I’ve started then deleted several different types of posts (many written whilst highly emotional) but I have decided that I should let go of my anger and disappointment to focus on the here and now.
We are all very, very angry at the way our league campaign ended and most United supporters are also still very confused as to how Csaba Laszlo remains in charge after failing to gain promotion. The Hungarian has a genuine vote of confidence by Mike Martin and he will be given the freedom of Tannadice when it comes to a summer overhaul that has already started with the termination of nearly 20 playing contracts. We have also seen staffing changes in recent weeks and if rumours are to be believed the changes in coaching, youth and recruitment are not yet over. Remember, Mike Martin stated when he first became Chairman to judge him on his actions…
The purpose of this blog post is similar to one I did in January. I will hopefully update things every few days and add detail when there is concrete and confirmed news regarding signings or any other changes at the club. Brace yourselves, it could be an incredibly busy summer with the addition of at least a dozen new players and changes in backroom staff, the boardroom and, if there is a god, the pies at Tannadice (unfortunately I made up that last bit). I will not be updating this page with rumours or paper talk, the summer is full of ‘names on a dartboard’ type journalism and this is only made worse with a number of social media accounts claiming to be “in the know”. Until something officially happens there is no point in reporting on it.
So with all of that in mind…
As of the 22nd of May…
Current 1st Team Squad
Stewart Murdoch (contracted until 2019)
Tam Scobbie (contracted until 2019)
Lewis Toshney (contracted until 2019)
Paul McMullan (contracted until 2019)
Billy King (contracted until 2019)
Sam Stanton (contracted until 2020)
William Edjenguele (contracted until 2019)
Jamie Robson (contract extended until 2020)
Scott Allardice (new contract lasting until 2019)
James Keatings (contracted until 2019)
Deniz Mehmet (contract extension into next season)
Scott Fraser (contract due to expire)
Fraser Fyvie (new contract lasting until 2020)
Matty Smith (contracted until 2019)
Josh Donaldson (new contract until 2020)
Nicky Clark (signed until 2020)
Willo Flood, Bilel Mohsni, Mark Durnan, Cammy Ballantyne, Jordie Briels, Paul Quinn, Grant Gillespie, Emil Lyng, Thomas Mikkelsen, Harry Lewis, Anthony Ralston, Craig Slater, Brandon Mason, Scott McDonald, Brett Long, Graham Taylor, Dom McMeekin and Logan Martin.
Goalkeeping Coach Stuart Garden has left the club. He joined in 2015 as part of Mixu Paatelainen’s backroom squad.
Other Club News
United’s new 2018/19 Home and Away Kits –
New Signings/Contract Extensions
17th May – Fraser Fyvie signs a new two-year deal at the club.
18th May – Declan Glass and Logan Chalmers sign contract extensions that run until 2020.
21st May – Deniz Mehmet signs a contract extension that runs into next season.
22nd May – Jamie Robson signs a new two-year deal and Scott Fraser leaves the club.
23rd May – Striker Nicky Clark joins the club from Dunfermline. He has signed a two year contract.
Opinions and Ramblings
This last bit will probably be chopped, changed and edited as the summer moves on but what I don’t want it to be is a look back at the problems we had last season. We all know the issues facing the club and we all know how badly the team performed after the January transfer window so this is more of a look forward. As a Dundee United fan I am still very aware of the major problems at Tannadice but as a football fan I am, maybe naively, still very excited every summer when a large number of players leave and a new squad are assembled. There will be rumours every day linking us with players of a decent calibre and we probably will still have the largest budget in the Championship next year but on paper the division will be tougher so the club MUST get recruitment right. The manager, who many of us expected to leave, will be under intense scrutiny and will not be given any flexibility once the new season begins.
17th May – The first positive piece of news arrived in the shape of Fraser Fyvie extending his stay at Tannadice. Anyone who watched United between October and December of last year will know that Fyvie was pretty much our best player and we can look to his injury as the beginning of our season falling apart. There will undoubtedly be question marks over his fitness and injury proneness but if Fyvie can stay fit the prospect of him playing alongside Sam Stanton for a full season is certainly one that should fill fans with hope. He is easily one of the best players in the division.
21st May – With no real news other than an obscene amount of speculation it has been all quiet at Tannadice these last few days. It is disappointing not to have seen more activity by now but we do need to be patient as transfer negotiations can take time. The one piece of contract news announced today was the extension of Deniz Mehmet’s deal. The goalkeeper only really broke into the team during the last few games and if it wasn’t for a freak injury he would have finished the season as the club’s first choice goalkeeper. I’m pleased he has been given a longer deal but we definitely still need more competition in the goalkeeping department.
22nd May – This afternoon the club announced that Jamie Robson had signed a new contract. As little as 6 months ago there was talk in media about Robson leaving this summer to go and join one of a number of sides in England who had apparently been scouting the young fullback. After an ill-advised moment of madness over the festive period things started to change for Robson and his form suffered. Fans started to question his commitment and many were vocal about the club’s handling of his Snapchat incident. Many fans, myself included, struggle to see what the future holds for a player who still has a great deal to learn but Csaba Laszlo obviously thinks he can be an important part of the squad. The club still need more cover in the fullback area so you wouldn’t think that he has been signed to be number one choice and hopefully we bring in some experience at the back so that we are not reliant on Robson.
It has also been announced that Scott Fraser has left the club. This move was always on the cards and although there is no indication of where he might end up he will get a club very quickly. Probably one of the most frustrating players we’ve had in a number of years Fraser is incredibly talented but does need to work on being a bit more physical and tactically aware. He probably needs a fresh start.
23rd May – Dunfermline striker Nicky Clark has joined United. I am pretty pleased with this deal. We have managed to secure an experienced striker who averages 10-15 goals a season and he is someone who knows the division very well. With James Keatings returning to fitness it is a good base to start from in terms of the forward area. We probably still need a target man and hopefully the club are working hard to make this happen.