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Divided We Stand?


barkblue

1,174 views

Sometimes it's difficult to shake off the feeling that Dundee supporters actually want their managers to fail. All manner of reasons given over the years as to why no matter the man in charge, he simply isn't the right guy for the job.

I think you have to go back to Gordon Chisholm to find a manager that last achieved a feat that no other Dundee boss has since. Whether Barry Smith, John Brown, Paul Hartley, Neil McCann or the current incumbent, Jim McIntyre, not one of those gaffers has united the support in a way that Chis and his assistant Billy Dodds did. Admittedly, the near unification was that no one thought the ex-Arab and Dee defector were the right men for the job and while circumstances overtook the ex-DAB and Queen of the South manager, that he followed a Dee legend in Jocky Scott, who was sacked while his side were still top of the table, didn’t help. However the disdain they received was well earned during what proved to be a truly abject period for the club on and off the park.

Since then, no matter who has stood at the helm of the good ship DFC Dens Park, there has been ever shifting sections of the great Dark Blue support who have simply refused to accept them. Sir Barry of Smith did the impossible, offering the Dee’s a season of Deefiance, with record breaking runs and the ability to stick two fingers up at the rest of Scottish Football delivered as his team shrugged off a 25 point deduction. But even that hasn’t been enough to stop some rewriting history and suggest that Barry had little to do with the upturn in form his team mustered, even though he found and then cajoled a mix of bit part trialists, youths, juniors and, admittedly, a handful of top-notch first teamers into an ever changing side that defied the odds on a weekly basis.

Sacked after he couldn’t work the same magic with a Championship team playing in the Premier League, it was Dark Blue Legend, or side-mouth talking Hun mad man, depending on your view point, John Brown, that just about turned the relegation headed ship around. However the anger that came from the stands every time Brown’s team didn’t work miracles meant it was only going to be a matter of time before a manager that put some fight back into an apologetic team would be shot down. Whether Bomber turned his guns on himself or was put in the crosshairs by the board is still a matter for debate.

That he tumbled from grace when his relegated Dundee team were second in the second tier meant that surely it would take a miracle to catapult The Dee back to where they wanted to be - the top flight. Enter The Messiah, or indeed, the very naughty, stubborn, fat beardy Paul Hartley, depending on your spin. With his Godly name erroneously bestowed on him by those seemingly desperate for the ex-serial promotion winning Alloa manager to fail, not only did Hartley get Brown’s team over the line and straight into the rumoured land of milk & honey, but he also catapulted the club up to its best league finish since the turn of the millennium. 

And still he got it in the neck for cup defeats, and admittedly some of the most embarrassing derby disasters the club has ever seen. Although the Doon Derby payback he provided is something anyone who was there will simply never forget, no matter whether they were spinning triumphant dark blue above their head or sporting tear stained tangerine.

The only slight downside to that night of nights was that it confirmed Hartley’s team had slipped from 6th to 8th in the space of a year and his side tumbled further the next season. The wheels coming careening off at break neck speed and ultimately finding the much beleaguered Hartley, now known as an angry stubborn has been (Falkirk supporters might not even be so complimentary) openly admitting he’d run out of ideas as Dundee slipped to second bottom of the league. 

Cue the least expected appointment in recent Dundee FC history (you might have to go back to ‘Coco’ Smith in 1988 for a more left-field appointment) as the ex-Dee young gun and returning Deefiant hero Neil McCann took on the job of securing the seven points from five games needed to ensure survival. That he did so in his first three ties in charge, with two away wins and a home draw, can in no way be underestimated. A team that looked in danger of being sucked into the one automatic relegation slot instead climbing away from the play-offs and to safety. 

It was a cameo no one expected and one few thought was a good idea, so surely this master of Houdini like escapology should be offered the job full time? Well… two capitulations in the final two games of the special guest star appearance should have set alarm bells ringing and when the man himself initially turned down the offer to prolong his stay those bells should have become a blaring klaxon. But with no ‘plan B’ (a feature of John Nelms' time at the helm) and a change of heart from the end of season superhero, the stopgap became a permanent fixture. 

What had initially seemed to be a masterstroke of survival quickly became an act of folly, McCann’s side and ideas occasionally inspired but often insipid. And after another season of flirting with relegation the early reservations of a section of the support began to spread through the believers who had bought into the supposedly modern, exciting brand of football we were promised but never quite saw. 

Maybe more than any before him Neil McCann split the support. Those who remembered his playing exploits and who were firmly behind his managerial ethos still, even now, backing the man when it was clear to everyone else that his appointment had been a failed experiment that might eventually prove the catalyst to Dundee losing their top flight status. As all managers do, McCann clung on but with the club looking to foist outside ideas on him, things came to breaking point with The Dee at the bottom of the table.

Enter a man with all the attributes that most Dark Blues were looking for. A track record in mid-season rebuilding, a more pragmatic approach to grinding out results in the Scottish game and more than ten minutes of steering a club through troubled waters. Best to mention that he’s also an ex-Arab, wanted to appoint a guy as his assistant that many long suffering supporters remember as a turncoat who tried to kill this club when he – a certain Billy Dodds – and Gordon Chisholm (yes, that pair who last galvanised fan opinion in such a negative manner) voted against a win or bust CVA to come out of administration. 

Not the best start, granted, but the anti-McIntyre sentiments from many have simmered close to boiling point from the moment he was brought into the club and it’s clear there’s a section of support already lining up to lambast him if he can’t patch up the clearly sinking ship he inherited. 

Factor in that the type of player Neil McCann signed was never going to fit with Jim McIntyre’s footballing vision and that we are now trying to ship a minimum of ten players out of the club mid-season, while probably needing just as many to replace them, should be no surprise. It is, however, yet another recipe for disaster. 

There’s no way back now. Three loanees - Calvin Miller, Andy Boyle and Adil Nabi - have been sent home. Marcus Haber has returned from his short spell at Falkirk only to be, quite rightly, shown the door, while Grant Nelson (who?) has also been given the bums’ rush. Another five, Kharl Madianga, Elton Ngwatala, Jean Alassane Mendy, Sofien Moussa and Lewis Spence, have been told they are no longer in the club’s plans and can leave. Then if you add to that Finnish international Glen Kamara following the path so many Dundee players have before him – to the bench at Ibrox Park – and to say that the pressure is on McIntyre to work miracles is a massive understatement.  

Will the support give him time to get it right? Probably until about the 70th minute of the Scottish Cup return from the winter shutdown against Queen of the South. If we’re not 3-0 up by then it’ll be time to have a rummage for those well used pitchforks and burning torches. Best o’ luck Jim, I’m sure we’re all right behind you! 

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He is playing cards with someone elses hand just now, I am behind him and can easily see us getting past St.Mirren. Getting to tenth place is all that matters this season.

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9 hours ago, Barkblue said:

It was a cameo no one expected and one few thought was a good idea, so surely this master of Houdini like escapology should be offered the job full time? Well… two capitulations in the final two games of the special guest star appearance should have set alarm bells ringing and when the man himself initially turned down the offer to prolong his stay those bells should have become a blaring klaxon. But with no ‘plan B’ (a feature of John Nelms' time at the helm) and a change of heart from the end of season superhero, the stopgap became a permanent fixture. 

 

View full blog

 

Wasn't Jack Ross the plan B ???

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1 hour ago, Chomp my root said:

Wasn't Jack Ross the plan B ???

 

53 minutes ago, WeighorstsWang said:

He was actually Plan A, was he not?

You beat me to it WW.

Either way it was a shambles. 

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2 hours ago, Chomp my root said:

Wasn't Jack Ross the plan B ???

I thought BB was referring to the fact that none of the managers appointed by Nelms has seemed capable of changing tactics / formation during a game i.e. no plan B when it all went to fck.

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1 hour ago, WeighorstsWang said:

He was actually Plan A, was he not?

I thought NM was the first choice, knocked it back so they chased Jack Ross who knocked it back and NM had a change of heart. Might be wrong, it happens but its all ancient history now, we have our new Messiah. 

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6 minutes ago, Chomp my root said:

I thought NM was the first choice, knocked it back so they chased Jack Ross who knocked it back and NM had a change of heart. Might be wrong, it happens but its all ancient history now, we have our new Messiah. 

Whatever the pecking order of choice was, we came worst off (as usual) and now have the unenviable task of simultaneously fighting for our premier status while patching together a new squad. If JM can pull it off (fnarr fnarr) then he will have more than earned the Messiah status that the long list of predecessors that BB mentioned all failed miserably to achieve in the top tier. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Iain T Campbell said:

Does Macintyre have a football vision apart from kicking the ball as long as you possibly can into the opposition half?

That’s not what I’ve been watching. Yes it’s more direct than NM but most of our play now works down the wings from full back to left/right midfielder in a four or a five.

first we had the “ tippy tappy” comments from posters regarding NM, which over exaggerated his style, we now we get “ kicking the ball as long as you can”  for JM.

I don’t get the desire to over exaggerate the way managers play just so people can lambast them. 😐 

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28 minutes ago, Valentke said:

That’s not what I’ve been watching. Yes it’s more direct than NM but most of our play now works down the wings from full back to left/right midfielder in a four or a five.

first we had the “ tippy tappy” comments from posters regarding NM, which over exaggerated his style, we now we get “ kicking the ball as long as you can”  for JM.

I don’t get the desire to over exaggerate the way managers play just so people can lambast them. 😐 

I guess it depends on how much you want to get yourself worked up over a player/manager/CEO etc.

Its much more fun if you add a few bells and whistles to your argument, if you put "so called" in front of whoever your chosen target is, it helps get the point across how truly awful they are too.  

 

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8 hours ago, Iain T Campbell said:

Does Macintyre have a football vision apart from kicking the ball as long as you possibly can into the opposition half?

In many ways it's comments like this that is exactly what the blog is all about.

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The division was probably at its worst around 2012/13. The resentment towards DFCSS, Gardiner and Brown made reading online posts painful to read at times.

FPS coming in and appointing Hartley brought some sanity back to the club and things have been ok since. 

Arguments over McIntyre are a picnic compared to what went on before.

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9 hours ago, Cobra said:

 

FPS coming in and appointing Hartley brought some sanity back to the club and things have been ok since

Agree with that first bit - not sure things have been ok since however

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22 hours ago, Iain T Campbell said:

Does Macintyre have a football vision apart from kicking the ball as long as you possibly can into the opposition half?

My concern exactly and from what ive seen so far I have major doubts he does . 

I may sound as though I want the guy to fail but nothing can be further from the truth im just saying what I see so far but will get behind him and the lads on the park as I always do and hope my fears are unfounded .

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14 hours ago, Barkblue said:

In many ways it's comments like this that is exactly what the blog is all about.

So are people to simply not voice an opinion based on what they have seen so far  in fear of being accused of wanting the new manager to fail ? 

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5 hours ago, DBDU said:

So are people to simply not voice an opinion based on what they have seen so far  in fear of being accused of wanting the new manager to fail ? 

Fair comment mate. Apologies to @Iain T Campbell my reply wasn't meant that way but I can see why it would be taken as such. 

Personally I don't think that is the style of football we are seeing at all but as ever football is all about opinions and seldom is one completely right and the other completely wrong.

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On 06/01/2019 at 15:42, Iain T Campbell said:

Does Macintyre have a football vision apart from kicking the ball as long as you possibly can into the opposition half?

Unbelievable comment. I take it you liked the 4 or 5 passes between goalkeeper and centre half then lose the ball as it went into midfield! NMc served some of the worst performances I have seen in years at Dens trying to play a brand of football that players were not capable of at his level.

The same accusation was always made of Tommy Wright at the fermers, played us off the park last week with players who new their jobs and a team that played to their strengths. 

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On 07/01/2019 at 22:51, BigG said:

Unbelievable comment. I take it you liked the 4 or 5 passes between goalkeeper and centre half then lose the ball as it went into midfield! NMc served some of the worst performances I have seen in years at Dens trying to play a brand of football that players were not capable of at his level.

The same accusation was always made of Tommy Wright at the fermers, played us off the park last week with players who new their jobs and a team that played to their strengths. 

We all have different opinions on how football should be played. I am in favour of the passing game and I believe what you are doing of the ball is just as important as what you do when you are in possession of it. Why have our teams been so unsuccessful in Europe for many years now? Rangers under Smith and MacLeish were beaten by teams we had never heard of. Aberdeen, St. Johnstone, Hearts, and Hibs have all flopped against very average European sides. The Aberdeen team of the 70's would have taken the Burnley team that dumped Aberdeen out this year apart. Why is that? Because of the type of football we play. It leaves us technically inferior to even average European teams and our football intelligence when it comes to running off the ball is way behind their ability. I have been watching football since the sixties and I have seen the gradual deterioration in Scottish football. It has all come about through the change to smaller leagues with manager's under pressure to keep their teams up in either the Premier or the Championship. The majority of fans want bigger leagues but at the moment greed reigns. Stewart Milne at Aberdeen and some others want their two home games against the OF and fail to see the bigger picture.

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8 hours ago, Iain T Campbell said:

We all have different opinions on how football should be played. I am in favour of the passing game and I believe what you are doing of the ball is just as important as what you do when you are in possession of it. Why have our teams been so unsuccessful in Europe for many years now? Rangers under Smith and MacLeish were beaten by teams we had never heard of. Aberdeen, St. Johnstone, Hearts, and Hibs have all flopped against very average European sides. The Aberdeen team of the 70's would have taken the Burnley team that dumped Aberdeen out this year apart. Why is that? Because of the type of football we play. It leaves us technically inferior to even average European teams and our football intelligence when it comes to running off the ball is way behind their ability. I have been watching football since the sixties and I have seen the gradual deterioration in Scottish football. It has all come about through the change to smaller leagues with manager's under pressure to keep their teams up in either the Premier or the Championship. The majority of fans want bigger leagues but at the moment greed reigns. Stewart Milne at Aberdeen and some others want their two home games against the OF and fail to see the bigger picture.

I agree 100% .

There isn't a great team that has ever existed that haven't been able to retain the ball an play it around starting from the back .

Even members of our own great title winning side are on record as saying they were so successful both at home and in Europe because they could play from the back and build it from there and were all comfortable in keeping possession .

As you say its no coincidence that the scrapping mentality installed in our teams due to the cut throat nature of our tight top division has over the years now resulted in the standard of football suffering in favour of a more battling kind of style , which will only get you so far .  

I think under Mcann the results were very disappointing nobody is hiding from that fact and that HAD to change as we were obviously not in a good position in the league .

Would Mcann been able to have turned it around ?? Well we will never know but I personally think with the return to Ralph at LB which In turn allowed a restructure of the team with KM being able to be deployed as the striker that we signed him to be would have resulted in improved results . I also feel that long term he had as playing the style of passing game that would have improved us and gave us a real identity which could have in turh attracted players the likes of Kamara & Hendry who the previous manager clearly had in mind of the type he wanted around the place. 

 

What is not up for debate is that NMc had a football philosophy and a clear idea of how the game should be played and for me its one I agreed with . 

If you do not have the ball and can not keep the ball  then I'm afraid , long term , you will not improve !

Lumping the ball back to front and scrapping may well result in a short term reprieve but as a long term strategy its 2 steps backward as far as I'm concerned . 

As you say we need to look at the bigger picture as sometimes it actually is more about just short term results .

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21 hours ago, Iain T Campbell said:

We all have different opinions on how football should be played. I am in favour of the passing game and I believe what you are doing of the ball is just as important as what you do when you are in possession of it. Why have our teams been so unsuccessful in Europe for many years now? Rangers under Smith and MacLeish were beaten by teams we had never heard of. Aberdeen, St. Johnstone, Hearts, and Hibs have all flopped against very average European sides. The Aberdeen team of the 70's would have taken the Burnley team that dumped Aberdeen out this year apart. Why is that? Because of the type of football we play. It leaves us technically inferior to even average European teams and our football intelligence when it comes to running off the ball is way behind their ability. I have been watching football since the sixties and I have seen the gradual deterioration in Scottish football. It has all come about through the change to smaller leagues with manager's under pressure to keep their teams up in either the Premier or the Championship. The majority of fans want bigger leagues but at the moment greed reigns. Stewart Milne at Aberdeen and some others want their two home games against the OF and fail to see the bigger picture.

I also like the passing game but much prefer the way Liverpool play the game at the moment. My point being Liverpool have 3 of the fastest forwards in world football, they could play any team in the world on the counter attack as that’s the way the manager has structured the team. Dundee under NMc didn’t have players who could retain possession, make a pass or have any pace in the team, we also never played with width or had a player with guile. Under NMc we had the worst record in EUROPE🤷🏻‍♂️, we went nearly 4 games without a shot on goal😳. Is this really the type of football you like Dundee FC to play? 

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19 hours ago, DBDU said:

Lumping the ball back to front and scrapping may well result in a short term reprieve but as a long term strategy its 2 steps backward as far as I'm concerned . 

As you say we need to look at the bigger picture as sometimes it actually is more about just short term results .

At this moment, we need a short-term reprieve and all the fancy football philosophies are unlikely to give us that.  

Let's get ourselves safe first, then we can start to think about the future vision.  Alternatively, we can try out the new philosophy in the Championship. 

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3 hours ago, HK Blues said:

At this moment, we need a short-term reprieve and all the fancy football philosophies are unlikely to give us that.  

Let's get ourselves safe first, then we can start to think about the future vision.  Alternatively, we can try out the new philosophy in the Championship. 

Agree but its a tricky one and I'm not sure we're going to see a massive change in the summer, I can see the club reacting against the 'fancy' stuff of the last 2 managers and being happy with a more basic approach with a more experienced manager. Give it a good season in the SPL with the next campaign (please) and we'll all be clamouring for sexier football again. 

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2 hours ago, Chomp my root said:

Agree but its a tricky one and I'm not sure we're going to see a massive change in the summer, I can see the club reacting against the 'fancy' stuff of the last 2 managers and being happy with a more basic approach with a more experienced manager. Give it a good season in the SPL with the next campaign (please) and we'll all be clamouring for sexier football again. 

Yep...memories will be short and we will all be shouting for the Barcelona-esque style we were treated to under McCann!

P.S. I wasn't being entirely serious in the above! 😁

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1 minute ago, HK Blues said:

Yep...memories will be short and we will all be shouting for the Barcelona-esque style we were treated to under McCann!

P.S. I wasn't being entirely serious in the above! 😁

A year or two back there was a bit of a clamour from a section of the St. J support saying they were fed up with Tommy Wright's style of football and looking for someone who would play 'sexier' football. We're an unreasonable and ungrateful bunch us football fans. 

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