Football fans know that a league campaign is a marathon, not a sprint. Football fans also know that their team will suffer defeats and spells of poor form. So it is that we start our 36 game marathon with a bitterly disappointing loss that already has fans questioning what kind of season we are about to endure. To lose in such a manner in the first game is a sickener and already puts us on the back foot.
A big disappointment was that in a footballing sense it didn’t feel like an opening fixture. The fans, to their credit, turned out in decent numbers and created a positive atmosphere but the football on the park was incredibly disjointed and lacked the energy you would expect from the first game of the season.
Csaba Laszlo set his team up with a 4-4-2 but even with the added presence upfront we never really created enough chances in the opening 45 minutes. The players were at least keen to put the foot in and we competed well physically but the use of the ball was poor and in truth we were lucky to go in to the break with the lead. As for the second half, the less said the better. We sat deeper, we lacked the presence in the midfield and we allowed Dunfermline to start overloading in attack. The Pars didn’t have to be at their best to find possession in the final third and as an attacking force we were non-existent. The team looked tired and started making costly errors that the Dunfermline players were only too happy to capitalise on. There is much work to be done by Laszlo and the coaching staff if we are to improve and challenge for the title.
Player Ratings –
1 – Matej Rakovan – Not at fault for the goals and looked reliable enough for the majority of the game (despite one or two errors in judgement). – 5
22 – Sam Wardrop – Always looked to do the right thing but he became more error prone as the match went on. – 4
24 – William Edjenguele – Really poor performance and looked way off the pace. Clumsy and uncomfortable when he had people running at him. – 3
4 – Frederic Frans – Had a decent enough game but was let down by those around him. – 5
17 – Jamie Robson – Actually had a positive first half and looked physically much stronger. He was poor in the second 45. – 4
5 – Adam Barton – Should have been the linchpin in the midfield but went missing far too often and was too lazy in possession. – 4
12 – Sam Stanton – Wasted yet again out wide and then suffered from being overloaded in the second half when he moved into the middle. – 4
20 – Christopher Rabitsch – Caught out far too often and tried to act as a ‘disruptor’ in the midfield but he struggled. Booked for a poor tackle then taken off at half-time. – 3
90 – Yannick Loemba – Showed a few good touches early in the game and looks like he can do things others can’t but he struggled with his fitness as the game went on. – 4
9 – Craig Curran – Showed good energy upfront but never got on the ball. Used as a target for long balls but had no joy in the air. – 4
10 – Nicky Clark – Played in and around the penalty area well and tried to make runs in behind but he didn’t see much of the ball. – 5
Subs – 33 – Fraser Aird – Came on for the second half and took his goal well but did little else (3). 16 – Matty Smith – The game felt gone when he came on so didn’t have any real opportunity to make a difference (3). 7 – Paul McMullan – Can’t remember him touching the ball (1).
Man of the Match – Nobody really deserves to be given the title of being the best player on the park (certainly no United player anyway). In such an important fixture it is sad to see so many players put in such poor performances.
Up Next – We travel to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South next Saturday. They secured a 2-2 draw with Greenock Morton today so will take confidence from that. It is imperative that United take something from the game and begin to improve on their performance levels.