I’m all for Aberdeen bringing on Celtic’s Scott Brown as their player-assistant manager.
Scott’s one of these boys every non-Celtic fan hates, but would love it if he was on their team.
This is the case even more so when it comes to his fellow professionals. I’m sure there are plenty of players at other clubs in the Scottish Premiership who have spent an afternoon or evening being wound up by the Hoops’ 22 trophy-winning central-midfield general.
However, every player who has battled against him would also want to play with him.
I was on a Zoom call with a host of Aberdeen legends on Wednesday night – Bobby Clark, John Hewitt, Willie Garner and Willie Miller – and they were unanimous. If they were still playing, Brown is exactly the sort of team-mate, in terms of his ability and personality, they’d want in the trenches with them.
I’ve actually met Scott before. It was a chance hotel meeting before the Dons lost a cup game to Celtic in Glasgow a few years ago.
He was a nice enough guy. Everyone I’ve spoken to in recent days agrees.
However, he’s just a different animal on the park. He knows, by behaving as he does, winding players up, that they will be looking for him all time, instead of the ball or what else is going on around them.
This part of his game, commonly known as the dark arts, is why he’s been such an asset to Celtic – and could be vital to making the most of Aberdeen’s young talent.
I don’t see the Reds spending an awful lot of money going forward, in the wake of the Covid pandemic and the absence of fans.
The choice of Stephen Glass as manager, and his experience with player development, also suggests an increased focus on bringing through young talent from the youth academy and elsewhere, like the Dons have previously done with midfield men Dean Campbell, Lewis Ferguson and Ross McCrorie.
Brown will be great with these young boys in helping improve their games and also instilling the winning mentality in them he’s had throughout his career.
I’d also hope there’s a place for the former Scotland captain to feature in the team regularly, because I still think he’s good enough, for one, and he’s very fit – he may be going on for 36, but his game isn’t a box-to-box style.
You could certainly see him in behind Ferguson and McCrorie, freeing them up to get forward.
He’s a great organiser, which is something Aberdeen certainly don’t have at the moment. He’ll shout at people and make sure they are doing their jobs, without being afraid of offending them, like Graeme Shinnie was.
The Dons are a mess at the moment and – despite some fans maybe not yet being able to see past Brown’s time as Aberdeen’s tormentor-in-chief at Celtic – he could end up being one of the best signings the club has made in a long time.
Stephen Glass is rated by Bobby Clark – and I trust his judgement
Stephen Glass might not have much experience of first-team management, but I think he’s a good appointment for Aberdeen.
The way I look at it is this: What would you rather have, somebody with fresh ideas or a familiar face off of the Scottish managerial merry-go-round?
Glass is clearly a talent, whose coaching ability has seen him rise through the ranks over the Atlantic, going from youth football in North Carolina to a spell in interim charge of Atlanta United.
Cormack also said he’d spoken to legendary Reds goalkeeper Bobby Clark, who has extensive knowledge of football in the US, about the quality of the USL Championship, where Glass was managing Atlanta United reserves.
It would seem Glass is good enough for Bobby – and if he’s good enough for Bobby, he’s good enough for me.
Bobby doesn’t talk rubbish or put in a good word for people just for the sake of doing them a favour. If he says someone is a decent coach, you can bet they are.
Once Scott Brown arrives in the summer, that will help Glass.
With their pre-existing friendship from Hibs as players, they will be able to have honest conversations, with Glass watching on from the dugout and the experienced Brown having the perspective of being on the pitch. They’ll be able to help each other along.
There’s a lot of work to be done, with Aberdeen’s squad approaching a summer of transition with plenty of players out of contract and reaching the end of their loans.
We can’t expect everything to fall into place right away. The new coaching team need time to assess who is there, who they want to keep and find the right balance between young talent coming through and experienced additions.
But I like what I’ve heard, with Glass not afraid to say he is targeting attacking football, even in Glasgow, as well as sustained success and silverware.
I’m delighted for Formartine United
It was a great week for Highland League teams in the Scottish Cup.
Brora Rangers made headlines all over the UK for beating Hearts.
Meanwhile, my local team, Formartine United, done brilliantly to overcome Annan Athletic on penalties at North Lodge Park.
Their reward is a home tie against Premiership Motherwell in Pitmedden.
It’s great for the village, Scottish football and I hope they do well.
I also hope there’s some surprise good news over the next couple of weeks which might allow at least some United supporters to enjoy the occasion in person.