Walter Smiths celebrates delivering Rangers the Premiership title in 2010-11
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Another parallel between Aberdeen and Walter Smith’s Rangers

| 26.09.2015

Aberdeen are discovering that it is a thankless task being unlikely Ladbrokes Premiership pacesetters, with every week pitched as a fresh test of their 4/1-rated title-challenging mettle.

First it was essential that the Dons defeated Celtic to demonstrate the legitimacy of their contention. When they achieved that with ten men, they were told that what was more important was to maintain the standard in their next game, which they did to beat Hamilton 1-0.

Even now that they have won eight out of eight, there is an opportunity to claim that their bid isn’t the real deal because of the parallels to Hearts in 2005/06.

George Burley’s Jambos had people believing that they were going to halt 20 years of Old Firm dominance when they accumulated a faultless 24 points by this checkpoint, but a 2-2 draw at Falkirk ushered in a run of four wins in ten which soon became seven in 18.

Though the capital club went on to become the first team besides Celtic or Rangers to finish in the top two in 11 years that term, they did so 17 points adrift of eventual champions the Bhoys.

Aberdeen are 10/11 to avoid the trap that Hearts fell into and celebrate a ninth victory from nine Ladbrokes Premiership attempts against Inverness CT, an enticing price given that they overcame them four times last season when they seemed far more of a threat. Caley Thistle have fired four blanks in five 2015/16 home fixtures. CLICK HERE FOR FULL MATCH STATS.

If they do prevail again, they will equal Rangers as the best starters to a top-flight campaign since World War II. Nobody else before or after has touched the Gers’ 2010/11 mark of nine successive triumphs from kick-off. Oddly, it was Inverness CT who finally thwarted them that year in week 10.

Former Rangers captain and current Clyde boss Barry Ferguson recently claimed that Derek McInnes’ side remind him of a Walter Smith-era Gers squad and, while such comparisons probably fall flat at Pittodrie, their stance would surely soften if they replicated those 2010/11 nine-win openers.

The bluer of the Glasgow giants went on to lift the title that season with 93 points, the joint-second-highest haul of the past decade. Aberdeen, the floor is yours.

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Alex Fortune