Red or Dead

Frank McDougallIt will shock our younger readers to know that there was a time when a getting a point at Pittodrie was reason to celebrate for about three days. Now if you don’t get a point, you’ll be spending three days demanding the manager be sacked.

My first visit to Pittodrie was also Paul McStay’s debut, in the time where we got the Merkland Stand, and if truth be told, I don’t remember much of our 3-1 win there that day. I do remember being seriously gubbed there in 1985 when Frank McDougall, a diehard Tim, scored four against us after Davie Provan had equalised with a replica of his cup final free kick.

I also remember, with great fondness, three crucial 1-0 wins at Pittodrie that were pivotal in securing championships in 1986 and 1988.

I also recall the many, many times I have been poured out of Pittodrie in seasons where that was as close to a European away trip as you were going to get.

See there is a common perception that Aberdeen collapsed after Alex Ferguson left in 1986. This is not the case, Aberdeen were a really good side right up until around 1993 when the cracks just started to show. In fact, that last of the 1-0 wins I mentioned, gained by a poacher’s goal from Andy Walker in the spring of 1988, was actually our last win at Pittodrie for seven years.

The drought was ended in August 1995 with a 3-2 win, after being 2-0 down, when Andy Thom ran riot up there. After that, wins at Pittodrie have become more frequent, to the point where you’re always disappointed if we don’t win there which represents a seismic change in attitude from when I was growing up.

Of course, Aberdeen are a real media darling team, primarily because lots of our media support them and are all old enough to remember when Aberdeen were good. A random perusal of the media in Scotland would show the names Richard Gordon, Rob McLean, Liam McLeod, Michael Grant who would all pin their colours to the Pittodrie mast. Then you have ex players like Willie Miller and Billy Dodds who seem to have residency with the BBC.

All have been waxing lyrical about Aberdeen winning the first two games of the season and thinking Willo Flood is God.

Point being, whilst Aberdeen are not as strong as they were, we still want to gub them. This is an important game for Celtic and one that is really a showcase for Scottish football, right? After all, Aberdeen have sold out and Celtic? Well, we would have by now if the right people got the tickets in the first place.

That’s another story though.

You can follow Paul on Twitter(@paullarkin74)

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  1. […] Harry Brady did a perfectly good job of that already on Celtic Underground and Paul mentioned it on here yesterday as well. The first season I properly remember as a kid was 1989/90 and that season Aberdeen won […]

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