And so, the search begins for a new manager at Aberdeen.

The pressure is very much on Dave Cormack to get this one right after two consecutive dugout appointments in less than two years. Jim Goodwin’s tenure was mercifully brought to an end following Saturday’s 6-0 demolition at Hibs, just days after Scottish Cup humiliation against sixth-tier Darvel.

Goodwin, a relative success at St Mirren, was considered a safer pair of hands than his predecessor, Stephen Glass, given his wealth of Scottish football experience. However, despite significant transfer outlay, the football was uninspiring and Goodwin toiled to address the fundamental issues which also cost Glass his job.

With fan frustration festering, Cormack really cannot afford to choose the wrong man again. Supporters are demanding an ambitious appointment, and expectation is high for the ‘football monitoring board’ to land on an inspired choice.

With various names being bandied around, and without touting anyone in particular (a dangerous game), we take an alternative look at how a select few fit into those familiar managerial archetypes which leave supporters either dreaming or dreading a new era for their club.


Chris Wilder

The former Sheffield United manager has been a free agent since a hugely disappointing spell at Middlesbrough was brought to an end back in October. However, Wilder’s stock remains high from his transformative work at Bramall Lane.

He took United from the depths of League One all the way to the Premier League, winning LMA Manager of the Year in 2019 and guiding the club to a hugely impressive ninth-placed finish on their return to the top-flight.

It may not have worked out at Boro, but Wilder has proven he can get a team punching above its weight and reports have indicated he would be willing to speak to Aberdeen, if they were interested. However, the important detail that he is unlikely to apply for it off his own back suggests he might have that conversation primarily out of curiosity over a burning desire to head north.

In that case, it would be very much up to Aberdeen to convince Wilder, in monetary terms or otherwise, that Pittodrie is the place for him.


Barry Robson

There’s always the possibility the current interim manager does an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and makes the job his own with a stunning run of form and results. Robson is clearly highly valued at Pittodrie and will not be entirely discounted from the running if he shows promise as caretaker.

READ MORE: Aberdeen caretaker boss Robson brings Agnew on to coaching staff

Promoting from within the club makes him the most cost-effective option, given the Dons have now paid off two managers in less than a year. It would also eliminate the need to pay compensation to prise an in-work boss away from another club.

Without being disrespectful to Robson, however, unless he pulls off something spectacular in the next few weeks, he is unlikely to be a choice which excites fans. Having got the last two wrong, there is a demand for the club to be ambitious with their next appointment, so opting for an in-house hire would likely be a gamble Cormack cannot to take.


Marti Cifuentes

The current Hammarby manager’s name is cropping up among fans who would like Aberdeen to look abroad in search of Goodwin’s successor. An increasingly prevalent trend when a Premiership vacancy opens up, there’s a sense supporters have grown weary of the same names being linked with their club over and over – you could almost predict who would make the bookies’ list before Goodwin had even been relieved of his duties.

Cifuentes’ work in Sweden has turned some heads, taking them to a domestic cup final and capturing third in his first season – a marked improvement on the fifth and eighth placed finishes which preceded his arrival.

His team averaged over two goals per game and less than one conceded, winning plaudits for a progressive, aesthetically pleasing style of football. Whether he is within Aberdeen’s reach is another matter, however. He was considered as replacement for Michael Beale at Queen’s Park Rangers back in December, and has been tipped for future roles in Spain and Germany.

But ambition is what fans are demanding from Cormack and his board, Cifuentes would certainly qualify as such.


Paul Lambert

Currently priced up at 6/1 with the bookies, the former Celtic captain has been around the block more than once on the managerial circuit. He has experience at nine clubs, including in the Premier League with Aston Villa.

His only job in Scottish football was his first, a brief stint in charge of Livingston back in 2005/6, with the rest of his career spent in England. He is, however, consistently linked with jobs in the Premiership and this latest vacancy opens up while Lambert is not currently in work.

His last job was a rather uninspiring one at Ipswich Town, during which he oversaw relegation to League One and a failure to seriously challenge for promotion back to the Championship. You might find Lambert gathers some support among pundits sharing vague claims about ‘being what the club needs’, but is unlikely to find much backing among the Pittodrie faithful.


Neil Lennon

Given how his second spell at Celtic spectacularly unravelled in its final season, Lennon’s managerial reputation took somewhat of a hit and, if social media is any reliable gauge the mere mention of his name is enough for some Aberdeen fans to switch off completely. The Northern Irishman last managed Omonia Nicosia in Cyprus, where he was rather surprisingly sacked after just eight months despite winning the Cypriot Cup and taking the club into the Europa League group stage.

READ MORE: Taking a back seat the best thing Dave Cormack can now do for Aberdeen

A free agent, Lennon would come with extensive experience of the Scottish game and an impressive trophy haul across his two tenures at Celtic Park. He also built an exciting side at Hibs, winning the Championship and leading them to European football.

However, it did end badly at Easter Road, with Lennon and the club’s hierarchy butting heads, which makes you wonder how he and Cormack would get on. Appointing Lennon would also likely be a hard sell to supporters seeking a more ‘outside the box’ option, hence his place as the wildcard and, probably, unlikely choice.