Given the summer transfer window will close tonight at midnight Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass cannot complain he hasn’t received the backing of his chairman Dave Cormack.
I expected the Dons to add to their squad following Andy Considine’s cruciate ligament injury, but I would never have predicted four new arrivals at Pittodrie in the last week.
Austin Samuels looked very lively on his debut in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Ross County, while Matty Longstaff also showed some neat touches. I was surprised to see both thrown straight into the action, but they did well.
I’m thrilled to see Marley Watkins back at Pittodrie. He had a terrific spell on loan last season until a hamstring injury cut his time at the Dons short and I’ve no doubt he will continue where he left off after the international break.
The final new face is David Bates. He looked a promising talent at Rangers and had a great first season in Germany with Hamburg.
His return to Scotland on a three-year deal is a really promising development from the Dons and I will be interested to see how all these new faces fit into Stephen’s squad.
Considine is a huge miss for the Dons and he is the definition of a defensive stalwart, but I think Stephen has enough cover there in Ross McCrorie, Declan Gallagher and now Bates.
What does interest me is whether all three will play together in a back three.
It is clear with all these new arrivals coming in it is likely we will see one or two move on before the window closes tonight. Matty Kennedy is not in the picture and I know both St Mirren and Ross County have been keeping tabs on him.
Lewis Ferguson is the other player who has been attracting interest from clubs in England, namely Watford. The Hornets were rebuffed in their approach at the end of last season and it will be interesting to see whether they come back with an improved offer.
It is clear it is a matter of when and not if Ferguson moves on. but if he is still an Aberdeen player after tonight then Stephen will have some great options in midfield.
Sunday’s draw with Ross County was a disappointing result for the Dons, but all things considered I think they are in decent shape as we head into the international break.
Ross County have also had a welcome boost after their battling performance at Pittodrie. Malky Mackay will be disappointed to concede a late equaliser, but there were plenty of positives to be found from the display.
I expect Malky will be busy today, too. Jack Baldwin is a good experienced signing, but County would benefit from another couple of older heads in the team.
Caley Thistle a model of consistency under Billy Dodds
One man who must be thrilled with what he is getting from his team right now is Caley Thistle manager Billy Dodds.
Four goals, four clean sheets and four wins all adds up to a three-point lead at the top of the Scottish Championship for Inverness.
I mentioned him last week, but it is worth emphasising again how quickly Kirk Broadfoot has slotted into the team. His experience and organisational skills have made an instant impact in the backline.
Saturday’s win at title favourites Kilmarnock showed the progress being made at Caley Jags. In the last couple of seasons they have been slow to get out the blocks, but that accusation cannot be laid at their feet this term.
You can see the confidence growing and with it the momentum. It’s early days and I’m sure a few hiccups lie ahead, but the signs are all positive for the campaign for Inverness and their new manager.
Highland League trip showed love of the beautiful game is alive and well
With Caley Thistle and Ross County both on their travels at the weekend I took the opportunity to take in my first Highland League game as I made the trip to Grant Street Park to see Clach take on Turriff United.
I was treated to a thriller of a game too as the Lilywhites edged United 3-2.
As I stood there seeing the volunteers do their bit to ensure the fans were able to watch the game safely, it really struck me how much we’ve missed that feeling of normality of going to a game of football.
Whatever the level you watch or play the game, it’s clear the last 18 months have made us all realise just how special this game is. We should not take it for granted.