Liam McLeod, BBC Sport Scotland
It’s been a concerning start to the season for Aberdeen.
Sunday’s insipid defeat to Hibernian ended a woeful seven days in which they exited the Europa League at the hands of Hacken in between two abject performances at St Mirren and at home to the Easter Road side.
Aberdeen have spent well into seven figures in the transfer market during the summer window on fees alone, yet they are just one goal away from being bottom of the Premiership going into the first international break of the season. Thirteen new signings have arrived and it can be difficult to integrate that hefty a number into a squad and expect it to hit the ground running.
The club were also left frustrated in their attempts to add midfield reinforcements as the transfer window closed.
Motherwell, with a fraction of the Dons’ budget, sit joint top having lost their goal machine Kevin van Veen in pre-season. The early fortunes of both sides are quite the contrast. St Mirren, Ross County, Dundee and Livingston have all made better starts on meagre rations in comparison to Aberdeen’s summer splurge.
And when Barry Robson sits down and peruses their upcoming early autumn schedule, he must fear the worst. His next two games are away to Hearts, where the Dons haven’t won in 10 visits, and 2022 Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt in their Conference League opener. Then comes a double-header with Ross County, including a trip to Dingwall in the League Cup quarter finals, before they go to Glasgow to take on Rangers.
The heat and tiredness were mentioned as mitigating circumstance in the wake of the 2-0 loss to Hibs, but the fact is both teams encountered an unusually hot day by the north sea and both had European games three days before, indeed Hibs were the team that travelled and they dealt with it.
Robson has been financially backed more than any other Aberdeen manager in the history of the club and he needs his team to gel. And fast.