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Found 67 results

  1. TheDarkBlues

    This Season: Where Did It Go Wrong?

    Neil McCann believed he brought in players who he thought were the same class as the players at Serie A sides like Milan and Juventus but the fans could see from the offset that most of the new additions weren't good enough. Our defence has been a shambles and it doesn’t really matter who seems to play there, nothing really changes and that is testament to the amount of goals we have shipped so far this season. 60 in total so far and that is unacceptable for the club. When you are not scoring goals, you expect your defence to at least keep a few clean sheets. Our goal difference could be the difference between staying up or going down. You could put our performances and results down to McCann's duds, but I feel that both managers have to take responsibility for our results as well. While McCann could be excused for being inexperienced, you cannot excuse some of his team selections, formations and tactics, as at times they were bloody awful. I'm not sure that given more time the results would have started to change under McCann and I think we could have been left trailing at the basement of the league. In all honestly, the shock was how long the board actually let him go on before changing. After McCann was sacked, John Nelms was in the news saying that we needed to bring in a more experienced manager, but in good old Dundee fashion, we couldn't even do that right. When the club appointed McIntyre they surely knew that the new boss would want his own assistant and that would be Billy Dodds who would bring a lot of baggage with him and there possibly would have been an uproar from the Dundee faithful. I honestly thought that Nelms and Keyes were shocked by the response and even though Dodds had been interviewed, the board quickly backtracked him out the door. Judging by a lot of the fans’ reaction, many were surprised but not shocked by the appointment of McIntyre but were secretly hoping that we would have brought someone else in instead. I, like many, were hoping that with the arrival of a more experienced manager we would start seeing improvements on the park, better team organisation in each area of the team, improved fitness, much better tactics and formation. But truth be told, this really didn't happen with a lot of fans bemoaning that nothing would change until the new boss got his own players in. In all honesty, while there has been a little improvement, it hasn't been enough and I have to ask, how long will it take before we actually start seeing the improvement on the park? After the January transfer window we had another mass exodus of players leaving and coming in. We have fielded more players this season than we have played games, and it has been another year of rebuilding due to management failures. I dread to think how many players we have had on our books since we were promoted to the Premier league in 2014 and the amount of money we may have wasted by getting players with long term contract off the books. Surely the board need to have a long hard think about the transfer policies and willingness to back managers in this way. We practically have a whole new team from the one which started the first game of the season. Gone are many so called McCann duds and McIntyre seems to have been prudent in his transfers, mostly on loan players who seem an upgrade on the departing players. Yes there are signs of improvement since January, but it still seems that we are no more organised in defence and over the last two games we have shipped eight goals. However, we seemed to have addressed our goal scoring issue, with Nelson looking to be a more natural goal scorer than Moussa or Mendy. Wright and Dales give us much better attacking options and Curran will harass anything that moves. But has McIntyre put together a team that can survive the drop? I guess we will have to wait and see.
  2. Neil McCann believed he brought in players who he thought were the same class as the players at Serie A sides like Milan and Juventus but the fans could see from the offset that most of the new additions weren't good enough. Our defence has been a shambles and it doesn’t really matter who seems to play there, nothing really changes and that is testament to the amount of goals we have shipped so far this season. 60 in total so far and that is unacceptable for the club. When you are not scoring goals, you expect your defence to at least keep a few clean sheets. Our goal difference could be the difference between staying up or going down. You could put our performances and results down to McCann's duds, but I feel that both managers have to take responsibility for our results as well. While McCann could be excused for being inexperienced, you cannot excuse some of his team selections, formations and tactics, as at times they were bloody awful. I'm not sure that given more time the results would have started to change under McCann and I think we could have been left trailing at the basement of the league. In all honestly, the shock was how long the board actually let him go on before changing. After McCann was sacked, John Nelms was in the news saying that we needed to bring in a more experienced manager, but in good old Dundee fashion, we couldn't even do that right. When the club appointed McIntyre they surely knew that the new boss would want his own assistant and that would be Billy Dodds who would bring a lot of baggage with him and there possibly would have been an uproar from the Dundee faithful. I honestly thought that Nelms and Keyes were shocked by the response and even though Dodds had been interviewed, the board quickly backtracked him out the door. Judging by a lot of the fans’ reaction, many were surprised but not shocked by the appointment of McIntyre but were secretly hoping that we would have brought someone else in instead. I, like many, were hoping that with the arrival of a more experienced manager we would start seeing improvements on the park, better team organisation in each area of the team, improved fitness, much better tactics and formation. But truth be told, this really didn't happen with a lot of fans bemoaning that nothing would change until the new boss got his own players in. In all honesty, while there has been a little improvement, it hasn't been enough and I have to ask, how long will it take before we actually start seeing the improvement on the park? After the January transfer window we had another mass exodus of players leaving and coming in. We have fielded more players this season than we have played games, and it has been another year of rebuilding due to management failures. I dread to think how many players we have had on our books since we were promoted to the Premier league in 2014 and the amount of money we may have wasted by getting players with long term contract off the books. Surely the board need to have a long hard think about the transfer policies and willingness to back managers in this way. We practically have a whole new team from the one which started the first game of the season. Gone are many so called McCann duds and McIntyre seems to have been prudent in his transfers, mostly on loan players who seem an upgrade on the departing players. Yes there are signs of improvement since January, but it still seems that we are no more organised in defence and over the last two games we have shipped eight goals. However, we seemed to have addressed our goal scoring issue, with Nelson looking to be a more natural goal scorer than Moussa or Mendy. Wright and Dales give us much better attacking options and Curran will harass anything that moves. But has McIntyre put together a team that can survive the drop? I guess we will have to wait and see. View full blog
  3. barkblue

    Upturn In Form Or Relegation Form?

    Looking back, as I have been, over Dundee FC’s 1996-97 season for the occasional ‘from the scrapbooks’ blogs, it’s difficult to take in the turmoil the club was going through at the time. Having just missed out on silverware the year before, top players (Morten Weighorst, Neil McCann, Jim Hamilton) had been sold to balance the books. With erstwhile owner, Ron Dixon, often so far out of the Dens Park loop that the remaining board members couldn’t find him and beleaguered boss Jim Duffy finally having enough of bailing out his DFC charges and heading off to Hibernian (and taking Chic Charnley, Paul Tosh and Lee Power with him), stability was in short supply. On the park, the aforementioned Charnley had been sent off in a 7-2 reverse for allegedly ‘lamping’ his own team mate, in what was John McCormack’s first game in charge, while the arrival of lower league goal machine Eddie Annand still couldn’t refuel the Dark Blue’s title tilt – or even their play-off push. It was a crazy time but I’d argue that this season has been equally maddening, saddening and ridiculous. A fact all the more bewildering when you factor in that off the park we have been, arguably, as stable as we ever have across the past four decades. A manager has been handed his jotters, we’ve built and then destroyed an entire new squad and then assembled another one. We’ve offered the first boss of the season a mentor just days before punting him and the new man at the helm wanted to be assisted by a guy who can maybe best be described as Dark Blue public enemy number one. And don’t even get us started about the on field guff we’ve been asked to endure. Neil McCann made Dens Park a sanctuary for the untried tippy-tappy underachievers from home and abroad. A remarkably one dimensional squad created with no goal threat and absolutely zero ability to keep the round thing out of the net at the other end. Over and above that, individual errors – missed back passes, missed penalties, missed sitters and defenders being posted missing, meaning that Dundee seemed to miss the point – and the points – almost every week under Cardie-man’s reign. His time had come, but we stumbled on and on and on… Experience was required and when it didn’t appear in the guise of Jim Jefferies (how many near misses can you have??), it arrived in the shape of ex-DAB and wee Billy’s best mate in football, Jim McIntyre. Taking control to the theme tune of Orange Juice’s ‘Rip It Up (And Start Again)’, McIntyre initially tinkered and toiled with players who were either clearly not good enough or clearly not interested enough to turn around our fortunes. With a full first team’s worth of players either frozen out, or out on loan, the transfer window opened and players began being pushed through it, as others clambered in. A new keeper, two new centre backs (one who got injured immediately…) a new right back. One, no two, make that three, four, maybe five midfielders arrived and a strike threat and battering ram partner also made an entrance. And yet still The General made all the headlines as he battered in a goal at Tynecastle and gifted points away on an almost weekly basis at the other end. Call it what you want, but losing last minute equalisers at Hamilton, missing a last minute game winning penalty at home to Killie, gifting Hibs four goals – and outplaying them for long stretches of a game – can only be called one thing: Relegation Form. Going to Ibrox is never easy, but with McIntyre exposing his inability to know whether to stick or twist (we didn’t defend in numbers and we didn’t support the front men well, so what exactly did we do???), the 4-0 drubbing was more worrying than a usual Glasgow disaster should be. With Hamilton and St Mirren suddenly hitting some sort of form, as we let what little impetus we had built up all too easily slip away, the signs are not good. However, from the appointment of Neil McCann, to the assembling of a squad of gifted footballers that had no idea how to win games. From the third massive turnaround of players in two seasons (let’s not even look at Hartley’s latter days) to the club, once again, writing the manual on how not to appoint a manager, and not forgetting the Glen Kamara transfer debacle, this season has been an abject lesson in how not to build stability on the park, or to cement a place in the top flight. Hence, the real surprise, is that we still have our destiny in our own hands. We still have Hamilton and St Mirren to play often enough between now and the end of the season that ‘6 points’ will regularly be up for grabs. We have undoubtedly improved under McIntyre. In fact I’d say without him we’d already be as good as relegated. We do seem to now know where the goal is and do seem to be able to compete against most teams in the league. What we have to do now is shake off the ‘relegation form’ and turn draws into wins and learn how to keep it tight when we have to. We also need to stamp out individual errors – yes I’m looking at you Genseric. Jim McIntyre himself has said we are in for a roller coaster ride right up until the closing day of the season. Was it ever any different?
  4. Looking back, as I have been, over Dundee FC’s 1996-97 season for the occasional ‘from the scrapbooks’ blogs, it’s difficult to take in the turmoil the club was going through at the time. Having just missed out on silverware the year before, top players (Morten Weighorst, Neil McCann, Jim Hamilton) had been sold to balance the books. With erstwhile owner, Ron Dixon, often so far out of the Dens Park loop that the remaining board members couldn’t find him and beleaguered boss Jim Duffy finally having enough of bailing out his DFC charges and heading off to Hibernian (and taking Chic Charnley, Paul Tosh and Lee Power with him), stability was in short supply. On the park, the aforementioned Charnley had been sent off in a 7-2 reverse for allegedly ‘lamping’ his own team mate, in what was John McCormack’s first game in charge, while the arrival of lower league goal machine Eddie Annand still couldn’t refuel the Dark Blue’s title tilt – or even their play-off push. It was a crazy time but I’d argue that this season has been equally maddening, saddening and ridiculous. A fact all the more bewildering when you factor in that off the park we have been, arguably, as stable as we ever have across the past four decades. A manager has been handed his jotters, we’ve built and then destroyed an entire new squad and then assembled another one. We’ve offered the first boss of the season a mentor just days before punting him and the new man at the helm wanted to be assisted by a guy who can maybe best be described as Dark Blue public enemy number one. And don’t even get us started about the on field guff we’ve been asked to endure. Neil McCann made Dens Park a sanctuary for the untried tippy-tappy underachievers from home and abroad. A remarkably one dimensional squad created with no goal threat and absolutely zero ability to keep the round thing out of the net at the other end. Over and above that, individual errors – missed back passes, missed penalties, missed sitters and defenders being posted missing, meaning that Dundee seemed to miss the point – and the points – almost every week under Cardie-man’s reign. His time had come, but we stumbled on and on and on… Experience was required and when it didn’t appear in the guise of Jim Jefferies (how many near misses can you have??), it arrived in the shape of ex-DAB and wee Billy’s best mate in football, Jim McIntyre. Taking control to the theme tune of Orange Juice’s ‘Rip It Up (And Start Again)’, McIntyre initially tinkered and toiled with players who were either clearly not good enough or clearly not interested enough to turn around our fortunes. With a full first team’s worth of players either frozen out, or out on loan, the transfer window opened and players began being pushed through it, as others clambered in. A new keeper, two new centre backs (one who got injured immediately…) a new right back. One, no two, make that three, four, maybe five midfielders arrived and a strike threat and battering ram partner also made an entrance. And yet still The General made all the headlines as he battered in a goal at Tynecastle and gifted points away on an almost weekly basis at the other end. Call it what you want, but losing last minute equalisers at Hamilton, missing a last minute game winning penalty at home to Killie, gifting Hibs four goals – and outplaying them for long stretches of a game – can only be called one thing: Relegation Form. Going to Ibrox is never easy, but with McIntyre exposing his inability to know whether to stick or twist (we didn’t defend in numbers and we didn’t support the front men well, so what exactly did we do???), the 4-0 drubbing was more worrying than a usual Glasgow disaster should be. With Hamilton and St Mirren suddenly hitting some sort of form, as we let what little impetus we had built up all too easily slip away, the signs are not good. However, from the appointment of Neil McCann, to the assembling of a squad of gifted footballers that had no idea how to win games. From the third massive turnaround of players in two seasons (let’s not even look at Hartley’s latter days) to the club, once again, writing the manual on how not to appoint a manager, and not forgetting the Glen Kamara transfer debacle, this season has been an abject lesson in how not to build stability on the park, or to cement a place in the top flight. Hence, the real surprise, is that we still have our destiny in our own hands. We still have Hamilton and St Mirren to play often enough between now and the end of the season that ‘6 points’ will regularly be up for grabs. We have undoubtedly improved under McIntyre. In fact I’d say without him we’d already be as good as relegated. We do seem to now know where the goal is and do seem to be able to compete against most teams in the league. What we have to do now is shake off the ‘relegation form’ and turn draws into wins and learn how to keep it tight when we have to. We also need to stamp out individual errors – yes I’m looking at you Genseric. Jim McIntyre himself has said we are in for a roller coaster ride right up until the closing day of the season. Was it ever any different? View full blog
  5. UWTB1893

    Dundee Grab First Win Of The Season

    Last week was the most vocal I have ever been towards a manager of Dundee and despite saying that a win over Hamilton would paper over the cracks of our problems, Neil McCann deserves a reprieve for this week of any criticism. Continue reading by clicking the link below. https://theeaglesbeak.com/2018/10/02/dundee-grab-first-win-of-the-season/
  6. Since coming into the club in 2013 the American has now had to appoint, quite staggeringly, three managers, what with John Brown capitulating with the promotion finishing line in sight, Paul Hartley admitting he had run out of ideas as his team stared relegation in the face and now, the unbelievably convoluted removal of Neil McCann. Arriving after Hartley blurted out that he’d tried everything he knew as he failed to turn round the fortunes of his ailing squad, the tenure of Neil McCann went from the third coming of the Messiah, to that of a manager constantly being ridiculed by former players. The cowardly smirking of Celtic reserve goalkeeper Scott Bain on social media (a pathetic trait that he has previous for) at McCann’s removal might have said more about the easily irked keeper than the punted manager. But with Julen Etxabeguren having already gone to the press with stories of a gaffer who would lose the rag at players after a defeat only to apologise once he’d had time to reflect, recently being backed up almost word for word by ex-Dee Kevin Holt, these stories are either true, or McCann gave his players more reasons than most to hold a grudge against him. These three were not alone, the Dutchman (I wouldn’t quite call him a footballer…) Randy Wolters being quoted (in pigeon English by the ever (un)reliable Evening Telegraph) as saying he and the manager had patched up their differences after a fallout. While the scarlet pimpernel of the frontline, Marcus Haber, talked of suffering the same fate, but without the late season reprieve Randy received. So with all that in mind, the evidence does really begin to stack up. Even Dee legend and the man who rubbed copious amounts of salt into those dayglo gapping tear stained DAB wounds, Craig Wighton, hinted as he left for Tynecastle, that all was not well within the Dundee backroom. Yes, you could point to the fact that none of these players could hold down a regular place in McCann’s team (with all the chopping and changing he did, was anyone a regular??) but Faissal El Bakhtaoui also had a swipe at the management team (Graham Gartland has to take some of the blame too) as he left. While the freezing out of Darren O’Dea for long spells deserves some sort of explanation too. In the end, McCann was sacked for poor form on the park and an especially abysmal record at Dens, where home fans barely knew how to celebrate Benjamin Källman’s recent goal against Motherwell (his first for the club), so starved of the ball hitting the net have we become. And all that being tied to a pathetically poor product to watch, even though we were continually fed the fabrication that the football on offer was ‘entertaining’ - no Neil, it wasn’t. Fans had had enough and his removal and replacement by Jim McIntyre had been too long in coming. In fact, far too long. But I’m getting ahead of myself… When Hartley was removed, the appearance of McCann in his superhero cardigan was not so much a surprise to Dundee fans, but more of a complete and utter, where the hell did that come from, shock. McCann had admittedly served the club well in his first term at Dens as a player (who can forget his Coca-Cola Cup semi-final winning goal against Airdrie in Perth?), before coming out of retirement to help the club through its second period in administration (scoring one of the most celebrated late game-winning goals at Dens in living memory). But that still didn’t explain how he materialised out of the Sky (Sports studios) to take on his first real role in football management. It was a crazy appointment, but crazy appointments sometimes work… and it did. With five games remaining Dundee bagged 7 points to secure safety through three backs to the wall, fighting, spirited displays. Something that was a heartening sight for a support who had been put through the mill in the months leading up to these unexpected events. It should have been a glorious swan song for a man who could across those three spells at the club be quite rightly viewed as something of a magician. But no, there was more. After having chased the then St Mirren manager Jack Ross (not Ross Jack as I have to remind myself every time his name comes up) halfway around Europe and still somehow failing to convince the man – a Dundee supporter, no less – to take the manager’s job, Dundee managing director, John Nelms dressed it all up, quite ridiculously, as an attempt to offload out of favour striker Rory Loy to the Paisley club... Man up John and tell it like it is, eh? Rather bizarrely, the man at the top then sidled back to his ‘get out of jail’ interim manager, who had already turned the full-time position down!! Lo and behold, without an interview process, without looking at other options and without, seemingly, a better idea, a pundit with basically no football management experience was handed a transfer budget. Allowing him to sign, across three transfer windows, something like 27 players (yes, really) and slowly rip the heart out of a squad that yes, had underperformed and yes, needed some serious augmenting, but which at least had a handful of players who knew the league and what it took to survive in it. Destined to fail? You betcha! Dither, dither, dither. As Dens burned, Nelms fiddled and diddled, watching defeat after defeat. One league win in eight games which was no surprise to anyone unlucky enough to watch Dundee regularly last season. And as if all that wasn’t enough we were also embarrassed at home by not one, but two Championship sides in the League Cup. Then, with merely days left of a fortnight’s international break, the decision was finally made and McCann and Gartland were mercifully removed. Leaving any potential successor to have exactly two days with his new squad before what proved to be a disastrous managerial debut in Jim McIntyre's first game in a four-day doubleheader against new league sensations Livingston, before taking on table-topping Hearts. Madness. Along the way, Jim Jefferies, Mark McGhee, your Granny and my next door neighbour all seem to have been sounded out about being, well, not a Director Of Football, but some sort of advisor to McCann. Which translates into ‘we don’t believe you can do the job, son’. Although depending on what you believe, this ‘non-job’ would still have meant the removal of assistant manager Gartland. Jefferies turned it down, a series of events he happily told the press about even after the club denied they’d approached him (professional to the last). McGhee? Well, he’s a buffoon, so let’s just leave that there and be thankful. How we then made the leap from, ‘here’s the help you need Neil...’ to ‘there’s the door mate…’ who knows? But it needed to happen and should have done weeks, if not months earlier. Welcome to Dens, in record quick time (what no interviews? No application process? No putting out feelers? Again?) Jim McIntyre, the ex-DAB (as was Tommy Coyne, so, you know, let’s put that to one side and see how he goes), who so far has made all the right noises in the media about turning the ship around, binning the style of play that became such a millstone around McCann’s neck and has experience of achieving safety with another seemingly doomed top-flight team in Ross County. So surely we can now all focus on the job. Galvanise the support and start winning games? Oh no, not on your damn well nelly. Let’s instead take one of two men who have played for Dundee, had a previous, disastrous, management role at the club and has then been outed as voting for Dundee Football Club to die, and ask him to take on the role of the assistant manager! The very same position he’d been removed from by the club just before his unforgivable act. Make it up? You couldn’t, could you? Who’s more naive here? McIntyre? Dodds? Nelms? (Nelms even suggested that McIntyre’s escape act with Ross County – joining them when they were bottom and steering them to the safety of 9th in the league wouldn’t be enough for him to be happy!!! Get a grip man, everyone else will welcome 10th as though we’d just come first in a beauty gala, been presented with the rosette at the local gymkhana and collected £200 for passing go - all while blindfolded and hanging upside down wearing a straightjacket and with a lemon in our mouths!) But let’s be fair to these lads, because local board members like Steve Martin should have quickly been able to sense danger and steered John Nelms right before he had to face the press and talk of fan uproar. Either Mr Martin can’t see the wood for the trees, or he has less influence over what happens at the club than the DFCSS – and that would take some doing. Hence Nelms had to go to the press and explain that a fan backlash had delayed the appointment of an assistant manager for our new leader. But still, it’s not done. No confirmation that Dodds won’t be coming. No announcement of who will be. Instead, we were led into the Livingston debacle by a new manager, no assistant, self-inflicted egg on our face and almost more bad feeling towards the club than there was before they removed a manager nearly everyone wanted rid of. Our new first team guru must be wondering what’s he’s walked into. Welcome to Dens Jim McIntyre. I truly believe the fans want you to succeed, are willing to let your playing past stay there and want to have you at the club for a long time to come. If the job wasn’t already hard enough, Dundee Football Club have done their utmost to ensure that it just became even harder. View full blog
  7. barkblue

    How Not To Manage a Manager

    Since coming into the club in 2013 the American has now had to appoint, quite staggeringly, three managers, what with John Brown capitulating with the promotion finishing line in sight, Paul Hartley admitting he had run out of ideas as his team stared relegation in the face and now, the unbelievably convoluted removal of Neil McCann. Arriving after Hartley blurted out that he’d tried everything he knew as he failed to turn round the fortunes of his ailing squad, the tenure of Neil McCann went from the third coming of the Messiah, to that of a manager constantly being ridiculed by former players. The cowardly smirking of Celtic reserve goalkeeper Scott Bain on social media (a pathetic trait that he has previous for) at McCann’s removal might have said more about the easily irked keeper than the punted manager. But with Julen Etxabeguren having already gone to the press with stories of a gaffer who would lose the rag at players after a defeat only to apologise once he’d had time to reflect, recently being backed up almost word for word by ex-Dee Kevin Holt, these stories are either true, or McCann gave his players more reasons than most to hold a grudge against him. These three were not alone, the Dutchman (I wouldn’t quite call him a footballer…) Randy Wolters being quoted (in pigeon English by the ever (un)reliable Evening Telegraph) as saying he and the manager had patched up their differences after a fallout. While the scarlet pimpernel of the frontline, Marcus Haber, talked of suffering the same fate, but without the late season reprieve Randy received. So with all that in mind, the evidence does really begin to stack up. Even Dee legend and the man who rubbed copious amounts of salt into those dayglo gapping tear stained DAB wounds, Craig Wighton, hinted as he left for Tynecastle, that all was not well within the Dundee backroom. Yes, you could point to the fact that none of these players could hold down a regular place in McCann’s team (with all the chopping and changing he did, was anyone a regular??) but Faissal El Bakhtaoui also had a swipe at the management team (Graham Gartland has to take some of the blame too) as he left. While the freezing out of Darren O’Dea for long spells deserves some sort of explanation too. In the end, McCann was sacked for poor form on the park and an especially abysmal record at Dens, where home fans barely knew how to celebrate Benjamin Källman’s recent goal against Motherwell (his first for the club), so starved of the ball hitting the net have we become. And all that being tied to a pathetically poor product to watch, even though we were continually fed the fabrication that the football on offer was ‘entertaining’ - no Neil, it wasn’t. Fans had had enough and his removal and replacement by Jim McIntyre had been too long in coming. In fact, far too long. But I’m getting ahead of myself… When Hartley was removed, the appearance of McCann in his superhero cardigan was not so much a surprise to Dundee fans, but more of a complete and utter, where the hell did that come from, shock. McCann had admittedly served the club well in his first term at Dens as a player (who can forget his Coca-Cola Cup semi-final winning goal against Airdrie in Perth?), before coming out of retirement to help the club through its second period in administration (scoring one of the most celebrated late game-winning goals at Dens in living memory). But that still didn’t explain how he materialised out of the Sky (Sports studios) to take on his first real role in football management. It was a crazy appointment, but crazy appointments sometimes work… and it did. With five games remaining Dundee bagged 7 points to secure safety through three backs to the wall, fighting, spirited displays. Something that was a heartening sight for a support who had been put through the mill in the months leading up to these unexpected events. It should have been a glorious swan song for a man who could across those three spells at the club be quite rightly viewed as something of a magician. But no, there was more. After having chased the then St Mirren manager Jack Ross (not Ross Jack as I have to remind myself every time his name comes up) halfway around Europe and still somehow failing to convince the man – a Dundee supporter, no less – to take the manager’s job, Dundee managing director, John Nelms dressed it all up, quite ridiculously, as an attempt to offload out of favour striker Rory Loy to the Paisley club... Man up John and tell it like it is, eh? Rather bizarrely, the man at the top then sidled back to his ‘get out of jail’ interim manager, who had already turned the full-time position down!! Lo and behold, without an interview process, without looking at other options and without, seemingly, a better idea, a pundit with basically no football management experience was handed a transfer budget. Allowing him to sign, across three transfer windows, something like 27 players (yes, really) and slowly rip the heart out of a squad that yes, had underperformed and yes, needed some serious augmenting, but which at least had a handful of players who knew the league and what it took to survive in it. Destined to fail? You betcha! Dither, dither, dither. As Dens burned, Nelms fiddled and diddled, watching defeat after defeat. One league win in eight games which was no surprise to anyone unlucky enough to watch Dundee regularly last season. And as if all that wasn’t enough we were also embarrassed at home by not one, but two Championship sides in the League Cup. Then, with merely days left of a fortnight’s international break, the decision was finally made and McCann and Gartland were mercifully removed. Leaving any potential successor to have exactly two days with his new squad before what proved to be a disastrous managerial debut in Jim McIntyre's first game in a four-day doubleheader against new league sensations Livingston, before taking on table-topping Hearts. Madness. Along the way, Jim Jefferies, Mark McGhee, your Granny and my next door neighbour all seem to have been sounded out about being, well, not a Director Of Football, but some sort of advisor to McCann. Which translates into ‘we don’t believe you can do the job, son’. Although depending on what you believe, this ‘non-job’ would still have meant the removal of assistant manager Gartland. Jefferies turned it down, a series of events he happily told the press about even after the club denied they’d approached him (professional to the last). McGhee? Well, he’s a buffoon, so let’s just leave that there and be thankful. How we then made the leap from, ‘here’s the help you need Neil...’ to ‘there’s the door mate…’ who knows? But it needed to happen and should have done weeks, if not months earlier. Welcome to Dens, in record quick time (what no interviews? No application process? No putting out feelers? Again?) Jim McIntyre, the ex-DAB (as was Tommy Coyne, so, you know, let’s put that to one side and see how he goes), who so far has made all the right noises in the media about turning the ship around, binning the style of play that became such a millstone around McCann’s neck and has experience of achieving safety with another seemingly doomed top-flight team in Ross County. So surely we can now all focus on the job. Galvanise the support and start winning games? Oh no, not on your damn well nelly. Let’s instead take one of two men who have played for Dundee, had a previous, disastrous, management role at the club and has then been outed as voting for Dundee Football Club to die, and ask him to take on the role of the assistant manager! The very same position he’d been removed from by the club just before his unforgivable act. Make it up? You couldn’t, could you? Who’s more naive here? McIntyre? Dodds? Nelms? (Nelms even suggested that McIntyre’s escape act with Ross County – joining them when they were bottom and steering them to the safety of 9th in the league wouldn’t be enough for him to be happy!!! Get a grip man, everyone else will welcome 10th as though we’d just come first in a beauty gala, been presented with the rosette at the local gymkhana and collected £200 for passing go - all while blindfolded and hanging upside down wearing a straightjacket and with a lemon in our mouths!) But let’s be fair to these lads, because local board members like Steve Martin should have quickly been able to sense danger and steered John Nelms right before he had to face the press and talk of fan uproar. Either Mr Martin can’t see the wood for the trees, or he has less influence over what happens at the club than the DFCSS – and that would take some doing. Hence Nelms had to go to the press and explain that a fan backlash had delayed the appointment of an assistant manager for our new leader. But still, it’s not done. No confirmation that Dodds won’t be coming. No announcement of who will be. Instead, we were led into the Livingston debacle by a new manager, no assistant, self-inflicted egg on our face and almost more bad feeling towards the club than there was before they removed a manager nearly everyone wanted rid of. Our new first team guru must be wondering what’s he’s walked into. Welcome to Dens Jim McIntyre. I truly believe the fans want you to succeed, are willing to let your playing past stay there and want to have you at the club for a long time to come. If the job wasn’t already hard enough, Dundee Football Club have done their utmost to ensure that it just became even harder.
  8. barkblue

    Winging It

    Making his Dundee debut in his teens, becoming the club’s youngest ever goal scorer along the way and having been lauded by his peers and elders are all bold boasts. And yet, it was his squirting, squirming trundler that sauntered its way through the entire Dundee United defence to nestle in their goal in the final moments of the never to be forgotten Doon Derby that will always see ‘CW33’ as part of our club’s history. That Craig leaves an impressive legacy at Dens is an understatement, especially considering he’s still only 21. With so much going his way, Wighton’s departure for a reported £250,000, doesn’t seem that much of a shock. However, unlike his manager before him, the major difference this time is that this youngster, so far, has failed to truly fulfil his potential. Most people believe that Wighton’s ultimate position within a team will be the traditional No.10 role as the playmaker sitting behind the front two; pulling the strings, tormenting opposition midfielders and chipping in with more than a few goals of his own. Hence, the question really needs to be, why have Dundee supporters, seldom, if ever, seen ‘The Wizard’, as he was dubbed by the likes of Gary Harkins no less, in that role? In truth, only his one-time Dundee managers, John Brown, Paul Hartley and Neil McCann, can answer that question. Instead, the role that the tricky ball player was most often asked to fill was one that has proved to be a poisoned chalice for many a Dee. All manner of players squeezed and squashed into a role that was never going to suit them. The dreaded wide left midfield berth… We don’t have to go any further back than last season to find Neil McCann asking the, admittedly at a much mower level, free scoring Faissal El Bakhtaoui to play on the left wing. The slightly built whippet looking a forlorn figure as games passed him by. Admittedly El-Bak would also be tried unsuccessfully in umpteen other positions, but as often as not the striker could be found struggling to take on the opposition right back and over hitting crosses into The Derry. So, obviously this is a weakness of Neil McCann’s managerial style? Well, probably yes, and possibly no, for he is not alone. From the top of my head Dee legends Jim Duffy and Jocky Scott were equally afflicted by a desire to utilise players completely unsuited to the role of a winger, as their wide left option. Don’t believe me? Well, ask yourself why Colin McMenamin, who scored a barrowload of goals for the likes of Livingston and Gretna before coming to Dundee, and Queen of the South and Ross County after his departure, had his early goal scoring form for The Dee’s ignored as Jocky asked him to protect the full back and whip in crosses from the left. After all, this was a player who needed to stop a stranger and ask him for directions if he found himself anywhere other than in the opposition’s penalty box. Something that could also be said for Rory Loy, a poacher who found himself, quite rightly, surplus to goalscoring requirements when Kane Hemmings hit a career high purple patch for Dundee. Harrying defenders and putting in crunching tackles was never on Loy’s agenda and arguably his spell under Paul Hartley’s tutelage ruined the striker’s career. Other less obvious ‘wingers’ to plough the wide left furrow at Dens include a couple of players whose own individual talent proved enough to rise above being played out of position. Leigh Griffith’s tenacity, blistering pace and accuracy from distance more than enough to hide his questionable deployment. While the glorious one, Gary Harkins, was (and still is) capable of mesmerising defenders with his fleet footwork and the merest shimmy of his ample hips. Still, like Craig Wighton, ‘GGH’ was a maestro you wanted pulling the strings from the centre of the park, devastating defences as he did so. Less successful was the man of not one goal, but of Juan, two three strikes against Dundee United, Juan Sara. Who, once the goals dried up under Jim Duffy’s direction, also found himself playing deeper and deeper and, on occasion, marginalised out on the left. With his confidence already shot through his sudden lack of goals, playing in a position that he was never suited to was only going to end one way. The DAB destroyer becoming a pale, impotent shadow of the player he had once been. However, the most ludicrous left winger I’ve seen in my time going to watch Dundee is actually one of our cult heroes. A goal scoring target man with time spent at Celtic, Aberdeen, Middlesbrough and Watford – and fresh from a reasonably prolific spell with Motherwell – Willie Falconer is undoubtedly one of the most effective, out and out, frontmen we’ve seen at Dens over the past twenty years. So what his manager at the time, the much moustachioed Jocky Scott, was thinking as Dundee lined up at home to Rangers on a cold February evening in 2000, with the hustling, bustling, centre back bursting Falconer hugging the left hand touchline, I don’t think anyone – including Jocky – will ever know. Old ladies used to ask ‘Big Wullie’ if he needed a hand to cross the street, so the only shock when the seasoned frontman spent 90 minutes falling over his own feet, hitting defenders with ‘crosses’ and losing the ball over and over, was that his manager didn’t see it coming. Rangers did and promptly left Dens with a victory of seven goals to one. To Willie’s great credit, he outlasted his manager at Dens, resisted Ivano Bonetti’s cull of Scottish players and went on to successfully partner no less than Claudio Caniggia in the Dee’s frontline. Quickly putting to rest one of the most bizarre midfield ‘experiments’ we’ve ever seen. In fairness to these strikers come left wingers, even players who were supposedly ‘meant’ to play out there, have found the position too much for them when they arrived at Dundee. Mark Gilhaney, having destroyed The Dark Blues for Hamilton Accies down the left wing on numerous occasions, looking like a lost wee laddie asking for his Mum when he pulled on a Dark Blue shirt. While Freddie Daquin is legendary for his ability to run down the wing and straight out of play. Although to be fair to the Frenchman, he proved just as adept at that skill on his favoured right flank as he did when hunting for some never to be found form on the left! And yet, last season, with the welcome exception of his top flight securing cross onto the head of Simon Murray, Randy Wolters made nearly all of these men look like world beaters. The burly, attitude packed wide-o showing up without a trick in his bag, or an end product to sell. But surely not every player to play wide left over the past few decades for Dundee has been absolutely, dreadfully awful in that role? Well, when he was played a little deeper, Gavin Swankie gave it a half decent go, while, to be fair, it’s hard to say that the much maligned Ryan Conroy doesn’t show up rather favourably against most of those both before and after his time at the club. Ryan’s wing-partner Nicky Riley, also gave it a half decent go when he was put on his less favoured side. While there’s no denying that the man of many, all and sometimes no midfield position at all, Greg Stewart, did a lot of his best work while playing down that flank. Although a certain Kevin Holt might not be so keen to agree... Hence, we might just need to go back to the gaffer, Mr Neil McCann, to unearth the last Dundee player to truly make the left wing his own. Dropping his shoulder to beat players, hitting the byline to expertly stick the ball on Jim Hamilton’s napper and scoring the occasional wonder goal, just as he did the night he helped send Dundee to the Coca Cola cup final. Which, of course, begs the questions of why our current manager, a man who spent years tormenting right backs, prefers such a narrow formation, and why can’t he find a left midfielder with even a tenth of the potency he possessed? With Craig Wighton now wearing the maroon of Hearts, who will be next to be left out in the cold? Well, we’ve already seen Jean Alassane Mendy run about lost against St Johnstone out there and, of course, one of Scotland’s most prolific goal scorers of the past couple of decades, Kenny Miller, become more and more frustrated as the curse tried to overcome him on his debut for Dundee. Calvin Miller, it’s over to you. No pressure now...
  9. The ex-Ross County boss takes over a Dundee side who sit bottom of the league. Dundee confirmed the appointment from their website: “Dundee Football Club is delighted to announce that Jim McIntyre has tonight been appointed manager of the club. “46-year-old, Jim has enjoyed a successful managerial career over the past 10 years with time in charge at Dunfermline Athletic, Queen of the South and Ross County. “He won promotion to the top flight with Dunfermline in his first job in management in 2011. “After leaving the East End Park side he went on to manage Queen of the South where he enjoyed success with a 4th place finish in the Championship. “Jim moved to Ross County in 2014 and went on to lead them to their first major trophy with a League Cup win in 2015/16, a season in which he also won the SFWA Manager of the Year award. “Jim joins on a one year rolling contract and will meet the players tomorrow morning before taking training.” McIntyre has been out of management for just over a year since he was sacked from Ross County along with his assistant Billy Dodds. As of yet, there has been no word if Dodds will following him to Dens Park but it would be a brave and silly man to appoint someone as hated among the Dark Blue support as the ex-Dundee striker and assistant manager. Jim McIntyre will be unveiled in front of the press tomorrow at lunchtime.
  10. Last week was the most vocal I have ever been towards a manager of Dundee and despite saying that a win over Hamilton would paper over the cracks of our problems, Neil McCann deserves a reprieve for this week of any criticism. Continue reading by clicking the link below. https://theeaglesbeak.com/2018/10/02/dundee-grab-first-win-of-the-season/ View full blog
  11. With the threat of losing his job if Hamilton came out on top almost certain, McCann stuck to his guns and came out the victor by refusing to change his philosophy on how he wants to see his team play, something that has earned him praise from the Irish defender. “It’s a big relieve – this result has obviously been a long time coming for us,” beamed Boyle. “But I thought we were good value for it after dominating the game. We rode our luck a bit late on but that is a bit of luck we probably deserve after the way things have gone recently. “The manager has been brilliant. We’ve all taken a bit of flak but he’s been positive and kept on encouraging us to play. “He’s been very brave. It would have been easy to revert to a safer style and go long but he has stuck to his guns and we reaped the benefits of it on Saturday. “Have I seen any signs of him being under stress? No, not really. At training, everyone has been positive around the place. You wouldn’t guess from walking around the place that we had lost seven games on the spin from looking at folk. “Saturday was a much better feeling coming off the pitch than we’ve had in past weeks. We just need to kick this on now.”
  12. TheDarkBlues

    Neil McCann

    His professional career saw him play for Dundee (two spells), Heart of Midlothian (two spells), Rangers, Southampton and Falkirk. He also played 26 times for the Scotland national football team. McCann started his career with Dundee before moving on to Heart of Midlothian in 1996. He helped the Tynecastle side win the Scottish Cup in 1998, their first major trophy in 36 years. McCann moved to Rangers later that year for £1.9 million, becoming the club's first major Scottish Catholic signing since Mo Johnston. He scored two goals against Rangers' arch-rivals Celtic on 2 May 1999 to clinch the SPL title. In 2003 Rangers were forced to sell him due to their financial problems. He joined Southampton on 5 August 2003, for £1.5 million. A series of injuries made it difficult for him to maintain his place in the team. McCann scored one goal for Southampton, in a League Cup tie against Northampton Town. His contract with Southampton was terminated by mutual consent in January 2006.[9] On 17 January 2006, McCann rejoined Hearts. He sustained a serious injury while playing in his first match since returning to Hearts against Kilmarnock, meaning he missed their victory in the 2006 Scottish Cup Final. He returned from injury for the UEFA Champions League qualifier against Široki Brijeg of Bosnia. However, on 25 August 2007, he suffered a double leg break during Hearts' loss to Celtic in a tackle on Scott Brown. Brown was unharmed in the tackle. On 14 May 2008, it was announced that McCann had signed for SPL rivals Falkirk. He scored on his debut against former club Hearts, and then scored twice for Falkirk in League Cup ties against Queen of the South and Inverness. He also played for Falkirk in the 2009 Scottish Cup Final. He was released on 22 August 2009 after managerial changes at Falkirk, with outgoing manager John Hughes (the manager that signed him) being replaced by Eddie May. On 12 February 2011, McCann came out of retirement to help Dundee stave-off relegation. He scored a last minute goal in his first appearance, against Raith Rovers. On 30 April 2015, McCann decided to leave his position as Assistant Manager at Dunfermline Athletic.
  13. When Glen Kamara walked through the doors of Dens Park last summer, he was a virtual unknown with the Dark Blue faithful and Scotland in general. However, he very quickly won over the supporters and has become a fans favourite due of his silky football skills on the park. The former Arsenal player went on to win 'The Players Player award' and the 'Andrew De Vries Player of the Year' last Sunday, at the annual DSA Player of the year awards last Sunday. His skills have not gone unnoticed by other clubs either, the Sun newspaper has reported that a number of clubs, including Celtic and Rangers are apparently after his signature. There also have been rumours that clubs South of the border are expected to table a bid for the 22 year old. Dundee are currently in talks over a new contract and Neil McCann has stated that he 'doesn't want him going anywhere' and that Dundee FC are doing everything they can to tie the in demand midfielder to a longer deal at Dens Park. The Dundee manager stated at a 'Fans Q&A' that Dundee FC won't accept anything but a 'serious cash offer for the midfielder and are in talks to extend his contract at Dens Park. “Glen hasn’t gone under the radar so we’re not ignorant to the fact he will attract attention. “So I am not in a position to say he won’t go because if a big bid comes in for him the club can use that to make itself better. “But I don’t want Glen to go anywhere and he won’t be going anywhere unless it’s right for this club. “It will need to be some serious cash. Glen won’t walk out of Dens Park unless this club gets a very big deal. We are currently speaking to Glen and have been for a wee bit now. “I met him the other week for breakfast before he went on holiday because he’s been called up to the Finnish squad again. That’s another feather in the club’s cap because he’s become a full international here at this club, not Arsenal. I’ve spoken to him and he’s loved his time here, so he’s not in any rush to get away and those talks will continue.”
  14. With just sixteen minutes left to play, the Dark Blues were ahead and looked good for the win with the man advantage but they surrendered the lead and eventually the points by allowing Killie to not only equalise by also grab the winner. "Only the players can explain why they're not doing their jobs properly," McCann said. "They've been told and they will be told repeatedly again that it's unacceptable. "We're 2-1 up and a man up, I've taken off a more attacking player for a defensive player, but for some unknown reason we can't manage that situation. "We've just got players running and I'm screaming at them from the touchline. We shouldn't lose that game." McCann was quick to point out that he felt Glen Kamara was fouled in the lead up to Kilmarnock’s winner but refused to blame the match official for Dundee throwing away the three points. "Glen Kamara is fouled right in front of us, Nick doesn't give it, and he waltzes through, the boy," McCann said. "I'm not happy with [the referee] not giving a free kick when Kamara was fouled. Other than that, both managers might have a few grumbles. [But] it wasn't the referee's faulty we lost the game."
  15. Despite the defeat, McCann has promised to not be too hard on the players as he was happy with the performance. “We deserved to take something from the game,” said McCann. “Their keeper Joe Lewis has made two very good saves and there was also a shout for a penalty. “The boys deserved something for their application and the chances we created. “The performance was there, although we didn’t get anything from the game. ‘The players have shown a lot of character to stay in the match. “It shows respect that Aberdeen decided to camp in and hit on the counter-attack. “Coming up against a team who have been the second best in the country for the past few years, though, I think the players can be pleased and I haven’t been too hard on them. “I have told them there is no disappointment here because I was happy with the way they played.”
  16. It has now been well over a month since the Mexican manager flunked at Rangers in a hail of controversy. The Rangers board decided after only 8 months that it wasn’t going to work out for both manager and club and after just 229 days in charge, Caixinha became the shortest ever serving manager for this born again Glasgow side. Rangers were then on the look out for a replacement. It seemed for a short time that the post would be going to Alex McLeish, with the former Rangers manager telling the Ibrox Board in October that they have ‘Got my number’ only for just a week later stating that he wasn’t on the verge of returning to his previous post as the Rangers manager. Rangers then turned their attention to the Aberdeen boss for the job, but it seems that this has been a farce with 'will he or won’t he' be taking the job, and it seems that Derek McInnes has always been insisting he is going nowhere and will be staying at his post at Aberdeen. However, this hasn't deterred Rangers in the least and they still seemingly have Derek McInnes as their number one target, with the bookies having him favourite to take over the reins at Ibrox any day now. However, it isn’t clear whether or not Rangers have actually approached the Aberdeen board or Derek McInnes for that matter regarding the move to Glasgow, it could very well be more than nothing but west coast media paper talk getting the sharks into a frenzy at the smell of blood. McInnes has even been quoted in saying that he isn’t interested in the Ger’s job. “I want to reiterate what the chairman said. I speak to him every other day and relationships are key to me. He wanted to put something out, he spoke to me about it, and I was happy for him to do that. I have never been one who feels the need to react to speculation and I don’t see how I can pick and choose. I’m getting asked all the time about this job or that job. A month ago I was asked about the Scotland job and I answered one question about it, so everyone was happy with that. Has it angered me? Not initially because you can’t control the speculation, and in the past I have usually answered it and we have moved on." While McInnes is defiantly the ‘bookies’ favourite, there seems to be a late and surprising up and coming runner for the job, the Bookies now have Ex-Rangers man Neil McCann second favourite, slashing the odds from 40/1 down to 9/2. This could either mean that a lot of people have been placing bets on Dark Blues manager hoping to make a little killing or Rangers have contacted Dundee in trying to sound him out for the post. There has been quite a bit of talk by Rangers fans who would like to see McCann take the trip from Dundee down to Glasgow, for no other reason than he is supposed to be a Rangers man through and through. For some reason playing for Rangers is the only prerequisite for getting the manager’s job for many of the light blues fans. I find it strange that when it came down to the nitty gritty, McCann choose to come out of retirement to help Dundee Football Club. His goal against Raith Rovers to help secure Dundee ‘s division one status after the club were docked 25 points, will forever keep McCann a legend with the Dark Blues support. He then put his job at Sky on hold to come to the Dark Blues rescue again and secured the club’s premier status when it looked assured Dundee would be playing Championship football again this season. For some time after, it looked as if McCann would return to his Sky job as he hesitated but finally found the lure of managing the side which started his career over twenty five years ago too much to walk away from. Neil McCann has just started his managerial journey and is by all standards, still a rookie learning his trade. His time as assistant manager at Dunfermline will have helped him immensely, but he still has a lot to learn and after only 6 months in charge full-time, is only starting to get Dundee on the right track. The football at Dens is night and day since McCann has taken over, the drab defensive playing for a draw style which Hartley had us playing is long gone. McCann has brought in a new attacking philosophy which didn’t look like it was going to work at first. The Dark Blues were shipping goals at an alarming rate and were stuck to the bottom of the table. The club 12 team which when down in season 2013 had more points at this stage. Unlike our previous manager, McCann realised that he had to change things around and swap around personal if we are to have a chance, and this seems to be working. Two clean sheets and unbeaten in the last three games with wins against Rangers and Ross county away from home. If you ask any Dundee Fan if they’re happy with the football this season, most will say they are enjoying the what McCann is serving, but are not happy at the results and the stream of bad luck we have been on the receiving end from the start of the season. While the club under McCann is heading in the right direction, he is no means the finished article and there is still a long way to go between now and the end of the season, and we are still in the precarious position of those relegation spots. Will Rangers go for a manager that has only been in the job for a couple of minutes or will they be looking for a manager with a proven record at this level? If they wish to continue this debacle of stumbling from one catastrophe to another, then they may probably try and make McCann their manager. I’m just not sure how long the Ibrox faithful would willing to give McCann before turning on him if things didn’t work out as expected. As Dundee fan, I just hope and pray that Neil McCann has a lot more sense and realises that the Rangers managerial seat is nothing more than a poison chalice and a hot bed of controversially, and at this time and point of his managerial career changing from Dundee to Glasgow could possibly do more damage to his reputation in the long run and end what seems to be a promising start to his managerial career.
  17. With Motherwell up next at Dens this Wednesday, the Dundee gaffer looks certain to adapt the same philosophy. “It is but no-one is going to come to you and say, ‘There you go’,” when asked if the team are due to give another team a doing. “We have to make it happen but I am confident because we are creating so many chances. “When I took over last season, I said this was a team that had to stop losing games and in order to do that we almost sacrificed a wee bit of our going forward. “I said I would try to change that, to being a team which was really on the offensive when we had the ball. “At times this year we have conceded goals but we have created so many chances. “Looking at it from Saturday, we could have just sat in and attempted to take a point but I am trying to change the mid-set of this club to not accept that a point is OK against Partick Thistle when we have totally dominated the match. “I can’t suddenly turn around and say, ‘Hold on a minute, where are you going?’ when we are trying to go for the winner. “We will talk individually about how we could have stopped their goals but overall I am convinced it will turn.”
  18. Saturdays goalless draw may have been a drab affair for the punters that paid to get in but it did end Dundee’s recent run of defeats against an Ayrshire side who have recently turned the corner since the arrival of new manager Steve Clarke. He said: “I felt on Saturday, against a real good side in terms of their organisation to go away from home and get big results with Jones and Boyd up front, we contained them for a lot of the game. “We’re pleased with the point, I’m really happy for them because they’ve been working hard to keep a clean sheet. “Now we need to start building and scoring goals that get us three points rather than one.” Meanwhile, skipper Darren O’Dea is set to serve a two-match suspension after being given a red card near the end of Saturdays match with McCann confessing he had no complaints about his captain getting an early bath. So far this season in the league, O’Dea has picked up eight yellow and two red cards.
  19. UWTB1893

    McCann Angered By 'Outrageous' Decision

    A melee broke out in the second half after Paul McGowan had been fouled and during this, Stokes delivered a low blow to defender Hendry. Both players would receive a yellow. “I know the fourth official has a clear view because he is standing next to me and I know Kylie can see it because she is looking down the same barrel,” McCann said. “Then John Beaton then gives a yellow card – before booking my player, who had been punched, too. “After the game, John Beaton told me he goes on the information he has been given. That information was ‘the player has been struck by another player’ but he said he didn’t deem it violent conduct; it was ‘aggressive behaviour’. “Well, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t take a lot to be painful when you get clipped in the balls with a closed fist. “People might be thinking ‘oh, he’s lost the game and looking for excuses’. Well, it’s not the case – it was outrageous.” As what seems to be a weekly occurrence, Neil McCann was angered at the goals that Dundee had lost. "The second goal is so basic defending," he said. "We worked on it this week and that's so angering. It's killed us,” said McCann. "What I'm more angry about is the guy who crosses the ball. He shouldn't be on the pitch. He's punched our defender between the legs. "The fourth official says he sees it, says they're dealing with it because of the melee and, for whatever reason, they've deemed it not violent conduct. "I'm really unhappy with their second goal, something we must get right individually. "If you switch off during games in this division, you get punished, but the most galling thing is that it should have been a red card for the player who crosses it. "I'm not getting a lack of effort, I'm getting basic mistakes and it's got to stop. "I'm not going to keep making excuses for them, that they're a young group and learning. They're conceding basic goals."
  20. Scott Allan will most likely be going back to his parent club as Celtic will want to oversea his recovery. Whether that means we will see him in a Dark Blue jersey again will remain to be seen. McCann stated in the news that “Because he’s a loan player we, quite rightly, have to be guided by Celtic and their medical staff. It’s early days and we’re just waiting.” Julen Etxabeguren's injury nightmare looks to be coming to a close. The Spanish defender injured his Achilles tendon last March against Partick Thistle and was stretchered off after 69 minutes. He went under the knife to correct the issue and has since been making a slow recovery. Jules has played in the under 20's and as recently as last week in Dave McKay's testimonial. McCann said 'That was his third or fourth game and he looks really good. I wanted him to feel like being a professional footballer again with a crowd, against a good St Johnstone side'. McCann admitted that before joining Dundee as manager he didn't know much about Julen. 'I knew he was a quality player but I have to admit that I didn’t know too much about him beyond that. You need to get to know a player personally and see him training. I’ve been able to do that over the last couple of months, But he’s like a new signing. We’ve got Kosta and Josh coming back as well. These are like quality signings outside the transfer window.' Another long time absentee Kostadin Gadzhalov is set for a return. The big Bulgarian has been out since July with a Calf Strain which has seen him miss most of the start of the season. Like Etxabeguren, Gadzhalov has recently had a run in a few development league games and now shows signs that he could be back in the squad after the international break. Neill McCann has stated that Josh Meekings 'is looking brilliant' and could be nearing his Dundee debut. The ex-Inverness defender had been working on his recovery at Dens Park over the summer, fuelling speculation that the big defender could join the Dundee Ranks. Meekings joined Dundee in August just before the transfer windowed closed, however has had to wait over two months to wear a Dark Blue jersey in a competitive game while getting back to full health. 'Josh has been looking good in training, but you can’t expect him to go straight in after such a long time out. After the international break, all going well, Josh and Jules will be ready to start pushing themselves for inclusion'. While this is good news for the players, this will however most likely give McCann a choice headache, this will possibly mean he will have 6 central defenders to choose from after the international break. However, with the way that the youngsters Kerr Waddell and Jack Hendry have been playing recently, the returnees may have to wait their turn before they get into that starting line-up.
  21. And the former Dee favourite reckons the rookie boss can be their saviour again after answering another SOS from Tayside. Plenty of heroes were created during the ‘Deefiant’ campaign in 2010/11, as Barry Smith’s side somehow recovered from a 25-point deduction, swathing budget cuts and a signing embargo to retain their Championship status. However, the fairytale intervention by McCann that season was something special. At 36 years of age, having been retired for three years and already a pundit with Sky, he returned as a trialist in a league match against Raith Rovers – and scored a 90th-minute winner. Irvine still recalls the wild celebrations that followed the strike and reckons it summed up their great escape – a spirit which Dundee would do well to rediscover, with five games to salvage their top-flight status. He smiled: “When anyone asks me about my memories of Dundee, that is one that always springs to mind. It was such a difficult season, we were pulling trialists in from everywhere because of the signing embargo, and he actually came out of retirement just to help us out. “We were struggling to make up the numbers some weeks, and Neilly came in, despite having his work with Sky. “He was great in training, really fit and then he came on as a substitute and scored a wee looping goal against Raith – you couldn’t write it. “He took off towards the supporters and the whole place went wild, the celebrations were unreal. Everyone just piled on top of Neil! “I’ve been lucky enough to win leagues with Dundee, but that moment stands out because it just summed up how hard that season was – needing someone to come out of retirement – but how we somehow found a way to get over the line.” Irvine believes that decision to dust off his boots illustrated McCann’s love for Dundee, for whom he starred between 1992 and 1996, and has no doubt that will give him a burning desire to succeed after taking the top job on an interim basis. Irvine added: “It’s a tricky job for anyone going in there and, given Neil has a good gig at Sky, it would have been easy for him to say no. For the second time now, Dundee have come calling and he has said yes without hesitation. “That speaks volumes for the passion he has for the club and I’m sure he’ll be getting that across to the players.” While swapping the TV studios for the dugout may seem a left-field move – and proved an ill-fated one when Gary Neville joined Valencia – Irvine reckons McCann’s punditry pedigree will actually be a massive positive. Irvine, himself eyeing another escape from the drop with St Mirren, added: “He knows the game inside-out from his work with Sky, he knows the oppositions and can go straight in there with fresh ideas, while already knowing the club itself. “He is a great character and his knowledge of the game is second to none. Hopefully he gets the right reaction and they get out of that mess because, just like Neil, I still have a lot of affection for Dundee.”
  22. The club are set to take on our neighbours Dundee United at Dens Park this Wednesday with a place in the next round up for grabs. Dundee kicked off their league campaign with a 2-1 defeat against Ross County with the Dee deserving of the loss. McCann said: “It’s good that there’s a game so soon. “It doesn’t matter that it’s a derby so much. It’s more so the fact that we have a game to try and bounce back in a few days time.” Mark O’Hara also echoed the feelings of his manager by saying that the team owed a victory over the Terrors to the fans. O’Hara said: “We definitely owe the fans one as we have let everyone down. “It is not a great start at all and we will try to put it right on Wednesday night. “It is an ideal opportunity to put this (Ross County defeat) behind us. “Hopefully if we get a win against United, we can forget about this and move on as quickly as possible. “It is an ideal game to put it right for ourselves and the fans. “There is still a feeling of disappointment from the last game against them. “Obviously a defeat against your local rivals isn’t great so it is two wrongs we need to put right on Wednesday night.” Sofien Moussa (knee) and Kerr Waddell (calf) are major doubts for Wednesday’s game against Dundee United.
  23. Despite pulling a late goal back courtesy of a Jack Hendry header, County deserved their win. Dundee had plenty of the ball but were wasteful, lacked any urgency in their slow build up and more importantly, showed no cutting edge up front. For the second match in a row, Moussa had next to none support before he went off injured. Neil McCann was understandably not happy with the teams display. He said "I felt we started okay and looked a threat and the latter part we did well. "The bit in between was not good enough and Ross County dominated us in the middle of the pitch, which is disappointing as we have two combative players in there. "We looked hesitant going forward and I'm also disappointed with losing two goals from set pieces. "Overall, I am disappointed with the start of the campaign and will be looking for a reaction come Wednesday."
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