Aberdeen reaction: Duk injury, telling Christian Ramirez situation, Paul Hartley feat almost matched

Aberdeen forward Christian Ramirez made a rare appearance from the subs bench in the defeat against St Mirren.Aberdeen forward Christian Ramirez made a rare appearance from the subs bench in the defeat against St Mirren.
Aberdeen forward Christian Ramirez made a rare appearance from the subs bench in the defeat against St Mirren.
There wasn’t much in the way of seasonal goodwill in evidence at the SMISA stadium on Saturday as Jim Goodwin returned to his old haunt for a second time as Aberdeen manager.

He has lost both games, the most recent in particularly dismaying fashion. His side conceded three penalties and were guilty of the kind of slack defending that Goodwin had vowed to stamp out when he appointed manager at Pittodrie 10 months ago.

“You’re getting sacked in the morning!” chorused the St Mirren fans, who once worshipped Goodwin, in the second half of the home side's 3-1 win. Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack is a hard-nosed businessman as well as an ardent Aberdeen fan but even he, surely, is not going to hand the manager his jotters on Christmas Day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Goodwin was phlegmatic about this treatment from the St Mirren fans afterwards. And in fairness to him, having applauded the 1200 Aberdeen fans – and been given some stick from them too – he did clap the home fans too, many of whom were showing their appreciation to their former manager and skipper. He was later asked specifically about the sacking song.

“It is never nice but that won’t diminish the time I had here at the club,” said Goodwin. “It was my favourite club throughout my playing career and I enjoyed one of my greatest memories there in 2013 lifting the cup as captain. I thoroughly enjoyed my two and a half years here as manager as well. If there are a few of them out there that don’t like me anymore so be it, I’m a big boy. That’s football unfortunately. I have nothing but respect for the people at St Mirren,” he added. “The directors, a lot of my players I had are still involved in the squad that are here. And the majority of fans have been brilliant to me.”

We pick out three talking points from the Christmas Eve match in Paisley ...

A rare Christian Ramirez sighting

Christian Ramirez sightings come around only slightly more often than Christmas these days. As someone posted online when he appeared as a replacement for Hayden Coulson after 66 minutes, “Goodwin must be desperate”. Ramirez has become a forgotten man of Pittodrie since Goodwin's arrival and it's plain to see the new manager simply does not fancy him. The striker's appearance here was his first since being thrown on in similarly dire circumstances with Aberdeen trailing 2-1 v Livingston in early November. This, remember, is Aberdeen’s top goalscorer from last season, although he hasn’t struck in the league since a 3-2 defeat to Celtic in February. What happens next is intriguing. Does Goodwin swallow his pride and turn to the striker in his hour of need against Kilmarnock in midweek? Current top goalscorer Bojan Miovski struggled on Saturday against St Mirren although he was starved of service as ten-man Aberdeen were pressed back after such a bright opening. Luis 'Duk' Lopes is also now struggling with injury. The travelling fans seemed to make clear their thoughts by loudly hailing Ramirez after he came on.

St Mirren's home form

It’s one of the least romantic ground names out there but St Mirren really are managing to turn the SMISA stadium into something of a fortress. That’s nine games unbeaten at home now. They haven’t lost at their own ground since a 1-0 defeat against Motherwell on the opening day of the league season. Not bad at all. “I am going to enjoy my Guinness tonight, 100 per cent,” said manager Stephen Robinson as he left the media in very festive mood indeed after Saturday's win. The historic hat-trick that wasn't

Almost a bit of history

It isn’t very often that someone scores a deadball hat-trick and it didn’t happen on Saturday, more’s the pity perhaps for football stattos in attendance. Ray McKinnon, of course, famously scored a hat-trick of free kicks for Dundee United at Kilmarnock in a 3-2 win in 1997. Mark O’Hara would have had the chance to claim a rare hat-trick of penalties had he been credited with St Mirren’s first goal. This came from the penalty spot but rather than be credited to O'Hara, it was marked down as a Kelle Roos own goal after the ball hit the Aberdeen ‘keeper’s back and went in after first striking the post. O’Hara did blast home St Mirren’s second goal from the spot and when the hosts were awarded a third penalty within a 25-minute spell either side of half-time, many presumed the confident O’Hara would step up again. Instead, the skipper agreed to let striker Jonah Ayunga take it. One wonders if he would have been quite so happy to cede this responsibility to his teammate had he been on a hat-trick of penalties. The last player to achieve this feat in a top-flight game in Scotland played for Aberdeen at the time – Paul Hartley against Hamilton Accies on the opening day of the 2010-11 league season.