Saving Scottish Football 2021


Sep 15, 2009
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Saving Scottish Football 2021

For a small country in Britain Scottish Football through the years has had its success stories in Europe.

European Cup - Winners 1967
- Runner ups 1970

Uefa Cup - Runner Ups 2003

Cup Winners Cup - Winners 1983
European Super Cup - Winners 1983

Europa League Runner Ups - 2008

Cup Winners Cup - Winners 1972
- Runner Ups 1961,1967,

Dundee Utd
Uefa Cup - Runner Up's - 1987

However, the current state of our national game is an utter mess and i for one am sick of it and if nobody else is going to fix it then I WILL.

So here's what I'm going to do!

I'm going to have a journeyman game of sorts. I'm only limiting myself to playing as SPL sides where i will them up to hopefully build them up a club at a time into teams that can fight for major European honers and in the extremely long run make the SPL one of the best leagues in the world meanwhile build Scotlands national team into one of the best in the world.

So I wonder which team will we start with?
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I guess there's no other choice. I considered Celtic as the strongest club it would be the easiest start but if I can get Aberdeen past and beyond them, they will eventually sack their manager and i can take over then. As with tradition, i will be avoiding Rangers probably although I have a 100% record of ending up there so don't take that as gospel.

Current Side
This Aberdeen team seems to be on the crest of a wave with their best squad in years. I will be forced to clear out some of the older players like McGinn and Considine to fund our next generation of players. Some are already in the u18s which looks stronger than I can ever remember from day 1.
Losing and not replacing McKenna is my main concern. Cosgrove, McCrorie, and Ferguson giving the base of the squad a very solid look.

What we must improve

Continental standings
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The SPL is 14th. Worse off than Ukraine, Austria, and Denmarks top division

National Coefficients
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In real life, Scotland has been resurgent with Rangers & Celtic in the group phases of the Europa League. Aberdeen need to join then in 2020

Coefficients Qualification places
The top 10 and the Automatic Champions League spot is our first target

Scotland National Team

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If we're going to sort the whole game out we need to take charge of the national team too.

The best of the current squad is set for the next 4 years
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Invitations to play for Scotland will repeatably be going out to Harvey Barnes, Che Adams, Kerlan Grant, Karamouko Dembele, and Angus Gunn.
Ryan Fredricks was the first to accept a spot in the squad followed by Villa keeper Jed Steer

This is the one and only time i expect to see Scotland out of the top 50.
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SeasonTeamLeagueScottish CupScottish League CupEuropeSco Coefficient PlaceSco Coefficient PointsScotland SeasonScottish National Ranking
2020/21Aberdeen2ndQuarter FinalsQuarter FinalsEuropa Qualifiers13th, up130,250Did not Qualify Euro 202045th up7
2021/22Aberdeen3rdFinal2nd RoundEuropa League last 3213th =32,925Did not Qualify for World Cup 202049th down 4
2022/23Aberdeen2nd5th RoundSemi FinalEuropa League Quarter Final9th, Up 435,822Did not Qualify for Euro 202445th Up 2
2023/24AberdeenWinnerRunner UpWinnerEuropa League Last 1610th, Down 137,222
Did not Qualify for Euro 2024
45th =
2024/25AberdeenWinner (2)4th RoundRunner UpChampions League Q/F9th Up 142,375Won Euro NationsGroup B40th
2025/26AberdeenWinner (3)Semi FinalsWinner (2)Europa League Q/F8th, Up149,700World Cup 2nd Round40th=
2026/27Hearts3rdRunner UpsRunner UpsEuropa League Last 166th, Up 250,800Euro Nations Group A 2nd22nd
2027/28Hibs2ndQuarter FinalsQuarter FinalsEuropa League Last 166TH =57,000Euro 2028 Group Phase23rd Down 1
2028/29HibsWinner (4)Semi FinalSemi FinalChampions League Group6th=58.650France Euro QualifiersN/A
2029/30HibsWinners (5)WinnersSemi FinalsChampions League Last 167th Down 156,167France World Cup WinN/A
2030/31HibsWinner (6)Winner (2)Winner (3)Champions League Last 167th =52,324France Qualify for World CupN/A
2031/32HibsWinner (7)Semi FinalsWinner (4)Champions League last 167th =60,424France Euro WinnersN/A
2032/33Dundee Utd2nd2nd Round4th ROundEuropa League Last 167th=61,324N/AN/A
2033/34Dundee UtdWinner (8)Winner (3)Quarter FinalsChampions League Last 166th +165.274N/AN/A
2034/35Dundee UtdWinner (9)Semi FInalsQuarter FinalsChampions League Runner Up6th =73,620N/AN/A
2035/36Dundee UtdWinner (10)Winner (4)Winner (5)Champions League Last 164th +279,050N/AN/A
2036/37Dundee Utd / Aberdeen4thRunner UpsWinner (6)Champions League Last 166th Down 271.821NANA
2037/38AberdeenWinner (11)Quarter FinalsQuarter FinalsEuropa League Last 166th =70,321NANA
2038/39AberdeenWinner (12)Semi FinalWinner (7)Champions League Last 166th =70,321NANA
2039/40AberdeenWinner (13)Semi Final2nd RoundChampions League Runner Ups5th+166,571NANA
2040/41Dundee9thSemi FinalNANA6th -166,821NANA
2041/42Dundee3rdSemi FinalWinners (8)NA6th =68,000NANA
2042/43Dundee5th5th Round2nd RoundEuropa League Q/F6th =69,500NANA
2043/44Dundee4th4th RoundQuarter FinalsEuropa League Q/F6th =72.250NANA
2044/45DundeeWinner (14)4th RoundQuarter FinalsEuropa League Winner5th +171,750NANA
2045/46DundeeWinner (15)Semi FinalWInner (9)Europa League Runner Up5th =76,500
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Could you start a season any better than beating the Rangers? Connor McLennnan taking his chance with injuries all over the place to score the winning goals. Hamilton Was thrashed but 2 goals over the two-game would be about right. Reality then slapped us down hard at Parkhead where Celtic ran over us. Wins over struggling St Johnstone & Livingston made for a great start even with a draw at Hibs in who looks like being our biggest rivals for 3rd in the early going

SPL Table

Celtic lead after shocking no one with their perfect start. We are tied with Rangers with Livingston next up, Struggling I'm sure someone said!

Europa League
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Slavia Sofia 3-4 Aberdeen thank goodness Matty Kennedy realized this game was a 1 legged tie. From 3-1 down the Northern Ireland wingers score a hattrick to single handily make us avoid humiliation.


This has not gone to plan at all.

Donis Avdijaj - ATT
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It wasn't that long ago this guy was one of Schalke's best under 19 prospects. After a few seasons in Holland, Turkey, and 3 games at Hearts, last season he joins as my 4th/Emergency striker in case i cant extend Marley Watkins Loan.

I had hoped to do so much more but the money coming in for players combined with the interest from the players starting as free's in the game has been at a all-time low. I'll be having a mega search for the rest of September to try and get a few more pieces in.

If you're worth money, over 31 or not getting a game then get to **** out of here! McGinn, Logan & Cerny would have played games for us but this was the last chance to cash in on the 3 older players in the squad. Funso Ojo & Mark Gallagher was not going to be playing so getting them off the wage bill is an achievement.

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A mixed bag on my international debut we lost in the Czech Republic. I beat them 6-1 in my Scotland only save. Hmph. I was therefore stunned to thrash Romania at Hampden. The big Playoffs begin next month. Any chance we can repeat real life?​



On the face of it it was an awful month dropping points in the league from winning positions twice. We rallied to beat Ross County and in one of the more amazing wins at home to St Mirren which went to 1-1 when we went down to 9 men and the unlikely Kevin Hanratty from the u19s came on with an unlikely double

SPL Table

Rangers have a worse month than us opening the door to 2nd place. Hibs take on my prediction and move into 4th. Like real-life neither of the Saints makes a good start.

Europa League
Aberdeen 1-3 Cracovia

The Poles were the better team for virtually the whole game and non of my usual tricks could slow them down. A shame as i was relying on group stage money. Getting outclassed here is a stark reminder that this won't be a walkover in FM21.

Transfer Window

We finally make a big move in the transfer market as well as getting some depth on board.

Stuart Findlay - DC £525k
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This is a great move in the long and short term. Only noticed he was transfer-listed as i went to pick may Scotland Squad for the next international break. He is immediately our best center back and will form an amazing combination with Tommy Hoban.

Richard Nartley will be a backup. George Bello is a pure depth addition with no wages or fee going to our affiliated friends in Atlanta.
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Sad news on the departure side as long term player Andy Considine and future star Scott Wright are sold. Considine is 33 while Wright as usual was not working out for me on the wing. Worried its Udinese that bought him but he was never going to get a game.

SPL Transfers
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Both Old Firm sides sell a CB but that's about it.​



This felt like the month we turned the corner but as soon as we felt that we had a letdown performance. Beat St Mirren then almost let a 3 goal lead slip to lose at Dundee Utd. WE then dominated champions and leader Celtic to become a legit title challenger and then went down to Hamilton and dropped 2 or the points we earned instantly.

SPL Table

The draws are all that's keeping us off top spot, that and Celtics game in hand. The rest of the top 6 are just waiting in the wings.

Player of the month
Tommy Hoban

The man has had unlimited injury problems through his career but when fit he is one of the best in the SPL.


Two wins at home put the group in our hands. If we can got to Romania and get a result we'll just need a draw at hopeless Bulgaria to League A where the likes of Spain, France, and England will slaughter us.​
Love your Scottish saves, I always do 1 or 2 myself. This year going to be Dunfermline. What formation/tactics do you use?
Love your Scottish saves, I always do 1 or 2 myself. This year going to be Dunfermline. What formation/tactics do you use?

I'm using the same tactic as last season a 4-4-2. It seems to work alright but has flaws. Will experiment with tactics more once the fun of having new game wears off.
I'm already in 2022 with my dandies, transfers are incredibly difficult unless you;re buying in Britain until you get a bit of cash flow...

Every time i touch my laptop is says your playing FM21! How are you getting on?

Yeah, i found that in the summer and with January looming its looking hard to see where my 60k will get me.
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Only 3 games but our best month of the season so far beating expected rivals Hibs 3-0 after a tense 75 minute stalemate. We then went to our current positional rivals Rangers looking to get revenge at Ibrox and they got no such thing as we walked to a 2-0 win. The League cup then kicked off right at the end of November and a weakened team had to fight from behind to reach the Quarter Finals.

SPL Table

The SPL is a two-horse race. No shock there however Rangers are falling to pieces and it's the mighty Aberdeen right on Celtic's tail. Will the board find any money for me in January. Will it be enough to spend on anyone? Probably no on both counts. St Mirren looking detached at the bottom.

Player of the Month
Jonny Hayes

Great to have Jonny back at Pittodrie He's been very productive considering he's played left-back more than left-wing so far.


It was in our hand until it wasn't. We fall short of promotion to League A which may be a blessing in disguise. All eyes move to World Cup qualifying in 2021 since we missed Euro 2020 in 2021 which based on real life means i fell well short of that expectation.​
Every time i touch my laptop is says your playing FM21! How are you getting on?

Yeah, i found that in the summer and with January looming its looking hard to see where my 60k will get me.

Furlough is a **** of a thing.. lol

I'm season 4 now and won the league three on the bounce and made a very unlikely Champions League Quarter final

I've found this FM to be much more enjoyable than last year so do not regret the 60 ish hours I've already plugged into the game :)



What a mess of a month that came out of nowhere. Ross County was a lone bright spot where we lost 3.4 SPL games all without scoring. Weirdly in two of our 3 wins, we scored 4 and 5 goals. Needless to say, we lost to Hamilton in the League cup too so hopes of that trophy are dead for the season.

SPL Table

So the title challenge is over. What an idiot i was for proclaiming us challengers last month. We still have Rangers and Killie at arm's length but we need to start winning again to stay in 2nd.

Player of the month
Greg Leigh

He was due to leave in January but we've tied him up for this and the next two seasons unless someone wants to pay to take him away.

Scotland World Cup Draw
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Spain and Switzerland are the teams we'll need to beat to reach Qatar 2022. Still can't believe that corrupt cup is taking place. This should have been group S!

OH ****!

And that's it for now. I've been stuck on a bug where i cant register players after January 1st for the last few days so until i get told of a way around the January 1st Bug there will be no more updates.


Couldn't fix the problem so i went into the Dundee Utd with almost exclusively u19s. And despite Yaya Tourein tow, we beat Dundee Utd handsomely
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We start 2021 on utter fire with 5 wins in the SPL including a win over Rangers that put them 9 points back. On a high from the Rangers game, we won the next 3 league games by 3 goals. A nice run of Fixtures coming in February

SPL Table

The gap at the top is down to only 6 points and the goal-fest had even helped close that gap. This better not be false hope! Rangers and Stevie G are in big trouble holding off Kilmarnock for 3rd who have Brophy destroying the league with 20 goals already.

Transfer Window
We did nothing. WE had 60k and 3k in wages which i decided to save for the summer with nothing too interesting out there.​



The amazing start to 2021 rolls on. Livingston and Hibs were both tough fights despite the 2-0 wins it was late goals that won the day. I rested a few starters to start the 3 u19s that have been coming off the bench and by god they put on a show in the Cup. Celtic twice back to back in March will be massive. Don't know why it says SPL for the match on the 13th as that's a Scottish Cup game.

SPL Table

Oh its on! We've played a game more but its only 2 points splitting us in the title race. Who's worried that we'll get to the Celtic games and in 3 days our season will collapse.

Player of the Month
Sam Cosgrove

Now over the pre-season injury that kept him out for the first 3 months, he's been scoring almost a goal a game. MY plan was to get the value up and sell him for multi-millions in the summer but only £1.2m! get out!

League Cup Final
Celtic 2-5 Rangers
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Wow! What is going on at Parkhead! Let the collapse continue into March!​



3 Days in Glasgow all but ended our trophy hunt. A big win against Hamilton and twice coming back to beat Dundee Utd were the high points in a very disappointing month.

The cup tie was dead down the middle with Celtic resting more players than we did for Monday's game and disappointingly we lost to a stunning free-kick from Jeremie Frimpong
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If you think that's bad then check this out! Celtic back to full power-managed 4 shots on target. They all went in. Edouard probably decided the league with these goals then the winner against Rangers the following weekend.
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SPL Table

8 points and a goal difference to conquer. We need a miracle. The better news is Rangers offering no competition and the 13 point gap to them should secure the champions league qualifying place. Hibs just miss out on a thrilling race for the top 6/ Speaking of thrilling look at the bottom 5.

Player of the Month
Calvin Ramsay
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Forget Hernandez this is my starting Right Back now. Calvin has come on better than any 1st season Dons u19 player i can ever remember and is my lockdown starter for the DR job when he's fit.

FAR BETTER news from the national side.

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The world cup qualifiers are underway and we started off with two comfortable wins against Lithuania & Belarus. Things then got crazy

Scotland 4-0 Spain

My greatest 14 minutes ever? Definitely, Oli McBurnie who at times looks like he may never score 4 goals in the rest of his life. Can we qualify for the world cup?? You mean how easily will we win the whole thing?

Championship Run In

If we're going to somehow turn this around we will need to go to Ibrox and Parkhead and win.

Its a 6 point swing so the Old Firm derby will need to go our way too
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Match 34
Aberdeen 2-0 Kilmarnock
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We did our job and got the win. The big story was at Ibrox where after twice losing the lead Rangers scored twice at the end to drop a huge defeat on their greatest rivals. All that means the gap is suddenly only 3 points and 5 goals.

Match 35
Rangers 2-2 Aberdeen
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We lost Hedges and Findley in the build up to the game and spent most of the match losing as Celtic led Hibs. Our season may have been saved by Dylan McGeouch who grabbed us a pivotal point. and move on.

Match 36
Aberdeen 2-0 Hibs
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We had massive hope for almost a whole minute in the title race as Motherwell took the lead at Parkhead. We did our bit and now the maths gets simple. We MUST win at Parkhead or Celtic will do 10 in a row. Going deeper we only need to win by 1 goal to have a shot as Celtic would need to at best draw on the final day to give us any chance.

Match 37
Celtic 1-1 Aberdeen
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The Champions hold on to retain their title but Aberdeen put in a strong and brave performance. At the other end, Dundee Utd was relegated. If i have the cash it may be time to bring Shankland home!

Match 38
Motherwell 0-0 Aberdeen
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I gave some fringe players a run out. The steam was clearly out of us after the Celtic game as minds started moving towards next season.

Scottish Cup Final
Celtic 4-0 Rangers
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No Treble this year but I'm sure the 10 in a row makes up for it with a double.​

Season 1 Review

Aberdeen Squad
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The defense was awesome. All the first team starters over 7 on average rating. Calvin Ramsey our child DR was almost there himself. The rest somehow didn't rank as anything special except Sam Cosgrove who's 20 goals got him a 7.07 you don't see him as Milwall put in a £4.4m bid to take him off our hands and the number of players that could bring to the club makes this a no brainer.

My Player of the Year
Tommie Hoban
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He was a rock at CB for the whole season he was our stand out player always at the top for rating. His value has soared to £6m so a bid anywhere near that would see him leave.

SPL Table
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Celtic were too strong for us almost every time we went head to head and that was all that was between us and a title in our first season. Rangers were in no man's land miles off the top 2 and 13 clear of Motherwell. Kilmarnock grabbed the final European spot thanks to Celtic doing the double. Dundee Utd goes down in their first season. A shame as our closest rivals and a team that was not the worst we faced. No surprise that Hearts take their place as Championship winners.

Rangers will try again without Stevie G. Does the G stand for GONE!
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St Johnstone 4-1 Ayr United

Bruce Anderson couldn't stop the Premiership side easily keeping their top flight status intact.

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Scotland are up 1 spot to 13th in Europe​

Aberdeen Season 2
Pre Season 2021/22

Season Targets

SPL - Title Challenge
Scottish Cup - Win a trophy
League Cup - ^

Champions League - Europa League Group phase

Summer News
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Rangers get their new manager moving on from a Liverpool cup winning legend to a Man Utd cup winning legend.

Pre Season Prices

Celtic are odds on and deserve to be but 50/1 for Aberdeen. I'd be betting the farm on that!

Transfer Window
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Not great for the SPL this Brexit. FM was not taken into consideration and it makes the saves far less enjoyable with transfer massively restricted

Aberdeen Transfers
Two players join from the old firm and we raid Manchester for loans with champions league ambitions very much alive


Ross McCrorie - MC
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The deal is in place in real life and is great business by the dons that i benefit from.

Leigh Griffiths - Att
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My favorite Scottish forward was sitting on the transfer list and despite being on their tails in a title battle at the time they accepted our offer of just under £1m for a player i think can score 30 goals for us next season. He'll play a big part in Hanratty & Rodgers development to the first team.

Amari Bell - DL
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I'll admit I've never heard of him in my life but the former Blackburn wing-back was sitting on a free after my first round of free offers for players were roundly rejected by work permits i needed to strike. He and Greig Leigh will fight it out for the wing-back role one will be sold in 12 months with a custom built youngster already bought for the long term role.

Three youths join with Harper from Inverness and McGeouch from County being joined by Mason Rodgers from Australia of all places. He holds an English passport so that's one way to get around these ridiculous work permit rules.

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I lost my temper and discipline. Kind of. With a month of the window gone i was in for over 100 u19 transfers and they all ended the say way. Counteroffer of £5m+ or work permit failed. This save is going to be harder than ever especially if my youth prospects are as poor as they usually are. So with the Champions League an actual prospect and if not that Europa Leauge group phase insight i decided to spend my money budgeted for up to 6 u19 players on loaning the two best players for my two biggest holes in the team.
Man Utd's best prospect at center back Teden Mengi will battle with Hoban for the DC spot alongside Findlay. Partick Robert will be my starting winger. Shame for Hedges who didn't do anything drastically wrong but with no depth, he can play on either wing.

We've already talked about the £4.4m that Sam Cosgrove brought in. His replacement in Griffiths was on his way after getting transfer-listed by Celtic for pennies, a move that may cost them the title in my opinion. Jonny Hayes was in his last season so i cut his wages off the bill with a few thousand coming back for him too. Mikey Devlin, Ronald Hernandez and Bruce Anderson were not going to break into the first team so were moved on. Regret selling Devlin who would have been fine for a 4th choice CB but i expected to get some form of youths. If not him Ash Taylor may have been the play but he also left for free.

Aberdeen Squad

Griffiths & Rodgers joining the progressing McCrorie give us 4-star starters with a stronger starting 11 and more depth than last year with the hope of European football past August.


We have six 5* prospects which basically makes them at best better than our best current players. Shame most of them are MC's where i have 23 year old McCrorie and 21 year old Ferguson starting ahead of 20 year old Campbell.

Champions League Qualifiers 2nd round
Galatasaray 1-1 Aberdeen.
Aberdeen win on away goals
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This was the result that moved me into win now and spend £1.6m on loans We get Viktoria Plzen in the next round and if we win that it's just Porto or Lyon between us and the Champions League group phase. Even if we lose that game we'll get Europa League group football i assume.




After a great start in the league we had a flat spell between European games scrapping for a point at Motherwell before a shambolic defeat at home to Hearts in the League Cup. WE won out against Kilmarnock and Hibs to end the month top despite losing Hoban, McCrorie, Leigh, Roberts and Griffiths for more than a game. Mcrorie is out for at least 3 months.

SPL Table

Were tied with Celtic and like Rangers dropped points early on.


Champions League Qualifier

Viktoria Plzen 2-1 Aberdeen
Viktoria win 4-3 on AGG

We made it look closer than we deserved. Too defensive in the 1st leg seen us have to fight from behind to draw 2-2. In the 2nd leg, we were scuppered as soon as Findlay was sent off in the 19th minute. I gave up, perhaps too early with putting in youngsters and one of them Mason Rodgers got us within a goal but the better team went through and we got a Europa League spot.

Europa League Group Draw
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If we get one point from Group B it will be a miracle.

Transfer Window

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With Europa League group money we were afforded the luxury of spending £65k on a center back. Sounds rough however it's former Bayern and Celtic wonderkid Liam Morrison who's signed up for 5 years. Makes the Mengi loan a bit pointless but CB depth with all the injuries so far i don't dare cancel it. Rangers ended up spending £31m and Celtic £20m but both made a profit overall.​



Returning from international duty for a trip to Ibrox just to find Rangers are serious this year. They beat us without much issues. At least the two Saints put up less resistance

SPL Table

Rangers have a game in hand but that aside from that it's so tight at the top that we are only 1 goal off being top of the table. The old firm derby kick off October

Europa League

WE GOT OUR POINT! We went to Germany and a tie with Germans Bayern Leverkusen may be our sole highlight of the group phase as Everton immediately brought us down to earth.


Our second major challenge arrived from Switzerland and we saw them off too, helped by Granit Xhaka's insane rage were in a great spot to qualify, with trips to Spain and the Swiss later on in the year this is by no means over.​



Our first perfect month of the season highlighted with a 4-2 win at Parkhead. We took the lead and had barely settled in to sit back when our usual downfall Odsonne Edouard got sent off making it a far easier task than expected.

SPL Table

Celtic won the old firm match but Rangers won their game in hand to join us at the top but despite our scoring, they have gone banana's in front of goal

Europa League

We got our point in Germany and went miles beyond expectation to beat Dutch giants PSV 3-2 after twice coming from behind Leigh Griffiths was slumming it at the back post just waiting to nod the winner in after a nervous 8 minutes of extra time. The return leg is massive with 3rd place enough to reach the last 32. Surely not?


Why does this feel just like 2008 when we got ourselves into a great position at the top of a tough group doing spectacularly well in our tough games then throwing in a way with a dismal performance against a former Soviet state. At Hampden non the less we twice had to come from behind to rescue a point. Spain and Switzerland at least had the dignity to draw although i don't know if that helps or hinders us with back to back games to our biggest rivals set to decide the group before a final day massacre of San Marino likely awaits.​