When Motherwell last won the Scottish Cup, after a classic final against Dundee United in 1991, they did so by beating Morton and Aberdeen en route, the two teams they have eliminated so far this year. “Here we go…,” said Graham Alexander as he fielded a question about whether he believed in omens. “I think someone said that last year when we beat Morton in the cup. It didn’t last very long. Let’s just focus on who we get in the next round. It is a special competition. I spoke about it during the week and in my programme notes, we all want to be part of history and win trophies but there is an awful long way to go. But we will give it our best shot in the next round.”
Deep in crisis – but fourth by Saturday? It could happen.
Although many Aberdeen fans were calling on chairman Dave Cormack to act with regards manager Stephen Glass, it seems unlikely that anything will change in the short term. After all, Aberdeen have another match as soon as Tuesday, when they host bottom club St Johnstone in a rearranged Premiership fixture that could – repeat could – send Glass’s side back into the top half of the league. Indeed, two wins this week would make things look a whole lot rosier. It’s possible Aberdeen, currently ninth, could be sitting in fourth place by Saturday tea-time. The trouble is the second game is against…..Motherwell, who have now beaten them three times already this season. Worse, it’s away from home…Aberdeen have now lost 11 of their last 15 fixtures on the road. That old Aberdeen favourite “Here we go” does not seem such an apt chant now.
One thing seems certain about next Saturday’s re-match at Fir Park: there won’t be as many as 2022 away fans present. The travelling supporters made up more than a third of the 5892 crowd to underline how everyone likes a Scottish Cup away trip. Aberdeen fans of a certain age have a particularly strong bond with the competition. A grim battle for league points might not be so appealing this Saturday when the same teams meet again at the same venue. They certainly made their feelings known at the end: the current Covid-compliant arrangements at Fir Park means that away players – and manager - must pass the away fans on their way to the dressing room in the away stand. Stewards formed a line to prevent Aberdeen fans getting near their own players in what were ugly scenes.
Strange case of Vicente Besuijen
The 20-year-old Dutch winger played a part in Aberdeen’s goal after just three minutes but was rarely seen thereafter. Time spent at the academies at Ajax and Roma doesn’t count for much in a blood and snotters Scottish Cup tie at Fir Park played in driving sleet. Pittodrie head of recruitment Darren Mowbray is reported to have been the driving force in the player’s capture on a four-and-a-half-year deal from Dutch second tier side ADO Den Haag. He clearly has some nice touches but it is a lot to ask such a young, inexperienced player to provide the spark Aberdeen clearly require. He has started the last four Aberdeen games since arriving. It might be that the under pressure Stephen Glass tries something else on Tuesday against St Johnstone. This intense schedule and such high stakes can’t be doing Vicente much good as he tries to acclimatise to his new surroundings.