Jim Goodwin on Aberdeen precipice after 6-0 Hibs thrashing, 'sack the board' chants, Youan and Campbell impress

On another day, reflections surround what was an impressive display from Hibs. Full of verve and vigour, Lee Johnson’s side looked like they could score at will with Elie Youan and Harry McKirdy enjoying the wide open spaces of Easter Road, Josh Campbell scoring a hat-trick. But they were, after a difficult week in which they nearly lost two of their best players, supporting players in a bigger story. A story of Aberdeen, who fell to a 6-0 defeat, and that of Jim Goodwin.

Aberdeen fans make their feelings known about manager Jim Goodwin ahead of the loss to Hibs. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Aberdeen fans make their feelings known about manager Jim Goodwin ahead of the loss to Hibs. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Aberdeen fans make their feelings known about manager Jim Goodwin ahead of the loss to Hibs. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

The ‘football monitoring board’ had offered their support to an under-fire manager. A manager who has become persona non grata in the eyes of many of his club's support. The Irishman was an embattled presence in the build-up. A likeable figure, he spoke of the board’s support, wanting to prove he was up to the challenge of leading the Dons of Aberdeen, of being the leader of the Red Army. Yet, he was met by mutiny in Leith. Both by those in the stands and seemingly those on the pitch.

Goodwin strode out on the pitch, alone, ahead of the match, before any of the aforementioned Red Army had come through the turnstiles. By the time he had emerged for the start of the game, red smoke drifted across the away end, above a white sheet with one simple message: ‘Goodwin out’. That message was amplified as the first half went on, the manner of the goals conceded worse than the one which occurred before. As 5ft9in Youan simply nodded a corner clipped into the six-yard box into the net on the stroke of half-time, all of Easter Road chanted ‘your getting sacked in the morning’ before the visiting support turned on the club's board.

Tips to beat Aberdeen

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Darvel – conquerors of the Dons in the Scottish Cup and subsequently defeated by Arthurlie in the West of Scotland Premier Division – had offered Hibs tips on how to defeat Aberdeen in the build-up to the match. Going by what became a hugely pitiful first 45 minutes for the visitors, the advice may well have been ‘just turn up’. Former club captain Joe Lewis had said the players had to show they cared. They had a strange way of doing so. This was a team who looked nervous and fearful. Rather than provide a reaction to the defeat to Darvel, to the 5-0 loss to Hearts before that, to the noise around their manager’s situation, they played within themselves. Stand offish. Passive. They understood the requirements. It was there in black and white from the statement from chairman Dave Cormack. An "immediate response”. Aberdeen fans have been waiting for a response since the break for the World Cup. Therefore you can understand their decision to boo the team back onto the pitch after the interval.

Third place slip

Back in November they sat third with a two point lead. Since then they have played ten in all competitions. There has been one win, one draw and eight defeats. Only seven goals have been scored while 23 have been conceded. They are now nine points behind Hearts, who have a game in hand, in third. The same number of points which separates them from the bottom of the table. Yet, this is not an issue related to just these past couple of months. Despite investing heavily in the summer there were concerns early on. There was no depth in defence, while performances weren't all that impressive. In heavy wins against Livingston and St Mirren Aberdeen had been the poorer side until their opponents went down to ten men. Even prior to that, Goodwin drew suspicions from the Dons faithful, with the manner of the performances between February and May last season and the handling of the departure of club legend Andy Considine.

Frankly, Goodwin's Dons have been far too easy to play against. Especially outside AB24. They can score but they can also concede and that’s happening at an increasingly alarming rate. No Premiership side has conceded more. Like it had been for Hearts, Hibs found it too easy to make inroads. Joe Newell sent a warning sign early on, waltzing to the byline with little pressure, cutting back for Chris Cadden whose low drive caused all sorts of mayhem in the box. No one wanted to make a challenge, Duk didn’t want to track the runs of Cadden. Even before then, that nervousness was evident as Liam Scales and Joe Lewis struggled to deal with a long ball.

Goodwin’s last stand?

Then the goals came. Youan allowed to get a shot in far too easily and Josh Campbell reacted quickest to the rebound off Lewis’ parry. Campbell grabbed his second with a free header from a corner. Then the most egregious of them all on the stroke of half-time. Youan's header from a few yards out.

If the team weren't going to provide a reaction after a 5-0 loss to Hearts. And then a 1-0 defeat to Darvel. And then going behind after ten minutes, you better believe there was not going to be a reaction after half-time. And that’s the way it proved. Hibs continued with confidence, popping the ball about. Aberdeen were just as meek and incompetent as the first half with three more goals given up with ease and Liam Scales sent off after losing out in a physical battle with teenage substitute Josh O’Connor and conceding another from a set piece.

As Hibs proved there is more to life after Ryan Porteous and possibly Kevin Nisbet, a scoring role off the bench, Aberdeen proved the towel has all but been thrown in on an afternoon which will likely be Goodwin’s last stand.

Hibs (4-3-3) – Marshall; Cadden, Fish, Hanlon, Stevenson; Jeggo, Newell, Campbell; McKirdy, Youan, McGeady.

Aberdeen (4-2-3-1) – Lewis; McCrorie, Stewart, Scales, Hayes; Ramadani, Shinnie; Duk, Clarkson, Kennedy; Miovski.



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