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Managing Expectations



Pittodrie Stadium

Managing Expectations

As George Orwell’s dystopian vision dawned, Granite City residents were suitably distracted.

Under the uncompromising stewardship of Alex Ferguson; Aberdeen Football Club created history in December 1983, in becoming the first (and to-date only), Scottish side to secure two European Trophy successes.

A two-legged Super Cup victory over Bundesliga kingpins SV Hamburg; coupled with Cup Winners Cup glory in Gothenburg the previous May, ensured the ‘Dons’ would supersede the not-inconsiderable achievements of both Celtic and Rangers, in 1967 and 1972 respectively.

In a week that heralded the departure of Derek McInnes after well-nigh eight (relatively progressive), years in charge; the burden of expectation on Pittodrie’s new incumbent, reflects (unfairly), yet directly, to the halcyon days of the afore-mentioned Ferguson.

Since his departure in 1986; a veritable tranche of ‘oven-ready’ appointees have (understandably), struggled to placate fan-base expectations.

In those interim years; the club have contested a number of Domestic Cup Finals; securing League Cup glory in seasons 1989/’90, 1995/’96, and most recently in 2013/’14 (Season 1989/’90 also brought Scottish Cup success). And despite restricted funds, they have consistently mounted a credible League Challenge.

Unlike many of his predecessors Derek McInnes oversaw Europa League Qualification in each of his seven seasons in charge; thereby upholding Aberdeen’s long-standing association with European competition.

The Pittodrie outfit made their European bow in season 1967/68, in a Cup Winners Cup first round first-leg tie with Icelandic side KR Reykjavik. The ‘Dons’ ran-out 10-0 winners (a club record that exists to this day). And this particular tournament would prove talismanic, unleashing unbridled joy in season 1983/’83.

For the Record…

Victories over: Sion (Switzerland), Dinamo Tirana (Albania), Lech Poznań (Poland), Bayern Munich (Germany) and Waterschei (Belgium), led to an extra-time Final success, over Spanish legends Real Madrid, courtesy of goals from Eric Black and John Hewitt.

In attempting to repeat the feat (the following year), Aberdeen advanced to the semi-final stage, before narrowly losing-out to Porto.

Whomever is tasked with the prized position of Aberdeen Manager;  be in no-doubt, Big Brother is most certainly watching.


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Born in 1963, Peter attended St Mary's Leith High School. Peter worked within the plumbing industry before studying a degree in journalism within the University of Stirling. Peter has been a lifelong sports fan and has volunteered within the Edinburgh Soccer School's programme on numerous occasions.


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