The frustration Aberdeen fans must feel at times is soul destroying. One minute you’re being beaten at home by Hamilton, the next you’re securing a Scottish Cup semi-final spot with a win against Rangers at Ibrox.
Consistency has been something the Dons have struggled for in 2019. Great away form has contrasted with absolutely terrible home form, with the Dons failing to register a league win at home so far this year.
Their impressive away form was halted at the weekend, with Uche Ikpeazu inspiring Hearts to a 2-1 victory over Derek McInnes’ men. They now sit two points behind Kilmarnock in the race for European football, with Hearts and Hibs also breathing down their necks.
They face a crucial home fixture against Motherwell on Wednesday and the Steelmen will pose a challenge for the Dons, having lost four times to the Steelmen over the past two seasons.
It would be a bold move, but McInnes should think about dropping his top scorer Sam Cosgrove for this fixture. The striker has netted just one goal in six games and his involvement may just aid the Steelmen.
Cosgrove has been a decent focal point for the Dons. Long balls to the striker have worked in the past, with the striker going through a ruthless streak of goals with this tactic in December.
In the last month though it hasn’t been quite as effective, with teams seemingly sussing out how to deal with this. He was nullified against John Souttar with this tactic at the weekend, proving once again it’s not as effective as it once was.
Take this style of play away and Cosgrove hasn’t got much to lean on. He offers very little to the team other than goals. That’s great if he is scoring, but it becomes a nightmare if he can’t find the net.
Going up against Motherwell’s Charles Dunne and Tom Aldred will give McInnes a sense of déjà vu. Long balls up to Cosgrove will result in Aldred winning the header and the pacey Dunne will collect the scraps and clear should Cosgrove get anything on it.
It’s very one dimensional. The best way to play against the Well is by playing it on the deck. That won’t happen with the former Carlisle striker up top.
McInnes should go for Greg Stewart through the middle in a false nine role. He’s been used on the wing so far by the Aberdeen boss which isn’t his natural position. He thrives in the centre, where he can provide goals and create chances.
He played a similar role at Killie and he scored eight goals in 16 games. The Aberdeen boss should tap into this potential and give him a starting berth against the Steelmen in this role.
The best way to play against Motherwell is to play through them. Lumping balls to Cosgrove won’t work against a physical Well defence. Long ball will play into their hands, so the Dons should opt for Stewart through the middle and aim to play it on the ground instead of the air against the Fir Park side.