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Sean Wallace: Many Aberdeen flops fighting for their futures after axe fell on Stephen Glass

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass during the Scottish Cup loss to Motherwell.
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass during the Scottish Cup loss to Motherwell.

The axe fell on manager Stephen Glass and many of the Aberdeen players should also face the chop in the summer.

Glass is not solely culpable for a miserable season – too many of the players have under performed. Too often.

Surely their Pittodrie futures should also be on the line at the end of the season.

Aberdeen’s search for a new manager is ongoing and there will inevitably be another summer rebuild.

The campaign is moving into the final quarter and too many players have not done enough to warrant staying at Pittodrie next season.

If players who have flopped have any argument against that, I suggest they look at the cold, hard facts.

Aberdeen trudge up the stairs at Fir Park after exiting the Scottish Cup.

Ninth in the Premiership table and out of both cups at an early stage.

Two wins in 15 away from home and five clean sheets in 34 matches prior to last night’s home clash with St Johnstone.

It takes a mental toughness and fortitude to win away from home. Aberdeen have been lacking that.

Aberdeen’s budget, size and expectation demand extended cup runs, Hampden cup clashes and a concerted effort for silverware.

That hasn’t happened. The Reds’ ambition is also to finish third at a minimum.

Aberdeen are closer to the relegation play-off zone than Hearts in third.

That is completely unacceptable and Glass paid the price.

Now some players that have not reached Aberdeen’s standards will surely follow when the new manager is eventually appointed.

Glass’ successor will not be blind to the previous seven months. He will know exactly who has performed and who hasn’t.

I don’t buy the notion of ‘clean slates’ when a new manager is appointed.

Motherwell’s Connor Shields scores to make it 2-1 as Aberdeen crash out of the Scottish Cup.

If you have failed to deliver in the first seven months of the campaign, the memory of that should not be obliterated because a new boss has arrived.

Players who have under performed are now in a Catch-22 situation.

If they continue to struggle then surely their futures must be under threat in what will inevitably be another summer rebuild under the new manager.

If they suddenly start hitting the heights and impressing, the question must be asked – why didn’t they do it under Glass?

Either way, the optics are not good.

During the tough times, Glass did his utmost to take the majority of the flack and protect his players.

He did it in the 10-game winless slump in October and again this month.

Even when crashing out of the cup at Motherwell and frustrated travelling fans were calling for his dismissal Glass’ first thoughts were protecting his players.

Talking pitch-side in the immediate after-math of the cup loss , he said: “I need to protect the players.

“There’ll be a lot of flak flying about, most of it in my direction, I’ll protect the players and we’ll try to win on Tuesday.”

Ultimately it was taken out of his hands as, placed in interim charge, Barry Robson and Gothenburg Great Neil Simpson were in the dugout against St Johnstone.

That protection for the players is not there anymore.  There is no longer an under-pressure manager to soak up the criticism.

Now the glare of the spotlight is solely on the players.

There is just 12 games left in the Premiership campaign before another inevitable, and potentially costly, summer rebuild.

Aberdeen coach Barry Robson and club legend Neil Simpson

After a season of regression where far too many players have been culpable for the slump, is 12 games enough to save their Aberdeen careers? It shouldn’t be.

If you have been largely anonymous and ineffective for the first 26 games of the season, the last 12 is not going to matter much.

Glass remained defiant to the end, saying he would not walk away and would battle to turn it around.

At least he was willing to go out fighting. So far many Aberdeen players potentially heading for the exit in the summer are going out with a whimper.

Glass’ legacy shouldn’t be tainted

The sacking of Stephen Glass as manager should not taint his Aberdeen legacy.

Unfortunately it didn’t work out for the former Aberdeen winger, who was axed after just 11 months at the Pittodrie helm.

Glass exited with the Dons out of both cup competitions and languishing a lowly ninth in the Premiership table.

However. his love and passion for the club could never be in doubt.

Nor could his desire and commitment to bring success to the club be questioned.

Former Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass looks dejected at full time after crashing out of the Scottish Cup.

Glass was a superb player for Aberdeen having come through the youth ranks.

He played a pivotal man-of-the-match role in the 1995 League Cup final.

That should not be forgotten. Once a Don, always a Don.

When Glass’ style of football clicked it was great to watch – as in the opening spell of the 2-2 draw with Rangers when the Dons raced into a two-goal lead.

Ultimately that was seen too little.

If only his desire and commitment had been reciprocated consistently on the pitch by all of the players, the Dons wouldn’t be ninth in the table.

Throughout his time as Aberdeen manager, Glass conducted himself with dignity – right until the end.

He never dodged a question and never threw his players under the bus, even in the midst of that grim 10-game winless slump in October.

Throughout, he continued to back his team and himself.

It looked like it would pay off with a resurgent December that delivered four wins from five games.

Ultimately it didn’t work out for Glass – but he gave it his all.

Kell Brook should defeat Amir Khan

Kell Brook can secure some form of redemption by defeating Amir Khan in a welterweight grudge match on Saturday.

Brook was on an upwards trajectory and had reigned as a world champion for three years until taking an ill-advised fight with Gennady Golovkin in 2016.

He stepped up two weight classes to face Golovkin and suffered a broken eye socket in a devastating fifth-round stoppage defeat.

It was a set-back he never recovered from, losing his next fight to Errol Spence Jr, suffering a fracture to the same eye socket again.

Brook then lost to undefeated Terrance Crawford with a fourth-round TKO last November.

That again was a massive step up.

The fight with Khan should have happened about a decade ago. But he can win this one.