Aberdeen’s concerning slump will become a crisis if they fail to beat bottom side Dundee on Saturday.
Nine games without a win and mired in the club’s worst run of form since 2010, the Reds cannot let that terrible record hit double figures.
Aberdeen have dropped to ninth in the Premiership table and have lost their last four league games.
The rot must be stopped now.
If they lose at Dundee that would be a return of two points from 21 and alarm bells will be ringing, because that is relegation form.
Should the Dons not win at the weekend, they face the nightmare scenario of dropping to bottom of the table by the end of the month if they cannot stop their slump.
Anyone claiming that outlook is overly pessimistic and negative need only look at the recent disastrous run of form and balance it with Aberdeen’s run of games and those of the teams currently below them in the table,
The clubs below Aberdeen – Livingston, Ross County and Dundee – all have fixtures against teams around them in the bottom six in October i.e. very winnable games.
In contrast, after this weekend Aberdeen face a triple-header against the teams occupying the top three positions in the table – champions and league leaders Rangers, undefeated Hearts and a dangerous Hibs.
That’s the doom and gloom out of the way – let’s look at the positives – a win at Dens Park could be the catalyst to begin a climb back up the table to a position the squad budget demands they must be.
Three points on Saturday could be the launchpad to take on Rangers, Hearts and Hibs with confidence and rocket back up the table.
The pendulum can swing one way or the other at Dens Park and Aberdeen’s destiny is in their own hands.
Kick-start the season at Dundee, prove critics wrong and show supporters that they can deliver on pre-season promise.
Lose and it would pile the pressure on the Dons, who are so far showing they cannot handle the heat to deliver on expectation.
That can still change this season, there is more than enough time.
There is an understanding and patience with many supporters the Dons are undergoing transition after a new manager rebuilt the team during the summer.
However, that patience will not extend to losing to the club propping up the Premiership and yet to secure a win since earning promotion.
GOAL! Aberdeen 1-1 Celtic (Ferguson, 56)
Lewis Ferguson equalises for Aberdeen – game on! ⚽
📺 Watch live on Sky Sports Football! pic.twitter.com/cLsiDeVlPW
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) October 3, 2021
Nor will it extend to the slump extending to five straight Premiership defeats and the wait for a victory stretching out to 10 games.
If anyone had suggested such a concerning situation at the start of the season after the Dons had started the Premiership campaign with back-to-back wins, they would have been laughed out of Pittodrie.
Optimism and hope for a successful first full season under Glass was high after a promising start to the season both domestically and in Europe.
With each defeat that optimism is chipped away.
There have been instances where the attacking, high press manager Stephen Glass is trying to instill has paid off, but it’s all too often been nullified by costly defensive errors.
The message from Pittodrie is that the players continue to believe in what the management team are trying to achieve.
They are not ones who need convincing.
The players are not the ones shelling out hard-earned money during a pandemic with the cost of living also rocketing to watch their team lose week after week.
Supporters are the ones who need to believe in what many hoped would be a Reds Revolution.
It has turned into a Reds’ revulsion at the worst run in form for more than a decade.
Aberdeen and the management team need to convince the fans by delivering wins – and that has to start against Dundee.
Playing well and losing at Dens Park will not be tolerated.
The time for that leeway has gone.
Aberdeen must win by whatever means it takes. Win ugly, win beautiful, win by a deflected goal off someone’s back-side – just win.
A date with destiny – and it is down to Aberdeen to stand up and be counted.
Hampden roar returns too late for Euros
I was fortunate to be at Hampden reporting on Scotland’s dramatic 3-2 World Cup qualifying defeat of Israel on Saturday.
There was an energy pulsating throughout the stadium long before a ball was kicked and it never dipped.
With Hampden packed to capacity, there was a sense that Scotland fans, and players, were making the most of what had been denied them during the pandemic.
Long before kick-off the Tartan Army were in good voice and they raised the roof for the national anthem.
If ever a team needed the backing of the crowd, it was in a pulsating game of ups and downs against Israel.
Scotland twice fell behind and also suffered the set-back of Lyndon Dykes having a poor penalty saved just before half-time when trailing 2-1.
The tension, then the scenes. pic.twitter.com/xdQD2JyMGQ
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) October 12, 2021
Yet the Tartan Army never gave up hope and never stopped backing their team.
At 2-2, when the board was raised to signify six minutes of injury time, the crowd erupted. They believed Scotland could get the win and the team delivered.
A memorable night, but it left me wondering what would it have been like if Hampden had been sold out for the Euro 2020 group games against Czech Republic and Croatia.
There were only 12, 000 inside the stadium for those Euro games due to lockdown restrictions.
Could a full Hampden have made a difference to the Scots?
All we can hope is that Scotland will be playing in front of a capacity crowds at the World Cup finals in Qatar next year.
Fury v Usyk showdown must happen
Hopefully a world heavyweight title showdown between Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk can be made.
Fury’s thrilling 11th-round stoppage of Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas ended a needless debate Fury had already settled with his dominant win in their previous fight.
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) October 11, 2021
Usyk similarly overcame Anthony Joshua with a dominant win.
Forget an Usyk rematch against Joshua, I can see that only going in favour of the Ukrainian.
All I want to see is a fight between Fury and Usyk – two superb boxing tacticians with movement, speed and ring knowledge that would make a clash a fascinating encounter.