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  • Aberdeen: The View From the Opposition

    • By UWTB1893
    • 17th August 2017, 7:16 pm

    Saturday will see Dundee head up North to take on Aberdeen in the hope they can produce a positive result and stop it being three defeats from our opening three league games.

    In the lead up to this clash, we spoke to popular Dons podcast, ByTheMinute Aberdeen, on their summer transfers, just how important it was that Derek McInnes stayed at Pittordrie, this seasons expectations and what the outcome will be between the Dark Blues and the Dons.

    Let us now about yourself. When did you start supporting Aberdeen, what made you support them and what’s your best memory and moment while following them?

    I've been a season ticket holder for coming up to 35 years now. Best moment? Following your team away from home in Europe is always special, and I was over in Dnipropetrovsk the night Darren Mackie's header sent us into the UEFA Cup Group Stages.

    Aberdeen lost some important players this summer such as Johnny Hayes, Niall McGinn and Ryan Jack. How disappointed was it to see these players leave the Dons?

    There was an inevitability about Jack and McGinn, while it seems that despite signing a new deal in January, McInnes was resigned to losing Jonny Hayes should the right bid be made. Hayes and McGinn had been absolutely key to the success of recent AFC teams so there was a definite wariness about approaching the new season without them. Ryan Jack has his critics, and, don't get me wrong, we'll revel in it if his Ibrox career is miserable, but he his style of play was central to the way McInnes set the side out. 

    You did see the arrivals of Greg Stewart, Gary Mackay-Stevens, Ryan Christie and most recently, Stevie May. Do you feel that these players including the ones I haven’t mentioned have improved the squad? 

    As I said re the departing players, there was a degree of trepidation approaching the new season, but the signings that have been made look like they are at least equal in quality to those players that have exited. Most of them fit the classic McInnes signing model, in that they were succesful in the SPFL, they moved down South, and things maybe haven't worked out as well as they could have done. Beyond the ones you've mentioned, I think Greg Tansey could have a big season for us, especially at set plays, while the re-signing of Kari Arnason was greeted with huge excitement among the support, although we've yet to see him make an impact on the pitch

    The club went out of the Europa Cup in the qualifying stages. What was the expectation levels going into this European campaign?

    From the team and management they kept repeating the claim that the aim was the Group Stages. From my point of view, I know how perilous and difficult it was going to be to get to that point. To fall two rounds short has to go down as a failure, particularly as Apollon Limassol, who knocked us out, weren't a great side.

    Aberdeen have started the season as expected with wins in their first two league games and through to the quarter finals of the league cup. A second place finish and maybe success in one of the cups must surely be the aims of the club this year?

    You always want to keep improving. 76 points in the league last season, let's see if we can hit 80-85 this one. No point looking at what other sides are up, just focus on what we can acheive. As for the cups, I'd probably give you one of my limbs for a Scottish Cup win. You feel that on top of the consistency in the league, another trophy could really energise the support and the North East in general to back their football team.

    How important was it that Derek McInnes stayed with the Dons after speaking to Sunderland back in June?

    Huge. I know Sunderland were in quite a state, but it's still quite a statement to turn down the opportunity that exists there (not to mention the hughely increased pay packet). However, as with Jonny Hayes, we've seen that signing a new deal only means so much, and we live in fear of another offer for him which is more appealing. West Brom is the one that's a constant worry.

    Dundee fans will know all too well the threat that Stewart and GMS bring to the table but what other player should we watch out for this weekend when the teams meet?

    Genuinely hard to say, as the options we now have going forward mean that he could play any number of different players. One you probably won't have seen is Scott Wright, and exciting young winger who came through our youth set-up. Everyone associated with the club is desperate for him to make good on some promising early performances.

    Our record up at Pittodrie the past few years has been, well, horrific. Don’t let this cloud your judgment when picking a winner though! So, what’s your predictions for this game?

    I think we'll win, but I think if you're to have any joy, the best plan might be to come out and have a go yourself. Our defence hasn't looked the most solid in the opening weeks.

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  • Related Content

    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893

      There’s not many pages to look at, eight in total, so let me try and give you a little bit more information about this tie.

      Dundee gained entry to the 1964-65 Cup Winner Cup despite being beaten by Rangers in the Scottish Cup the previous season due to the Glasgow club winning the League title. The team were also giving a bye from the first round along with old enemies, Sporting Lisbon.

      In the second round, we would be paired up with Spanish side Real Zaragoza.

      Zaragoza had the season before won the Inter Cities Fairs Cup with a 2-1 victory over fellow Spaniards Valencia at the Nou Camp. They also finished fourth in the La Liga behind winners Real Madrid, Barcelona and Real Betis.

      Their first tie in the Cup Winners Cup seen a resounding 8-1 aggregate score Malta side, Valletta. A 3-0 win in Malta was followed by a 5-1 thumping at the La Romareda.

      So Real Zaragoza rolled into Dundee on the 18th November 1964 to take on Dundee at Dens Park with no fewer than SIX internationals in their team: Severino Reija, Jose Cuellar (Pepin), Santos, Marcelino, Juan Manuel Villa and Carlos Laperta.

      Dundee would be missing their lethal marksman Alan Gilzean even though the striker had just signed a two-month deal in October after he had initially refused to sign a new contract in the summer that year. Back then many moons before the Bosman ruling, Gilzeans refusal to pen a new deal meant he couldn’t not only play for Dundee but also he wasn’t allowed to sign for another team unless the club agreed a fee to sell him.


      The deadline for signing players to play in Europe was on August 15th and despite last minute appeals, it would prove to be fruitless and Dundee would have to do without their star-man.

      In front of 21,000 fans and our first European tie since our 1-0 victory over AC Milan  in the European Cup Semi-Final, Dundee were back in Europe.

      Donaldson, Hamilton, Cox, Cousin, Beattie, Stuart, Penman, Murray, Waddell, Houston and Robertson lined up that evening and the team started brightly when Steve Murray headed the Dee into an early lead but two goals in three minutes from Santos and Villa put the Spanish side ahead. It would take a last-minute goal from Doug Houston to level things and the tie would end two-a-piece.


      In the return tie, Roque Olsen’s side would beat Dundee 2-1 to go through to the next round 4-3 on aggregate. Hugh Robertson would give us an early lead but just like in the first leg, two quick goals this time from Laperta would give Zaragoza the win.

      Real would make it to the Semi-Finals after defeating Cardiff City 3-2 over two ties in the next round. They would not make it past that stage though, being beaten to eventual winners West Ham.
    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
      We continue our programmes with the past with our last game in the European Cup that came at Dens Park in a 1-0 victory over AC Milan on the 1st May, 1962.

      The scene was set but the it was to be an uphill battle for Dundee in this Semi-Final 2nd leg after AC Milan had beat us 5-1 at the San Siro. Alan Cousin got our goal in that tie, becoming the first British player to score at the Italian venue.

      It was later revealed that the referee for the tie in Milan, Vincente Caballero, was found guilty of being wined, dined and accepting lavish gifts from the AC officials and was banned from officiating any other games. Also, the Italian press situated their selves behind the Dundee goal and every time Bert Slater went for the ball, the camera flashes were blinding him.

      So, it was onto the second leg at Dens Park with 38,000 fans descending onto to Dens with the hope that their club could stage an unlikely comeback.

      The first half was constantly interrupted for fouls being committed but the Dee would take the lead before half time when Alan Gilzean headed home from a Gordon Smith cross.

      This was Gilzean’s ninth goal in this competition and to this day, remains the clubs top goal scorer in all European competitions                    

      There would be no more goals in the second half and despite winning the tie 1-0, Dundee would exit the competition 5-2 on aggregate. Alan Gilzean would also see red when after becoming frustrated by the Italians rough tactics, lashed out with minutes to go.

      It was the end of Dundee’s European adventure and despite being disappointed with missing out on reaching the final at Wembley, the team had not only done their city proud, but also Scotland.

      The teams that night were:

      Dundee: Slater, Hamilton, Seith, Stuart, Ure, Penman, Smith, Wishart, Cousin, Gilzean, Houston
      AC Milan: Ghezzi, Benítez, Maldini, Trebbi, Rivera, Altafini, Barison, Mora, Pivatelli

      Attendance: 38,000

    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
      We went into this match on the back of an excellent victory against the Belgian champions Anderlecht in the Heysel Stadium. Such was the demand and interest in this tie, Anderlecht decided to move from their home ground Émile Versé Stadium to the National stadium which seen 64,000 supporters attend the game.
      A double from Alan Gilzean and strikes from Alan Cousin and Gordon Smith gave the Dee a comfortable 4-1 lead to take back to Scotland.
      The return tie at Dens Park a week later seen a 40,000-sell-out crowd turn up to cheer on the day to a potential Semi-final place in the prestigious European Cup.

      Anderlecht started proceedings the hungrier team an eventually took the lead just before the half hour mark when their talisman Jack Stockman slotted home.

      The second half seen Dundee settle into the game and slowly start to pressure the Belgium champions as they tried to make a breakthrough which they eventually did.

      Alan Cousin levelled the scoring with just over ten minutes left to go to ease the relief that had settled into the Dens Park crowd then with eight minutes left, Gordon Smith's goal meant that Anderlecht's European journey was over and the game would end in a 2-1 win for the Dee, 6-2 on aggregate.

      Dundee were in the Semi-Final's along with huge names such as Benfica, Feyenoord and AC Milan. Imagine saying that in this day and age? 

      Of course, we would be drawn against the Italian Champions AC Milan for a place in the European Cup Final and the chance to lift the trophy at Wembley Stadium.

      We will look at that programme from the AC Milan game next week but in the meantime, I hope you've enjoyed another edition of 'Dundee Programmes From The Past.'

      The teams that night were:

      Dundee: Slater, Cox, Hamilton, Seith, Ure, Penman, Smith, Wishart, Cousin, Gilzean, Robertson
      Anderlecht: Trappeniers, Cornelis, Plaskie, Hanon, Lippens, Janssesn, Jurion, Puis, Stockman, Himst

      Attendance: 40,000
    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
      Yes that’s correct, it’s our four-one victory over Sporting Lisbon at Dens Park.

      Following on from the 1st leg of the second round that seen the Dark Blues go down one-nil in the Jose Alvalade stadium in Portugal to a Gerald De Carvalho 90th minute winner, the Dees would have it all to do.

      With near enough 32,000 fans packing Dens a week later, would the Dee be able to produce some magic to overturn the one-goal deficit?  

      As well all know too well, we would not only defeat Sporting Lisbon, we would do so in style with a commanding win.

      Alan Gilzean opened the scoring on the thirteenth minute when his low shot glided past Joaquim Carvalho then just before half time, Alan Cousin headed home from a Gordon smith corner to put the Dee ahead on aggregate.

      Dundee never showed any signs of slowing down in the second half and Gilzean went about netting another two goals to complete his hat-trick. This was Gilzean’s second hat-trick of the tournament after he had earlier scored three against Cologne at Dens in ur 8-1 victory over the German champions.

      Ernesto Figuerido would pull back a consolation goal but it was all but over for the Portuguese Champions and Dundee’s name went into the semi-finals, winning 4-2 on aggregate.

      After that result, the Sporting President tipped Dundee to go on to win the European Cup.

      Alan Gilzean reminisced later on about that night.

      “These European nights were very special.

      “The Dundee public turned out in their thousands and although we had a very good side, the atmosphere generated by the huge crowd gave us a tremendous lift.”  

      The Dundee team that night was: Slater, Hamilton, Cox, Seith, Ure, Wishart, Smith, Penman, Cousin, Gilzean, Robertson.

      Sporting Lisbon’s team: Carvalho, Hilário, Lino, Carlos, Abraão Júlio, Soares, De Carvalho,
      Figueiredo, Morais, Silva, Mascarenhas
    • UWTB1893
      By UWTB1893
      The first programme we will look at is from our very first match in a European competition, which is also our largest ever victory in the competition and to this day, our opponents biggest defeat.

      I give to you, Dundee 8-1 FC Cologne.

      Being paired up with the early favourites of the European Cup, Dundee welcomed the West German Champions FC Cologne to Dens Park as we looked set to tussle with the crème de le crème of the top European teams.

      With ten West German internationalists in their team and labelled one of the early favourites to win the trophy, this looked like a daunting task for The Dee. When the full-time whistle went though, it was the Germans who were shell-shocked after the Dark Blues had blasted eight past them.

      We can maybe take into consideration that the German keeper was knocked out only a few minutes into this game and he only lasted until half-time when he failed to return to the field. Back in them days, there weren’t any substitutes so Cologne had to play the reminder of the game with only ten men.

      Our goals came from Alan Gilzean (who bagged a hat-trick), Bobby Wishart, Hugh Robertson, Gordon Smith and Andy Penman. Our first goal was scored by Matthias Hemmersbach who headed the ball into his own net.

      As you can see, DC Thomson published a souvenir programmes for this and all of Dundee’s other games in the European Cup and unsurprisingly, the first one featured the team with the Scottish League title. A photo that gives ever Dee a sense of pride.

      At only sixpence a programme, it's no doubt a steal on how much I had to pay for my own copy 50 odd year later!

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