It has been a quiet week at Tannadice…
After the tepid 1-1 draw in Greenock there isn’t really much to say in terms of the team and in club news we still await clear details of any potential takeover or investment.
At the time of writing we have yet to welcome any Americans but this is Dundee United so whenever a newspaper reports something as being “imminent” I always assume that we will have to wait. A “Kawashima” is a unit of time at Tannadice given how long it took for the Japanese goalkeeper to actually arrive at the club and we are already at several Kawashimas in this mystery takeover saga.
It feels a little like we have been led down the garden path with this takeover talk and a cynic might suggest that it is just a way of trying to stir up interest and maybe get fans onboard so they buy half season tickets. I don’t know if that is the case but we certainly have been kept royally in the dark over this. At the end of the day Dundee United Football Club is a private business so we can’t really demand any information but the long and drawn out process isn’t helping anyone and hopefully over the next few days we might finally have some information.
Turning back to the team it has been a week of not much talk. Robbie Neilson will have spent some time during Monday and Tuesday with young defender Jamie Robson but that has now been dealt with and the club have made a statement regarding the incident. We now move on.
As for our trip up north it might be that the first challenge United will face may come in the shape of the weather. There is snow forecast for the weekend and that can throw tactics, shape and style out the window. This is beginning of the real change in weather which brings with it poorer pitches and the potential for postponement. We were badly affected by the schedule last season and Neilson will hope that we can keep fixture changes to a minimum. This league is entering a period where it becomes even more of a quagmire, both literally and metaphorically.
What Neilson will want off the back of two poor results is a vital three points. This is even more important when you figure in that either Ayr or Ross County will drop points this weekend as they face one another at Somerset (ideally it would be both). A chance to make up some ground on our title rivals must not be missed and if we do fail to win then that would be three games in a row without maximum points and that cannot be the pattern of results if we are still to have serious ambitions about the league.
Possible Starting Lineup vs Greenock Morton –
GK – Benji Siegrist
RB – Stewart Murdoch
CB – Frederic Frans
CB – Rachid Bouhenna
LB – Callum Booth
CM – Fraser Fyvie
CM – Sam Stanton
RM – Fraser Aird
CAM – Paul McMullan
LM – Craig Curran
ST – Pavol Safranko
Others – The more you look at the squad the more you realise just how tight it is. Assuming that Neilson has drawn a line under three or four who featured earlier in the season we are really limited as to how many changes we can make and the reality is that we only probably have 13 or 14 that can feature. Beyond that it is obvious Neilson simply does not fancy 5 or 6 others. That points to the need in January for recruiting well and this is the next big pressure for the management and board.
Key Player(s) – After having his poorest game of the season in Greenock you can look to Pavol Safranko as someone who will be desperate to make a difference in Inverness. He is undoubtedly our key man at the moment and if he plays well then the team plays well. We need a firing Safranko in order to give us the best chance of a victory tomorrow.
View From The Opposition – The draw specialists Inverness have had a bumpy few weeks and in their last home league outing they were defeated by bottom of the table Falkirk. They are a funny team given their apparent lack of real gung-ho quality but they seem to be able to pull out results when they fall behind.
I’m still not convinced by them because I can’t really figure out what their qualities are. Maybe that is a naive thing to say but for me I still put them below quite a few teams in the league when it comes to looking at individual talents or unique styles of play. They are a very functional side who make things difficult and have a decent amount of experience in their side.
Are they title challengers? Probably not. Although I don’t think they will win the title they will still be a team that should have a huge say in what happens at the top end of the table. Given their ability to go on long unbeaten runs and score goals they are a big threat to anyone.
This will be a big test for United but we have the quality to win and get back to a performance level that Neilson expects.
CURRENT FORM (LAST FOUR LEAGUE GAMES) –
United – 1-0 Win vs Ross County (A), 4-2 Win vs Alloa (H), 5-0 Loss vs Ayr United (A), 1-1 Draw vs Morton (A)
Inverness CT – 2-2 Draw vs Ross County (A), 1-0 Win vs Partick (A), 3-3 Draw vs Queen of the South (A), 3-2 Loss vs Falkirk (H)