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Sean Wallace: Aberdeen can deliver statement to Scottish football by dumping Rangers

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin is determined to deliver a successful season.
Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin is determined to deliver a successful season.

New-look Aberdeen can deliver a clear statement to Scottish football by dumping title-chasing Rangers at Pittodrie.

A message that after the horror of the dismal 2021-22 season the Dons are back following an extensive summer rebuild.

Victory by more than a goal would leapfrog Aberdeen above the Ibrox club into second spot in the Premiership table.

I know it’s very early days in the Premiership campaign but beating Rangers would be a strong indicator Aberdeen are on track.

On track for what?

A Premiership title fight? No. Not even the most optimistic of rose-tinted glasses-wearing Aberdeen fans would anticipate that.

Finishing second for a Champions League spot? Not impossible, but probably not.

Third, European qualification and keeping the heat on Rangers for at least a few more months? Yes.

Aberdeen’s Luis Lopes scores to make it 1-0 with a sublime scissors kick.

Aberdeen are a team in transition as eight of the starting XI against Ross County were signed in the summer.

To have an opportunity, albeit very early in the campaign, to move to second in the table indicates the summer rebuild is paying off.

Beating the Ibrox club would offer proof splashing the cash is reaping rewards.

A win on Saturday would also give the summer signings further self-belief and confidence to fuel the rest of the campaign.

This is a young Aberdeen team that have only been playing together for a few months.

They are still gelling and many are still learning about Scottish football.

Aberdeen fans during the 1-1 draw at Ross County.

Despite the lack of time together for this squad finishing third has to be the target after such an extensive and expensive summer rebuild.

Aberdeen spent in excess of £1.5 million in transfer fees and brought in 11 new signings.

It was a huge reconstruction of a squad that woefully underperformed last season.

The rebuilt Reds are far from the finished article.

The 1-1 draw at Ross County proved they still have to sharpen up in both boxes.

There was a lack of dangerous delivery into the penalty area against Ross County.

Aberdeen’s Luis Lopes celebrates after scoring to make it 1-0.

North Macedonian international striker Bojan Miovski is a goalscorer but he cannot find the net without the right service.

For the second successive game, Aberdeen failed to clear the danger from a dead-ball delivery and it cost them.

The Dons couldn’t cope with a long throw-in at Ross County five minutes into injury time and they conceded to throw away a win.

Had they just held on it would have moved Aberdeen to within a point of Rangers.

Just four days earlier the Dons had conceded to a late corner at League Two Annan Athletic to be forced into extra-time in the Premier Sports Cup.

Against Rangers switching off at dead-ball deliveries will likely be punished.

The Reds must also be more accurate with penalty box deliveries to Miovski against the Ibrox club.

Rangers will be reeling after a 4-0 humiliation by Celtic where they could not cope with the Parkhead side’s high tempo.

An Aberdeen side packed with pacey players must play with a similar high tempo and press Rangers constantly.

Rangers will also be coming off the back of a Champions League trip to Ajax on Wednesday night.

They have just two days off before facing Aberdeen. Will Rangers be tired? If Aberdeen play with a high tempo we’ll find out.

Aberdeen can, if only briefly, break the monotony and predictability of Scottish football by overcoming Rangers on Saturday.

Outside of Rangers and Celtic fans, who isn’t bored of the yearly two-horse race to the Premiership title?

For every other fan and club, it is like suffering Groundhog Day – season after season.

That Bill Murray film was funny though.

Watching the Glasgow two dominate so early in a campaign year after year isn’t funny- it’s demoralising for other supporters.

Aberdeen can shake it up on Saturday.

Aberdeen manager Jim Goodwin during the 1-1 draw with Ross County.

Ultimately challenging Rangers and Celtic has to be the target in future seasons.

What’s the point of being in football if clubs don’t reach high?

Reach for the stars.

It should be about constant progression. Not treading water and content with finishing third and best of the rest.

Where’s the fun in that?

Aberdeen supporters at Pittodrie.

Dreading the introduction of VAR

I am dreading the introduction of VAR to the Scottish Premiership later this season.

The system will see a minimum of six manned cameras at each game to aid a selection of video assistant referees.

The VAR referees will all be current or recently retired Category 1 officials.

Unless it is used right then I don’t see the point of it.

And in the English top flight, it is creating major problems and controversy.

VAR was introduced to eradicate glaring mistakes not to rule people offside by a protruding eyelash.

In principle, VAR sounds like a positive. In action, it is a negative and offers very little to the game.

Scottish Premiership clubs will pay the £1.2 million per season cost for VAR on a sliding scale.

Surely there are better ways to spend £1.2m in the midst of a cost of living crisis that will hit many Scottish clubs hard.

Shocking decisions by VAR officials in the English top flight at the weekend highlighted the flaws of the technology if not used right.

VAR should be used for instances where the referee has made a big mistake.

The English Premier League’s refereeing body PGMOL have admitted VAR errors in two games at the weekend.

Newcastle had a goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday wrongly disallowed for a foul by Joe Willock on Vicente Guaita – after VAR was used.

Willock was pushed in the back by Tyrick Mitchell, forcing him to crash into the Palace goalkeeper.

West Ham were denied a 90th minute equaliser in a 2-1 loss to Chelsea after Maxwel Cornet’s goal was incorrectly ruled out.

Referee Andy Madley was instructed to consult the pitchside monitor for a foul by Jarrod Bowen on goalkeeper Edouard Mendy.

It was an insignificant challenge and had no bearing on the goal.

English top-flight clubs are now reportedly keeping track of the VAR decisions that have gone against them. That says it all.

Dean Sutherland closing in on title

Undefeated Aberdeen boxer will step up to super-welterweight for a fight at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow on Friday.

It will be Sutherland’s first fight since defeating fellow Scot Corey McCulloch on points at the Beach Ballroom in March this year.

Aberdeen’s Dean Sutherland holds the WBC International Silver welterweight belt up to his fans.

Expect exciting talent from Sutherland to secure title glory at the new weight.

Sutherland is set to fight for a title, yet to be confirmed, at the Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen on Saturday, November 26.

Sutherland claimed three titles at welterweight and many more will come after stepping up a division.