I decided earlier in the week that I wouldn’t do too many ‘Match Review’ posts over the next few weeks and that I would stick to the ‘Previews’ instead. This is partly due to the fact that we have so many games coming up that it would be too much hassle but the main reason is that each match review reads the same as the last. No urgency on the ball, incredibly predictable ‘possession’, little fight in the team and no real sense of wanting to win. There is also the small matter of the fact that at the moment the current Dundee United team don’t really deserve my time. This seems to be the case for more and more fans as the crowd against Queen of the South almost dipped below the 4000 mark. Supporters are turning their back on this side and when fans become tired of the same old rubbish they take a lot of convincing to come back. In a week where the club announced their season ticket package for 2018/19 I certainly found myself sitting there on Tuesday night wondering how I could justify nearly £400 for another year of unsatisfactory football. The players, employees of the club, are not doing their job properly.
As we look ahead to the game against Dunfermline we could find ourselves down to 6th in the table by 4:50pm on Saturday. It would take a swing of a few goals and a surprising result or two but the fact that we are even within touching distance of 6th is simply not acceptable. If Dunfermline do beat us at the weekend then that is 1 point out of 9 in the three home games since the win in Dumfries. Again, this is simply not acceptable.
If you did go along to Tannadice on Tuesday you would have witnessed a reasonably satisfying opening 20 minutes. A fresh look to the team seemed to make a difference and for a little while it looked like United were making some progress in the final third. Unfortunately the team reverted to type after the Queen of the South opener. All of a sudden we again looked like a mentally fragile side with no real desire to do the work that is needed to win a football match. Yes we managed to drag it back to 2-2 but it all felt like it was a bit of an accident rather than it being through a blistering second half performance. The inevitable winner for Queens came as no surprise and as the players trudged back to the centre circle after that 75th minute goal you knew exactly how the game was going to finish.
Who is to blame at the moment? The reality is that pretty much everyone at Tannadice has to shoulder some of the responsibility. It feels as though there is a poison at Dundee United and it will take a major, major reconstruction of almost every aspect of the club to get things back on track. The players are not good enough, the coaching is clearly not working, the recruitment has been shocking and there is the continued uncertainty over the ownership of the whole business.
The team that takes to the field tomorrow will probably feature a few changes and it might also finally see the debut of Bilel Moshni. The signing of the former Rangers man was cleared this week and at least adds a bit of intrigue to the game in the sense that we are all fully expecting him to be absolutely mental.
Csaba Laszlo mentioned in his pre-match media interviews that Jordi Briels is still definitely injured but that Emil Lyng (remember him?) is back to full fitness.
I’d be keen to change things once again for tomorrow and it might be worth trying a 5-3-2 just to see if we can fail but in a more entertaining way.
My side for tomorrow would be –
GK – Deniz Mehmet
RWB – Anthony Ralston
CB – Bilel Mohsni
CB – Mark Durnan
CB – Tam Scobbie
LWB – Jamie Robson
CM – Grant Gillespie
CM – Scott Fraser
CM – Sam Stanton
ST – Thomas Mikkelsen
ST – Scott McDonald
Subs – Harry Lewis, Matty Smith, Logan Chalmers, Emil Lyng, Paul McMullan, Billy King, Willo Flood.
Key Player – Anthony Ralston. One positive from the game on Tuesday night was the positive impact from on loan Celtic defender Ralston. He is a strong and powerful fullback who enjoys trying to beat his man but is also interested in doing the ‘dirty work’ at the back. I am looking forward to seeing a bit more of him during this run in.