You Can't Teach The Old Firm New Tricks

SATURDAY sees Aberdeen's first meaningful fixture against half of the Old Firm at the top of the table for a number of years that I am too scared to calculate.

Victory for the Dons, the form team in the SPL, at Smelltic Park at the weekend would see the Oiro-Scots side's first defeat in fifteen games and their lead at the top over the Dons cut to ten points.

(Although this would certainly be reported as: "giving Rangers the chance to cut the lead at the top of the SPL to ten points" by the Weegia...)

Despite the Weegia's AFC-shaped blind spot, the old girls of Sauchiehall Street are nae so daft. If they smell North-East oil 'n granite on their petticoats, they dip into the old locker marked 'Press Releases: sheep destabilisation'.

Most famously, this was done by the Orange side of the Glasgow divide in the 1990s. A quick rummage around in the locker would often reveal a 'hint' to the Weegia that Eoin Jess was on the Minted Murray shopping list.

Despite the fact that Dons-Buns games had become far less bloodthirsty than in the Seventies and Eighties, Rangers liked to ensure their superiority over their Northern foes with a bit of media manipulation. It now appears that their similarly gruesome cousins have been lent the locker key.

Since Jess departed from Pittodrie, there has been no similar story to replace the never-remotely-true Jess-to-Mordor yarn, until recent awareness of Dons captain Russell Anderson's supreme performances over the last four years trickled Clydewards.

First there has been a campaign motivated from a certain Orc messageboard that has been gleefully amplified by Radio Clyde to get the unwashed to bring Anderson in to Paul Legume's vegetable bowl.

Showing traditional originality, Theltic have briefly nabbed this 'story', and today's Star newspaper (in the loosest possible sense of the word) claims that Celtic wish to relieve us of our captain for £600,000.

Just to ensure that insult is piled, the Darkheiders have slapped a £1m price tag on Stephen Pearson, who is apparently a footballer, although his presence on Scottish pitches has been as infrequent and harrowing as a male streaker.

Of course, it would be cynical to suggest that this was part of a campaign to undermine and destabilise the Dons' captain and star player in the build-up to a top-of-the-table clash...wouldn't it?

Anyway, the tactic didn't work in the past - Jess has a fine scoring record against Rangers - and it is unlikely to work on this occasion, as Anderson is an intelligent professional that will not take the poorly chosen bait.

In fact, get your money on Russell for first scorer.