Well, on Monday 13th December, it happened. Aberdeen Football Club appointed their new management team. After just over a week’s worth of being courted by other suitors, the scarlet harlot of the North-East chose to pursue, seduce and select the Motherwell management team of Craig Brown and Archie Knox.
Now, stealing a manager from Motherwell is a tactic that has let Aberdeen down recently with Mark McGhee, but everyone associated with the Dons are hoping lightning will not strike twice.
A lot has been made in the press about Brown and Knox’s advanced years. The belief that some people have is that they could only be a short-term solution – a stopgap, if you will – and that a younger manager should have been chosen. Certainly there wasn’t a lack of younger managers applying for the job – John Hughes, Phil Brown and Billy Stark, to give some examples. But rather than accept an application, the Aberdeen board decided to pursue a target of their own. Jokes have been made likening Brown and Knox to Jack and Victor, the lead characters from Still Game.
Say what you want about their ages, but Brown is only a year older than Sir Alex Ferguson – who is some guy I found on Wikipedia, I’m not sure who he’s managed or what he’s up to now… Anyway, as the old adage goes, with age comes wisdom and respect. And that is exactly what Aberdeen need right now. Under Mark McGhee, the club had become a laughing stock. The players had lost respect in their manager, and the club was firmly heading to relegation. With Brown and Knox, there is a management team that the team can respect – a management team they will want to work for. And since Aberdeen (at the time of writing) sit in the bottom spot, it can’t get any worse!
So, as an avid Aberdeen fan, I am firmly in favour of Craig Brown and Archie Knox. I will admit, when I first heard that Willie Miller and Stewart Milne were chasing them, I thought it was the wrong move. Throughout Aberdeen’s manager-less period, I was in favour of Billy Stark getting the job. But since then, I have realised that Brown and Knox are exactly what Aberdeen need right now. Far from being Still Game‘s Jack and Victor, they’re more like other successful old-timers who refuse to retire and keep going strong – Bruce Forsyth, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen et al.
Hopefully they’ll be less Still Game and more The Game. A reference to WWE wrestler Triple H, who is also getting on a bit, but still rolling along at the top of his trade.
Brown and Knox have already stated their intent to stabilise Aberdeen and make them great again – something I don’t think you’ll find many Dons fans against! They’ve been told they are free to make whatever changes to the team they see necessary, and I’m certain they won’t be afraid to shake things up and put their stamp on the team. Knowing Brown and Knox, they’ll instil a fighting stallion spirit among many of the Dons players, while also taking some of the nags and shooting them behind the barn.
An act that, for some players, is long overdue.