment for a lot of us in years and we knew that it would have to improve from there. The shockwaves of that campaign reverberated through the whole of the club, and we’re in a much better place because of the transformation that took place. It grinds on some of us that one of the architects of that disaster is back at the club with what amounts to, on paper at least, a promotion.
He certainly does not deserve it. His appointment is a joke, and it will remain a joke no matter what he does or does not do. But still, the Lennon disaster was transformational in all the right ways and that’s what Aberdeen fans have to hold onto today.
It will feel crummy and empty.
A better future is hard to see when you’re looking up from the abyss. But that’s the thing, as Nixon once said; “Only if you have been in the deepest valley, can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”
The climb is long. But it starts with a single step.
That’s what Aberdeen must focus on.