Aberdeen and Rangers will renew their rivalry this Sunday when Mark Warburton’s side travel to Pittodrie for what’s sure to be an action-packed encounter.
It represents the first time the two clubs have met since January 2012. At the time, Aberdeen were in the midst of a struggling season where they would finish in the bottom six, while Rangers, under the stewardship of Ally McCoist, limped to second place despite going into administration before the end of the campaign.
Despite the visitors’ poor form, and their inability to take even a point off Rangers in the previous six encounters, Craig Brown’s side left Ibrox with a share of the spoils as Maurice Edu cancelled out Kari Arnason’s opener.
Both clubs would encounter wildly different fortunes in the time since, but what about the players?
RANGERS STARTING XI
The long-term Gers stopper moved on at the end of the season after Rangers’ liquidation, signing for Turkish side Beşiktaş. Like most British players who move abroad, he soon pined for home comforts and returned to these shores to sign for Hull a year later. He’s currently out for the foreseeable future with a back injury.
The Romanian defender, signed at the beginning of the 2011-12 campaign, jumped back and forth on his decision to stay with Rangers in the summer of 2012. First he insisted he would stay, then he changed his mind, then he did stay, and finally he was shipped out on loan to Italian side Spezia before leaving the following summer. After exiting Asteras Tripoli of Greece earlier this year, and without a significant offer from elsewhere, Goian became club president of ACS Foresta Suceava, a second tier Romanian side.
This was the popular defender’s sixth season at Rangers and the last of his career. He retired at the conclusion of the campaign due to a groin injury. He was only 32 at the time. Recently he returned to football as a scout for the Bosnian national team.
Similar to Goian, the American, who spent time as Rangers captain, played only a handful of games for the Third Division side before going out on loan, later explaining he was happy to stay but the club needed to trim his wages. After a season on loan at Racing Santander he was released and decided to head back to the States, signing for MLS side Chivas USA. He is sporting director of expansion franchise Atlanta United, who’ll join the MLS next year.
Unlike a number of his team-mates that day, Wallace went nowhere the following summer and he remains a Rangers player to this day. He was awarded the captaincy at the beginning of last season.
After rejecting the chance to stay with Rangers, Davis signed for Southampton and has remained with the south coast club ever since, making over 150 appearances.
The on loan Arsenal midfielder returned to the Emirates at the end of the season and was sold to Swansea for a fee of around £1 million. He remains a Swansea player but has played fewer than 30 games for the club and is currently on loan at Leeds United.
The 46-capped USA international moved to Stoke City at the end of the 2011-12 season but never got a sniff of first team action at the Britannia. Loan moves to Bursaspor and Philadelphia Union followed before he joined the latter permanently in 2015. He’s recently been playing for Philadelphia affiliate side Bethlehem Steel (great name) in a bid to up his fitness before his return to the Union following a lengthy injury.
Having outstayed his welcome with Aberdeen, it was a surprise when Rangers snapped up the winger early in the 2011-12 campaign. However, he would have a terrific season at Ibrox before moving on following the club’s financial collapse. He signed for Hull City and stayed there for four years, which included an appearance in the FA Cup final, before moving to Fulham this past summer.
Jelavic was sold on transfer deadline day ten days after the draw with Aberdeen, going to Everton for a fee of £5 million. Though he enjoyed an excellent initial four months, netting 11 times in 16 games, he never really hit the heights in English football. A move to Hull City occurred in 2013 before he moved again to West Ham two years later. In February 2016, he signed for Chinese second tier side Beijing Renhe.
The veteran striker returned down south to sign for Bury in the 2012 close season, playing one more term before retiring. In 2015 he took over as manager of Linfield, the club he supported as a boy.
The French-Algerian spent a year at Charlton Athletic following his Ibrox exit. He now plays for Bulgarian outfit Beroe Stara Zagora.
Wylde volunteered to have his contract terminated when Rangers went into administration in March 2012, but he has had a somewhat nomadic existence since then, with stops at Bolton, Bury, Aberdeen, St Mirren, Plymouth Argyle and now Millwall, who he joined this summer.
ABERDEEN STARTING XI
The Welsh international spent years as a reserve keeper at Blackburn and returned down south in 2013 to become a back-up at Ipswich. He soon dropped down the league pyramid, with stops at Cambridge, Sutton and Dartford before his retirement in 2015. He became goalkeeping coach at Gillingham the same summer but quit after only three weeks.
Released by Aberdeen the following summer, McArdle signed for Bradford City, where he’s enjoyed quite a successful few years. He scored in the 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Valley Parade which helped propel the fourth tier side into the League Cup final, where they would lose to Swansea. McArdle netted another famous goal later that season in the League Two play-off final as Bradford won promotion. In 2015 he was named the club’s player of the year.
On loan from Sheffield Wednesday at the time, Reynolds would return on loan at the beginning of the following season and signed permanently in January. With over 150 league appearances to his name, he is still an Aberdeen player.
The young defender, only 18 at the time, played consistently at left back the following season but never really established himself in the Aberdeen first team. He signed for Blackpool in 2015.
Clark had recently returned to Aberdeen for a second spell before the Ibrox trip, though he would ultimately struggle for playing time and was eventually released in January 2014, signing for Highland League club Cove Rangers.
The scorer of Aberdeen’s goal at Ibrox, Dons’ fans were gutted to see Arnason leave for Rotherham at the end of the campaign. He continued his impressive form for the Millers and would earn a move back to his native Sweden – though he’s an Icelandic international, he was born in Gothenburg – to sign for Malmo. Last heard from during a tremendous spat with Cristiano Ronaldo following the Iceland-Portugal game at Euro 2016.
With his contract running down, Aberdeen were forced to sell Fyvie in the summer, as the midfielder joined Wigan for around £500,000. Although he was on the bench when the Latics won the FA Cup, he failed to break into the first-team and signed for Hibs at the start of last season.
Now 24, Jack remains an Aberdeen player and was made club captain in the summer of 2015 amid reported interest from Roma.
Vernon “Crespo” was Pittodrie’s goal hero during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns, but after twice hitting double-figures he struggled for form the following two seasons and was released in 2014. He joined Shrewsbury for two years but couldn’t recapture his golden touch and signed for Grimsby this past summer.
Aside from the 2005-06 campaign, where he netted 14 times for Swindon, Fallon has never reached double figures in a single season. He managed nine (only three in the league) in two years at Pittodrie, though this wasn’t enough to dissuade St Johnstone from taking him in 2013. His career at McDiarmid Park came to an end when he was sent off in a game seconds after coming on as substitute. He’s since fallen down the English leagues and now plies his trade at National League side Truro City.
A highlight Magennis’ time in the north east came when he was spotted racing on to the pitch when Aberdeen won the League Cup in 2014, despite being on loan at St Mirren at the time. His four years with the Dons soon came to an end, and much guffawing greeted the news of a three-year contract he’d signed with Kilmarnock. In the end it would become a terrific piece of business for the Ayrshire side, as Magennis improved his play tremendously at Rugby Park. He was sold to Charlton Athletic this past summer after playing a part in Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 campaign.
It would be Mackie’s last appearance at Ibrox as he neared the end of his 14-year Aberdeen career. The pacy striker left in the summer of 2012 for a brief stint in America with Phoenix FC, but was back in Scotland with Turriff United a year later. Earlier this year he became player/boss of Inverurie Loco Works.