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Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Tuesday, 5 August 2008 16:32 UK

Aberdeen team guide

BBC Sport's guide to Aberdeen.


How did the Dons finish last season? A very creditable fourth after only sneaking into the top six in the last game before the split with a 2-1 victory over Falkirk.

Aberdeen

Manager: 'The Two Jimmys' sound like a vaudeville double-act from the days of Music Hall. But, in reality, the duo are perma-tanned boss Jimmy Calderwood and his fiesty Northern Irish sidekick Jimmy Nicholl.

Since taking over in 2004, the passionate pair have brought more consistency to Aberdeen, steadying the ship following former incumbent Steve Paterson's disastrous two-year reign.

They guided the side to third spot in the SPL in season 2006/07 to bring European football to Pittodrie for the first time in five seasons.

Captain: Former Jambo Scott Severin dons the Dons armband. The driving midfielder still has to prove to the home support that he is a worthy successor to fans favourite Russell Anderson, who was a fearsome competitor when leading out the Dons.

Scottish top-flight highlights: The halcyon days for the Dons took place from the late 1970s through to the mid 80s.

Under the inspirational guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson they bagged three league championships, four Scottish Cups, the European Cup-Winner's Cup, the European Super Cup and a League Cup - all in the space of seven glorious years.

Aberdeen were also the last club outside of the Old Firm to win a league title, back in season 1984/85.

Dons legend: Described by Sir Alex Ferguson as "the best penalty box defender in the world", legendary Dons skipper Willie Miller was a man hewn from the city's famous granite. His rock-solid central defensive partnership with Alex McLeish was the fulcrum of Fergie's all-conquering 70s and 80s side.

Aberdeen striker Lee Miller

Star man: Lee Miller bagged 12 goals for the Dons last season as their top scorer. On form, he is the ideal target man and foil for his smaller, pacier strike partners, Darren Mackie and Chris Maguire, who will scuttle around the big man and feed off his flick-ons. At least that's the idea in theory!

Strengths: Pittodrie has returned to being the fortress of old, with Aberdeen's home form as consistently good as their away form is unpredictable.

Another season of solid home performances is required if the Dons are to secure a top-six finish and challenge for a European spot.

Weaknesses: A chronic lack of goals hampered Aberdeen's progress last season, forcing them to go down to the wire to secure a top-six berth. A leaky defence on the road cost them dearly too. Both traits will have to be rectified if the Dons are to entertain any ambitions of re-enacting past European glories again.

606: DEBATE

Our verdict: New recruits Gary McDonald and Mark Kerr should beef up the Dons midfield and offer the defence more protection, although Barry Nicholson's energy and drive will be missed.

If Andrew Considine and Zander Diamond develop a more consistent partnership in central defence, Aberdeen should be among the contenders for third place.


see also
Celtic team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Celtic
Dundee United team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Dundee Utd
Falkirk team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Falkirk
Hamilton Academical team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hamilton
Hearts team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hearts
Hibernian team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Hibernian
Inverness CT team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Inverness CT
Kilmarnock team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Kilmarnock
Motherwell team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Motherwell
Rangers team guide
05 Aug 08 |  Rangers
St Mirren team guide
05 Aug 08 |  St Mirren


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