Aberdeen made a valiant comeback against Celtic Wednesday night, only to fall short. Again.
The Full Scottish with Brian P. Dunleavy
Unfortunately, this has become all too common under manager Stephen Glass, in his first season in the hotseat at Pittodrie. Too often, the Dons start slow, only to salvage a point (or three, if they’re lucky), depending on the opponent (see: St. Mirren).
On a normal night, a 3-2 loss at home to Celtic would be nothing to hang your head over, but it must feel like a familiar sight to the Aberdeen faithful (those left, anyway). True, the last season and a half have been a struggle for the Granite City side, leading to the end of what had been a successful, eight-year run under Derek McInnes.
Given the Dons’ “affiliation” with MLS side Atlanta United, it seemed only natural to turn to Glass, who had been an assistant with the American club and head coach of its reserves, despite a lack of recent experience in the Scottish game. It’s true too that Glass made over 100 appearances for Aberdeen as a player.
Glass came to Pittodrie with a reputation as an innovator who develops young players. On paper, that seemed perfect for the Dons.
In addition, his friendship with Scott Brown (they played together at Hibs) brought the former Celtic captain north as a player-coach. Though Brown is only just beginning his coaching career, he is proven leader with a solid record of mentoring young players (see: McGregor, Callum).
Sounds good so far, right?
Unfortunately, though, the arrangement hasn’t quite worked as planned. In 40 matches in charge, Glass has led the Dons to a 14-7-19 record. This term, they sit ninth in the Premiership table on 29 points—yes, just three points from the top six but an astounding 14 behind third-place Hearts.
They are also winless in their last five matches.
Indeed, as good as they were in the second half on Wednesday night against Celtic, they played the first half on autopilot. Or like a team winless in their last five matches.
And while they have young talent, including Calvin Ramsay, Lewis Ferguson and Ross McCrorie, their lineup Wednesday featured several retreads and old heads, such as Brown, Jonny Hayes and 30-year-old American striker Cristian Ramirez.
Will club chairman Dave Cormack, who loves to see his name in print, remain patient? If not, Glass may be reaching his, er, breaking point with Aberdeen.