Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has bravely rolled the dice in a bid to smash the stale dominance of the Glasgow big guns.
Cormack and the Pittodrie board could have taken the easy option of a Scottish boss currently riding the managerial roundabout; bosses axed by one Scottish team and quickly moving to another.
That could have brought a modicum of success but the likelihood is it would have produced more of the same – a battle for third and Europe.
I would argue that any Aberdeen fan who targets third at the start of a campaign as the best outcome has been brainwashed by decades of damaging Glasgow dominance.
After a season of stagnation Aberdeen were faced with the prospect of stick with the status quo, or twist.
Cormack has opted to twist, and it will make for an exciting and fascinating period. Surely that’s what football is all about: The buzz of what can be achieved rather than just hoping for the best.
Is a battle for third exciting? No. Will scrapping for third and the Uefa Conference League get disillusioned supporters back, when Covid restrictions allow? No.
Cormack and the Pittodrie board have thought outside the box by appointing Stephen Glass as the new manager.
It is a gamble as Glass, previously head coach at Atlanta United 2, the MLS side’s second string, has limited experience of managing a first team.
However, as Del Boy said in Only Fools And Horses: “He who dares, wins.”
Football clubs do not rise to the next level by playing it safe.
Glass has already made a very shrewd move in securing Celtic captain Scott Brown on a pre-contract for a two-year deal in a player-coach role.
Although 35, Brown would not leave Parkhead unless he was convinced of ambitious plans at Pittodrie.
The bid to secure England striker coach Allan Russell is, like the capture of Brown, a statement of intent by Glass.
Russell coaches world-class stars like Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford.
Kane hailed Russell for giving him an “extra edge” in the 2018 World Cup, where the Spurs striker won the Golden Boot. Imagine what he could do with Dons strikers, whoever they are, next season.
Glass has made his first big decision with the current squad with Shay Logan’s loan to Hearts until the end of the season – when his Aberdeen deal will expire.
Logan was a superb servant for the club and showed no fear when facing Rangers or Celtic. That attitude will be needed by every player under Glass to progress the club.
With another seven out of contract and three loan deals ending, there could be a mass exodus at Pittodrie.
Just 11 points from 54 in 2021 is hardly a compelling argument to earn a new deal.
Dons fans will be excited by what lies ahead under Glass, and excitement is what football should deliver on a consistent basis. It is, after all, an entertainment business.
Scotland have retreated into their shell in opening World Cup qualifiers
There is already an ominous feeling of deja vu to Scotland’s World Cup 2022 qualifying campaign.
Points were dropped in the opening fixtures and they are already playing catch-up in the group.
It is a movie Scotland have been in so many times and is played out with regularity, like The Great Escape on telly every Christmas.
Steve Clarke’s Scots are far from the stage of requiring a “great escape”, and the national coach is right to warn against knee-jerk reactions following two draws.
However, there were concerning signs of Scotland retreating into their shell in both qualifiers.
They were fortunate not to be a couple behind at half-time against Austria at Hampden in the group opener.
Although they rallied admirably to secure a 2-2 draw after twice going behind, they were always playing catch-up.
It was the same against Israel in Tel Aviv where they were badly off the pace in the first half. I will be at Hampden tonight for the qualifier against Faroe Islands and I am confident the Scots will win.
It might not be emphatic against the minnows, but it will be three points secured.
It is the games against runaway leaders Denmark and second-placed Austria which will decide Scotland’s fate. And they cannot afford slow starts in any of those games if they hope to get a win that can be a catalyst towards qualification.
Let’s hope Highland hopefuls go one better in this weekend’s Scottish Cup ties
Hopefully Brora Rangers, Formartine United and Fraserburgh continue to show the strength of the Highland League this weekend.
All three are in Scottish Cup third-round action against SPFL opposition. The reward for Brora’s phenomenal defeat of Hearts is a very winnable clash with Stranraer.
Formartine face Motherwell, with Fraserburgh playing Montrose.
Their performances, Brora in particular, emphasise just how long overdue the pyramid scheme was that allows ambitious clubs to move up the ranks. As post-rock legend Mark E Smith of The Fall sang, “The North Will Rise Again”.