The 5-0 win was the third competitive fixture of the campaign. We run the rule over the Dons’ recruits in what is a new-look side.
The Dutch goalkeeper has not been a busy man across the 270 minutes. No real surprise considering the part-time opposition. He produced a couple of smart stops against Peterhead and Dumbarton. There was an excellent finger tip save in the warm-up ahead of the Stirling game. At Balmoor he demonstrated composure and a good range of passing, firing a cross-field pass right to the feet of Jayden Richardson.
There was, however, an uncomfortable moment in the win over Stirling. An early corner saw Roos stranded under a cross as it bounced around the box.
If you were to describe Jayden Richardson’s style, ‘a souped up bulldozer’ would suffice. He is very quick and very strong. The Englishman is not one for intricate football and will play it safe. But when he gets the opportunity to motor forward he will. Played like a winger against Peterhead and was unfortunate not to have an assist when adjudged to have committed a foul.
Against Stirling he used that strength and pace to batter down the right early on, shrugging off the attentions of one opponent. He has shown a real willingness to get in behind and down the side of the opposition defence, looking for balls over the top or playing one-twos in the final third.
Some Aberdeen fans displayed a ‘No more Celtic loans’ flag at Forthbank. It is an understandable stance from the supporters, especially with Scales set to sit out the league opener against his parent club. However, there is no doubt the Irishman looks a mighty fine signing. To say he strolled the three games so far is an understatement.
He provides Aberdeen with an astute passing option from deep, someone who can build the game and is happy to take the ball from fellow defenders, goalkeeper or as an option for the midfield to pop it back to. He was progressive against Peterhead then took it up a notch with some excellent passing against Stirling, including a defence splitting pass for Jonny Hayes to run on to as he assisted Christian Ramirez.
With Scales, there is also the dependable defensive side. He is aggressive and wins battles.
To Scales’ Ying, Stewart is the Yang. The new Aberdeen captain is the leader of the back line with Jim Goodwin relaying instructions regarding balls down the side of the Dons defence to the Englishman. He’s not as assured on the ball as Scales and doesn’t have his range of passing. Guilty of giving the ball away against Peterhead in the first half, it was much improved against Stirling.
Where he will be of benefit to Aberdeen is his personality, his competitive edge and willingness to battle and compete. He’s gone up against burly front men in Robert Thomson and Ola Adeyemo and afforded them very little in the way of opportunities.
Aberdeen just look more dependable at the back even if Goodwin says they are still to work on their defensive shape.
Stirling looked to be in a promising counter-attack in the second half of the League Cup clash when the Albanian international showed a turn of pace to intercept the ball. Now, in such a position as the last man facing his own goal, normally it would see a pass played back to Kelle Roos. However, Ramadani on feeling the pressure from the Stirling forward, turned out and played forward. It allowed Aberdeen to start an attack from much higher than they would if a pass had been played back. It was a really positive moment.
In fact, just about any time he has been on the ball across his two appearances it has been positive. He set up Matty Kennedy with a defence splitting pass for the second goal in the win over Dumbarton and delivered an almost identical ball in the build-up to Ross McCrorie's goal against Stirling.
Ramadani has been composed and physical, shown a good awareness and has already taken to communicating with team-mates from his role as a midfield composer.
"A little bit of everything” is how Goodwin described Duk's debut for the Dons. His 45 minutes on the pitch were entertaining and eventful. He showcased his pace and strength early on to create pace and speed away from the Stirling defence down the left. Later on, on the far side he produced a bit of skill to get away from pressure before being hacked down as he advanced towards the box. Welcome to Scotland.
The Cape Verde international definitely suggested he would be a good addition to the squad and someone who possesses a burly presence that will make life uncomfortable for defenders. He wasn’t quite on the same wavelength with his team-mates in the way Christian Ramirez was in the first half. Then again he has had three training sessions in six weeks and is “nowhere near where he needs to be” according to Goodwin.
Duk's new boss labelled him exciting and could have scored, hitting the woodwork in a frantic spell. Goodwin said: "He showed glimpses in training of the quality he has in front of goal. He has a hell of a strike on him. It would have been lovely just for that one to fall a bit nicer and end up in the back of the net because you want your strikers to get up and running as soon as possible.”