In the last of our four takeaways from the Scottish football weekend, Craig Fowler concludes that Aberdeen have still to get themselves out of the recent slump
What’s wrong with Aberdeen? The question everyone has been asking themselves over the past two months refuses to leave the Scottish football narrative.
Unsurprisingly, victory over the weakest team in the division a fortnight ago did not restart their title charge as they proved themselves to be lacking in several departments once more at Hamilton.
Things started well enough in Lanarkshire with Kenny McLean firing home a terrific early finish and Niall McGinn looking back to his old self, terrorising the Hamilton rearguard.
Then Accies started playing their way back into the match and, with the exception of a strong showing to end the opening half, Aberdeen failed to muster up much of a response. What was particularly concerning for the away support was the lack of urgency in the final 15 minutes. It seemed the team who had won eight straight matches was now settling for a disappointing away draw.
It could have been worse if Accies had their talisman Ali Crawford. The midfielder has such a terrific range of shooting from anywhere inside 25 yards, and Aberdeen allowed several such opportunities to the likes of Grant Gillespie and Greg Docherty, both of whom don’t quite have Crawford’s capabilities.
This was caused by Kenny McLean once again being stationed further back alongside Willo Flood in the double pivot. McLean’s tackling abilities do not match that of the absent Ryan Jack, and even though the midfielder scored and went close with another shot towards the end of the first half, surely someone with such a threat in his locker should play closer to goal.
Playing ahead of the former St Mirren man was Peter Pawlett. The speedster is still desperately trying to recapture his form from 2013/14, when he sparkled in the attacking midfielder role. He showed brief flashes against Hamilton, but was fouled on each occasion and dropped out of the match after that point.
The real acid test comes for Aberdeen next week when Ross County come to Pittodrie. County are a good side but not one who should be leaving with three points. Should such a fate befall Aberdeen then dissent will start coming the way of Derek McInnes from his own support.