I’ll be honest, I have no idea what to expect on Tuesday night when Queen of the South visit Tannadice. The loss to Livingston felt like more than just a sore defeat. It was the realisation that not only are we nowhere near the standard required to lift the Championship title, we are also now in serious danger of even securing a decent playoff spot. The manner in which United have approached recent games has resulted in fans beginning to turn their back on the team and I will predict by far and away the lowest league crowd of the season on Tuesday. Supporters don’t have to spend their time and money on going to see their team and at the moment the ‘product’ being served up on the park is terrible. Add to that the atmosphere surrounding the club, further poisoned by the sale of Gussie Park late in the week, and you cannot begrudge any fan who decides that they might rather stay in house on Tuesday night (and again on Friday). In my opinion we have hit very damaging tipping point and I fully expect season ticket numbers for next year to be very, very low unless, if by some miracle, the club manages to turn things around.
At team level questions are now being asked of Csaba Laszlo. Despite an early boost when he arrived in November we have become a pretty sorry excuse of a football team. Strange selections and tactics have led to some early calls for yet another change in manager. Yes we have been hampered by injuries but even the basic elements of a decent side are missing. We lack energy and purpose. We have no fluidity to our play and we are far too predictable. It is also pretty evident that psychologically the team are incredibly weak. The game against Livingston was the perfect comparison of two sides who, at the moment, are at the opposite ends of the footballing spectrum.
Moving on to the match itself we are facing a Queen of the South team who have also been quite patchy since Christmas. Despite having the league’s best player, Stephen Dobbie, they have stuttered in the league recently and on paper United should be looking to capitalise on that. From an outsiders point of view this fixture is quite intriguing with two teams short on confidence facing each other in the midst of a busy schedule.
There hasn’t been much in the way of news regarding injuries for this one and apparently Laszlo was quite happy with what he saw on Friday night so I wouldn’t expect too many changes. Personally I am more than happy to draw a line under one or two who continue to disappoint and there are some fringe players who have not been given enough of a chance to impress. I would advocate a drastic tactical change to test out what we might be able to offer with different personnel and a different shape (plus we should just be going for it now) but I doubt Laszlo will switch from his preferred system.
My experimental team to face Queen of the South would be –
GK – Deniz Mehmet
CB – Mark Durnan
CB – Tam Scobbie
CB – William Edjenguele
RM – Matty Smith
CM – Sam Stanton
CM – Willo Flood
LM – Billy King
RF – Paul McMullan
ST – Thomas Mikkelsen
LF – Logan Chalmers
Subs – Harry Lewis, Cammy Ballantyne, Grant Gillespie, Scott McDonald, Paul Quinn, Emil Lyng, Idris Kadded.
Key Player – ???? – I don’t really know now to be honest. The most reliable players in the team are probably only Sam Stanton and maybe Mark Durnan. The rest have been inconsistent at best with some really letting themselves down. I suppose I might argue Matty Smith but only because it would be great to see one or two young players lift our spirits a little and show a bit of fight.