Next month would have marked Jim Goodwin’s first anniversary in charge of Aberdeen. However, a string of abysmal results has led to his dismissal.
Goodwin’s side was at the brunt of the biggest upset in Scottish Cup history when they suffered a 1-0 defeat to Darvel. This was the latest in a string of embarrassing defeats that had Dons fans calling for him to be axed as Aberdeen boss.
Another thumping this weekend to Hibernian has sealed Goodwin’s fate.
The Bookies Favourites
When Aberdeen paid £250,000 in compensation to St Mirren for Jim Goodwin’s services, they expected him to lift the team out of the drought that Stephen Glass had gotten them into.
Goodwin took over the Dons sitting at 7th in the league. However, after only winning two of his first twelve games, Aberdeen finished in 10th place. Their worst-placed finish in eighteen years.
Goodwin made considerable changes to the Aberdeen squad during the 2022 summer, as a total of 26 players either departed or joined the club. However, the departures of Calvin Ramsey, Lewis Ferguson, and Andy Considine are the standout moves of the summer.
The 2022/23 season started as many believed for the Pittodrie side. But October began the downfall of Jim Goodwin.
Goodwin received a five-match ban in October after he made comments about Ryan Porteous “conning” and blatantly cheating the referees with his diving on the pitch.
After the World Cup break, Aberdeen went on a miserable run of form. Winning just one game in eight games – which included seven defeats, one of which included an embarrassing hammering at Tynecastle, losing 5-0 to Hearts.
But their Scottish Cup exit to the hands of part-time team Darvel FC forced club chairman Dave Cormack into making a statement on Goodwin’s future.
Cormack demanded an “immediate response” from the manager and players. However, this weekend he got the opposite as Aberdeen was on the end of another hammering in Edinburgh. This time at Easter Road in a 6-0 defeat.
Dave Cormack wasted no time in sacking Jim Goodwin after the defeat. And the bookmakers wasted no time pulling a list of favourites to be the next manager on the Pittodrie hot seat.
Paul Lambert – 6/4
Odds on to be the new Aberdeen Manager
The former Celtic player hasn’t managed a Scottish team since his first managerial job at Livingston back in 2006.
This was a complete shambles and largely contributed to Livingston’s relegation that season. Since then Lambert has managed numerous English teams ranging from League 2 to the Premier League.
Most notable was his turbulent tenure at Aston Villa – when the club was put up for sale. He was also the manager at Stoke City for just four months before the club was relegated from the Premier League.
More recently, Lambert was in charge of Ipswich Town FC. However, he and the club parted ways in February 2021 after inconsistent form.
The Aberdeen board would at least expect Paul Lambert to keep the team in a mid-table position. It would be a good opportunity for him to rebuild his career without having too many unrealistic goals.
Lambert is the early favourite – with a return to Scottish football looking to be on the cards.
Jack Ross – 11/2
Second favourite for Aberdeen Manager
Aberdeen fans were no doubt laughing watching Jack Ross coach their rivals Dundee United into the relegation zone. But the fact remains – he has the experience and resume to be the second favourite to take the hot seat in Pittodrie.
His most recent managerial tenure was tough to watch. He guided Dundee United to 7-0 and 9-0 defeats against AZ Alkmaar and Celtic, respectively. He also had only one league win in nine games with the Tangerine side before being sacked in August. His side managed only two goals but conceded 18 during his time at the club.
But before his Dundee United meltdown, he had periods of success at other clubs.
He had good spells with Alloa Athletic and St Mirren and won the PFA Manager of the Year for the 2016-17 season while with the Saints.
Jack Ross led Hibernian to the Scottish Cup final in 2021 but suffered defeat to St Johnstone and was sacked the following season.
His name might not be the hottest commodity in Scottish football just now. But his resume still has plenty to show for his ability to manage.
Another Celtic legend has his name in the frame for the Aberdeen managers job.
Neil Lennon spent most of last year in Cyprus with first-division side Omonia Nicosia. Despite having good showings in the UEFA Europa League against Manchester United and Real Sociedad, his failure in the domestic league led to his sacking in October.
Lennon claimed that after his Omonia exit, he received offers to return to Scottish football. However, he may have been waiting for the right job to appear before returning to the top flight of Scottish football.
Derek Adams started his playing career at Pittodrie. However, he never made an appearance for Aberdeen.
If he were to return to the Granite City as Aberdeen’s manager, it would end his nine-year absence from Scottish football.
Derek Adams is the first name on this list that is still currently employed. He is presently managing Morecambe FC, who sit 21st in the English League One and are battling relegation again, with just 24 points from 26 games.
Morecambe is also in a bit of turmoil, as the football club was put up for sale late last year. And Adams has expressed “worry” over the club’s future.
The Aberdeen hot seat could give the 47-year-old Scotsman a way out of the struggling club and an opportunity to start afresh back in Scotland.
Darren Fletcher – 12/1
Outsider as the next Aberdeen boss
Current Manchester United Technical Director Darren Fletcher is being linked to the Aberdeen job yet again after being in the picture before the appointment of Stephen Glass.
Since the 38-year-olds playing career ended, Fletcher managed the Manchester United under 16’s squad before being promoted to the first-team coach. However, he has expressed a desire to move into a managerial role for some years.
The Aberdeen position would be an interesting beginning for a young manager. They are consistently considered one of the top teams in the Scottish Premiership, and they have a squad more than capable of pushing for European football next season.
With the same odds as Darren Fletcher, David Martindale feels like a long outsider. He is currently overachieving at Livingston FC, and they are sitting one place above Aberdeen in fourth.
He has managed over 100 games for Livi and has won 40 games for the club. He won Manager of the Month in November 2022 and is continuing his success with the side.
Martindale is receiving plenty of praise for his management of Livingston. Leaving the club at this time in favour of Aberdeen would be a dangerous and bold move for the 48-year-old.
New Aberdeen Manager Prediction
Jim Goodwin left the Aberdeen board of directors with no choice but to pull the trigger on his contract and stop the bleeding.
Whoever ends up with the new job has a decent position to work from. Despite being out of the Scottish Cup, they sit seventh, just two points off fourth in the Scottish Premiership, with a squad more than capable of keeping that position and pushing for European football.
David Martindale would be an exceptional hire to replace Jim Goodwin. But luring him away from his current Livingston success would be tough. And Darren Fletcher may also need convincing to leave a club of Manchester United’s stature to risk it all in a managerial position.
It looks like Paul Lambert is being shoed in as Goodwin’s successor. The 53-year-old needs a career revival, having been sacked by four of his last five clubs, and the position Aberdeen is in could give him that opportunity.