The first snows of winter are upon us, and Aberdeen’s league campaign has yet to truly get started.
Inside the walls of Pittodrie there might privately be some relief that the squad’s participation in both Europe and the League Cup will conclude within the next fortnight, for the competitive and geographical breadth of the team’s commitments is carrying a significant proportion of the blame for the meagre returns to date.
They had better hope that they are right. Because once those additional pressures are released and the Dons become a domestic species, they will be out of excuses for the poverty of their performances.
There have been occasional signs of life, but too few and far between to give much reassurance that this is genuinely a good Aberdeen side waiting for the circumstances to show it.
The possibility cannot be ruled out that Aberdeen are tenth in the league for the principal reason that they are the tenth best team in it. The simplest explanation is often the correct one.
Barry Robson gave his reaction to RedTV after today's game with Hibs. pic.twitter.com/lq7fHP7PcR
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) December 3, 2023
Aberdeen’s is, in terms of concessions per game, the most porous defence in the division, and here they failed to turn a substantial number of shots, even from the penalty spot, into any goals in reply.
Put those together and you get a team losing by multiple goals to nil, as the Dons now have five times in only 13 league outings.
They will, not unreasonably, feel things went heavily against them yesterday, but the harsh fact remains that had they been better in the basics of their work at both ends of the pitch the 1-0 lead, which set the afternoon’s course, would have been theirs rather than their hosts’.
One cannot always expect fortune to ride to the rescue if the team does not play its own part.