Early November is a significant time in Aberdeen Football Club’s history.
November 1 was when legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s final competitive game in charge came – a 2-0 Premier Division win at Dens Park in 1986.
Fergie, winner of every domestic trophy and two European titles with the Reds, was of course in the north-east yesterday to open the new £12 million Cormack Park training ground.
However, this weekend is also the anniversary of when, in 1999, the Dons signed their first ever Argentine, Juan Cobian.
Cobian, brought in by Ebbe Skovdahl during a season where Aberdeen were spared a relegation play-off because Falkirk’s ground was too small, remains one of two players from the South American nation to sign for the Reds – the other was a few years later in the form of Fernando Pasquinelli.
The Buenos Aires native arrived with relatively high expectations, being the first Argentinian to play in the English Premier League (alongside Derby County’s Horacio Carbonari) while at Sheffield Wednesday. He’d played 90 minutes in the 1998/99 season opener against West Ham United.
But his Owls career burned out quickly, with Cobian going from starting seven of Wednesday’s first eight league games to barely featuring.
On arriving at Pittodrie, the diminuitive right-back – signed until the end of the campaign – was labelled a better crosser of the ball than Manchester United’s David Beckham:
Unveiled at the same time as Cato Guntveit, the Boca Juniors youth product explained his belief playing in Scotland would be easy after experiencing the hostile football atmospheres of his homeland:
Alas, he was a flop.
Cobian made his debut against Dundee United as a substitute in a 3-1 loss, before playing two more league fixtures – a draw and loss to St Johnstone and Hibs.
He then hurt his hamstring during the December 1 League Cup quarter-final win at home to Rangers and that was it – despite all of excitement, Cobian never played again for Aberdeen.
He went on to make a handful of appearances for Swindon Town, CD Linares and Club Almagro before retiring in 2006.