I must admit, I wasn’t expecting Aberdeen to come out and perform like they did against Celtic.
After their sparkling display and comprehensive win at Motherwell, I was feeling optimistic.
A good showing, away from home, against an in-form team and that was with injuries and suspensions dictating the Reds played two players better known as defenders in centre midfield.
However, the performance yesterday was about as bad as it could’ve been.
Firstly, listening to Derek McInnes, he’s been honest enough to admit the root of the 4-0 hammering at the hands of the Hoops was his own team’s passivity.
Right from the start, Aberdeen gave Celtic time to pass the ball unhindered.
The visitors were ruthless, in spite of their exertions beating Lazio on Europa League business.
Neil Lennon’s team were in the mood, but at some point, playing at Pittodrie, the Dons had to try to get close to them, making it difficult. It didn’t happen.
It was just insipid in the first half from Aberdeen.
And I don’t think they were much better in the second period, the difference being Lennon’s team thought they could take their foot off the pedal and cruise.
Despite this, they still had chances to add to their goal tally, while the only Dons effort on goal – and it was off target – was Greg Leigh’s header over the bar.
But in the first half, the Dons were spectators.
Against Motherwell, Leigh and Zak Vyner’s inexperience in the middle of the park didn’t show, as they were aggressive, closing down anything that moved and not letting the Steelmen play.
Vyner and Leigh didn’t seem capable of engaging Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic in the middle – all with bags of experience at international and European level. Kristoffer Ajer was also allowed far too much freedom to run out from the backline.
Having Vyner and Leigh in front of the back four of Shay Logan, Michael Devlin, Scott McKenna and Andy Considine only really served to cause confusion, with everyone leaving the tackle to everybody else.
Uncertainty in the middle against eight-in-a-row Celtic is asking for trouble and with the visitors also flying at McInnes’ side down the flanks through Mohamed Elyounoussi and Jeremie Frimpong, there were always going to be problems.
On the evidence of yesterday, McInnes will certainly stick Lewis Ferguson back in after suspension on Wednesday and will be desperate for Craig Bryson to get up and running properly to bring some experience and stability to the centre of the park.
Niall McGinn and Connor McLennan on the wings for the home team ended up totally occupied with defending and the creativity they were in the side to produce wasn’t there.
They both came off at half-time and over the 90 minutes there was very little supply forward to Sam Cosgrove.
The result’s a blow for the Red Army, with Fir Park looking like a false dawn in terms of being the catalyst for kickstarting Aberdeen’s stuttering campaign.
Where’s the inspiration going to come from now for Wednesday’s tricky trip to Hamilton?