Andrew Considine and Aberdeen: Banchory Beckenbauer's exit is unwanted but Jim Goodwin deserves praise

Andrew Considine is a rare species within not just Scottish football but world football. A one-club man. A familiar, warming, safe presence, an individual who just gets it all the while being a modern-day legend.

Yet, after what has transpired across the past week at Aberdeen, a dramatic sequence of events around a contract extension, that ‘is’ will soon be turning to a 'was'.

Following Jim Goodwin’s strong statement on the player’s situation and future at the club, Pittodrie next season is going to be Considine-less. For a generation of Dons supporters, Scottish football fans in general, it is going to be so surreal seeing the defender not playing for Aberdeen. Even more bamboozling if he pulls on the shirt of another team. It is hard to get your head around it.

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That is where we are and there appears no going back.

Aberdeen's Andrew Considine is set to depart in the summer. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

It was only last month, Goodwin was talking of his “admiration” for the 35-year-old, how he has plans for “Andy… in the future” and it was “just a case of dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s" regarding a new deal with his current contract up in the summer.

This week it emerged that Considine was set for an exit following, according to reports, a ‘u-turn'. Such news was a bombshell for the Dons support. One which, to many, didn't sit well.

‘Banchory Beckenbauer’

Not only was this a club legend with nearly 570 games for the club under his belt, someone who knows and understands Aberdeen, he was also, it can certainly be argued, the team's best defender.

Jim Goodwin released a statement on Considine's future at the club. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Yes, he has missed the majority of the season due to a serious injury, but he has proven in recent seasons to be the most dominant and consistent defender, especially at centre-back after so long playing at left-back. His form was such that he deservedly earned a Scotland call-up, making three appearances for Steve Clarke's men in 2020 and not looking out of place.

He is, to many Dons fans, the Banchory Beckenbauer and was meant to finish his career at the club and then move into a position behind the scenes, whatever that may be. It all made complete sense.

Which is why Goodwin likely felt pressed into explaining the reasons behind Considine's now expected departure. The club were clearly not keen on the news being broken and the manager said as much at the start of Wednesday’s statement when he addressed the situation.

More to the story

Considine became a popular member of the Scotland squad. Picture: SNS/SFA

It put the manager in an awkward position. New in the post having taken over from Stephen Glass in February, he has won the affections of the Dons support. Anyone at Dens Park could have witnessed and heard that as Goodwin was greeted with greater feeling and emotion than anyone else amongst the staff and players.

Now questions were being asked of such a decision, letting someone of Considine's experience go.

Going back to Goodwin's March comments, he even said: “I always think it’s important to have good experienced players around the squad.”

There was clearly more to the story and the Dons boss laid it out in black and white.

There are a few ways to look at it. Firstly, the airing of specific contract details in public will unlikely sit well with Considine, or any other player for that matter. Perhaps, Goodwin could have left it at: “During my confidential talks with Andy, we discussed the parties being too far apart financially and the reality is that I cannot guarantee him playing time next season. Ultimately, and understandably, Andy wants to play."

There were comments from some fans that everything would have been best kept in house. But as Goodwin noted he “felt compelled to let our supporters know the facts”.

And as a fan of any club, isn't that what you want? That level of transparency and insight into what goes on behind the scenes. Surely that is a positive step forward for dialogue between club and fanbase. Certainly a hell of a lot better than just staying silent, waiting for fans to move on or worse, sweeping it under the carpet in a ‘nothing to see here manner’.

Taking the emotion away

For Goodwin, it is a big move from the former St Mirren boss. To be involved in such a situation with a club legend so early on in his tenure is difficult. To put out that statement requires someone with a strong personality. And Aberdeen have that.

If there is a positive to come out of it for Dons fans it is that. They have a manager willing to make the big decisions, the tough decisions. Already Scott Brown has moved on but Considine is very different. There are the emotional and sentimental elements at play. That is important for fans but for a manager, he can’t allow himself to think like that.

As Goodwin said: “I have to make these difficult decisions and take the emotion out of it. This is entirely a football decision and as manager of this club it is my job to ensure we have a dynamic squad fully equipped for the challenges of the new season.”

He’s doing his job and has shown himself to be someone who can put the responsibility, pressure and criticism on his shoulders. He is not one of those managers who is quick to pass the blame, he is someone who is honest and accountable.

Goodwin will not have wanted this to happen this way, neither would Considine.

The defender’s Aberdeen career should not have ended like this, it's an awkward, difficult situation which will be surreal in a few months time. Yet, it is intriguing as to what the player and club do next.

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