After Aberdeen suffered the worst defeat in their history with last weekend’s 9-0 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead, Don’s manager Mark McGhee conceded, “I’m hanging from the edge of a cliff, but the players can save me.” That was before they went down 2-1 at home to Inverness on Tuesday night. That McGhee had been given the opportunity to walk down the Pittodrie touchline at all for the midweek clash had many fans up in arms, citing the utter ineptitude of last Saturday’s performance in Glasgow as grounds for immediate retribution from the boardroom. The derision at the unprecedented collapse at Parkhead led to a number of fans boycotting the Caley tie. Striker Scott Vernon rowed in behind his under-fire boss, however, in the aftermath of the demolition stating, “The entire team are behind the manager 100%”.
The ex-Wolves and Milwall boss led his troops through a Wednesday morning session but at the time of writing a statement from the club on the managerial position was imminent. Aberdeen’s defeat on Saturday afternoon was not only a record low for themselves, but also a record margin of victory in the Scottish top-flight. It was scarcely noticed, such is the growing gulf in standards between the top two and the rest. That the Dons, along with Hearts, have been one of the sides historically closest to the Old Firm in terms of league titles and Cups won, the issue of the SPL’s dwindling significance should have been at the forefront of the Scottish FA’s agenda last weekend. Instead, controversy off the pitch deflected from those matters, something the top brass might well have been quietly thankful for.
With Armistice Day set to be commemorated this coming weekend by all clubs in Great Britain by the display of the red poppy on shirts, the Hoops’ fan group known as The Green Brigade unfurled a crowd covering banner at half-time that read, “Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops.” Celtic, amid a groundswell of public pressure, have vowed to take action on those responsible and the incident has been given prominence by authorities as well as Scottish media over the match that took place around it.
“Celtic fans have rightly earned a magnificent reputation for their positive behaviour and backing of the club,” read a club statement. “It is extremely disappointing that the actions of a small minority have embarrassed Celtic and tarnished the club in this way.” The contentious issue of support for the British army that the Celtic fans had pointedly referred to seemed lost on a boardroom intent on bowing to public demand to honour the fallen of World War II and, in particular, World War I.
Crowd trouble of a more tangible nature was witnessed at the first Edinburgh derby of the season when coins, flares and other objects were tossed onto the pitch at Easter Road by Hibernian fans, in response to a dismal home performance that saw Hearts ease to a 2-0 win. Hibs, under Colin Calderwood, lie perched joint bottom of the table, having bagged just eight points out of a possible 33, and in so doing have ensured that this is their worst start to a season in 31 years.
Dublin’s Stephen Elliot earned instant acclaim on the maroon side of the city after he secured the victory in a man-of-the-match performance. Handed his first start by Jim Jefferies, Elliot rifled home on 67 minutes after capturing the ball and spinning in the box.
Elsewhere David Goodwillie ended a torrid week for himself when he grabbed the winner for Dundee United away to Hamilton Academical. Goodwillie was arrested earlier in the week in Glasgow after an alleged night time brawl took place outside a Chinese restaurant. The one-nil win at Accies brought United up to fourth in the table and ensured the Scottish striker now lies third in the scoring charts with seven league goals.
United leapfrogged Inverness who are now in fifth place, after Thistle went down 2-1 to Motherwell at Caledonian Stadium. Kilmarnock recorded their fourth league win of the campaign with a 3-0 home win over St. Johnstone. Former UCD and Derry City striker Conor Sammon struck in the 83rd minute to grab the second for Killie and his fifth of the season. It was the second convincing win on the bounce for Kilmarnock after they had dispensed of a Hearts’ challenge the previous week by the same margin.
6 November 2010
Celtic 9 – 0 Aberdeen
Hamilton Academical 0 – 1 Dundee Utd
St. Johnstone 0 – 3 Kilmarnock
Inverness CT 1 – 0 Motherwell
9 November 2010
Aberdeen 1 – 2 Inverness CT
P W D L F A GD Pts
Celtic 11 10 0 1 31 7 24 30
Rangers 10 9 1 0 26 9 17 28
Motherwell 11 6 1 4 16 13 3 19