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Found 10 results

  1. 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/
  2. 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
  3. I can’t speak much about the game. I had to keep my season ticket in my back pocket and attend a christening while home improvements mean that I have yet to watch the whole ninety minutes back on DEETV. However, I did manage to find time to catch the highlights on Sportscene. Considering the bias that they show to the Glasgow team, I may as well not have bothered. Despite a spirited rally near the end after a wondergoal from El Bakhtaoui, the end result was the same as our last two league ties. Defeat. Luckily for the club, other teams around us didn’t narrow the gap too much. In fact, you could say that all the results this weekend went in our favour. We have now reached crunch time in our quest for a top six finish. We are only four points behind Partick with our last games before the split consisting of Aberdeen (h), Ross County (a), Hearts (a) and Hamilton (h). I know we are currently having a bad March with three defeats in a row but each of these games are winnable in my opinion. Despite County and Hearts being away from home, we can easily head to these venues and pick up points while I would rather be playing Aberdeen and Hamilton at home than on their own turf. Truthfully, it would have to see a massive upturn in fortunes for us to reach the top six. We may pick up a win or two before the split but I can see Thistle also picking up at least one win. We have fared better against the top teams this year than the previous but we have also seen this side struggle against teams around us, especially when it matters. Both losses against Thistle at home will especially stick out as sore ones for myself if we find ourselves stranded in the bottom half of the table. Until it’s mathematical, I will continue to have faith that we can achieve what some may say is unachievable for the Dee. Thankfully, we have a free weekend before taking on Aberdeen at Dens in our next tie. This couldn’t have happened at a much better time for us. It’s now time to regroup, look at the path ahead of us and work as hard as possible in training to get something from these games. I may have blethered on above about our top six aspirations but on the other side of the fence, we have only a six point cushion over the bottom two teams. I made no secret in my last article that the thought of being dragged down near the bottom of the table gives me the absolute fear. This may be down to the Jekyll and Hyde team that we have become accustomed to this term. If the team can show the side that beat Rangers and demolished Motherwell from here until the split, I’ll be more confident that there will be no bottom of the table scraps for us and this includes if we do unfortunately finish in the bottom six. Until next week, MON THE DEE!
  4. All joking aside, what a turnaround it has been for Dundee. I was resigned to being in a play-off spot under Paul Hartley and had genuine concerns that we would eventually end up bottom. A new manager comes in, wins his first two games in charge which were both away from home and the world seems a happy place again. It’s been a remarkable turnaround at Dens Park and we now see ourselves potentially one more win away from Neil McCann achieving the goal he was brought in to deliver. Keeping this team up. We can’t go getting ahead of ourselves yet though. As easy as it was to see the team pull back a two-point gap against tenth and ninth place to sit four points above them, it will be just as easy for us to hurtle backdown the league. Do I believe this will happen though? Not really, but we should all still have our wits about us. The next eight days sees us play twice at home to both Highland teams, Ross County and Inverness. County are the first to travel down south to the City of Discovery and will do so in fine form. No defeats in five with three wins means that they will possibly be most people’s favourites coming into this match. Though not mathematically safe yet, the Highlanders will have no great concerns of going down this year while we know that a win for ourselves will more or less guarantee league safety. With Motherwell and Hamilton both playing each another and the form we have shown over the last two weeks, it’s the ideal time to put an end to any relegation fears we may have. Historically, both sides are pretty even when it comes to our head to head record. They also will be starting this match on a good run of form so predicting the outcome of the match will be hard. In fact, the smart money would be on a score draw. It’s been a hard season watching Dundee but since the appointment of McCann, it’s been like watching a different team. He’s done a fantastic job since taking over three weeks ago and the fact we went to Fir Park and Rugby Park to claim six points under his stewardship is nothing short of remarkable in my eyes. If we can pull off the win, it will only cement Neil’s legendary status within the Dark Blue ranks. It will also shorten the odds of him being appointed the manager on a permanent basis. It’s been reported in the press recently that he wants to extend his stay past the summer and if he manages three wins on the bounce, who can blame him for not wanting the gig. Hopefully, when I am writing my article next week, we are toasting a Highland double or at least safe from relegation. That’s the number one goal first and foremost. MON THE DEE!
  5. Confidence and faith in the team have been severely depleted within the support and more importantly, the players. Saturday’s victory over Motherwell helped to massively restore everything that was lacking around the club the past few months. This was our first win in seven matches. It was also our first goals from open play in seven matches. It was critical we ended these runs and we did so with a bit of style. I did have the fear going into this game mind you. Neil McCann had been saying all the right things in the press. The team looked like they were actually enjoying training and more importantly, I had seen more than one photo of Paul McGowan actually smiling during the week. Ask any Dundee fan, normally when there is any type of feel good factor happening at the club, we always seem to blow it. This was my fear. Thankfully these thoughts of mine were quashed. Followed by a massive travelling support, the players, backroom staff and new gaffer delivered. They delivered big time. Many people laughed at McCann’s appointment but they seemed to be silenced just now. I know it’s only one game but here’s hoping that he can continue to do so. There seems to be a new mood surrounding the club since he came in and this has spread over into the fans, with most excited about what he can do. With Hamilton going down at Rugby Park to Kilmarnock, our victory lifted us over Motherwell and the Accies. It may only be a point that separates us from these two teams but it’s now in our hands. Throw into the mix a Ross County win at home to Inverness and it now puts us seven points ahead of the automatic relegation spot with twelve left to play for. Ending that winless streak was one of the hardest things this team have had to do this season but now they have to go one better when we visit Kilmarnock on Saturday. Kilmarnock have the second worst home record in the league (they did have the worst until Saturday’s win) and even though our away form isn’t something to strike fear into our opponents, we must surely going to Rugby Park aiming for all three points. It’s certainly squeaky bum time for the bottom four teams. All I can think about is what the league will look like if we win here, our rivals drop points there and vice versa. There is no telling how this will pan out but one thing we have to hope for is, we have used all our bad luck this season and it’s now another teams turn to experience it. So come Saturday, hopefully we will see a massive Dark Blue support descend on Ayrshire because the players need us more than ever. They saw just how much staying up means to us when the final whistle went at the weekend. Let’s keep encouraging the team when something isn’t going right on the field. With every misplaced pass, with every shot that may hit row Z, it has to be met with encouragement that the next time it will meet the man or the back of the net instead of some poor guy or girls face who thought they were safe at the back of the stand! There is no doubting the backing, especially Saturday’s, but let’s up the ante a few more notches. Let’s get the blood pumping, lets show them we will survive this! MON THE DEE!
  6. UWTB1893

    Goodbye Hartley, Welcome McCann

    Firstly, we suffered a record seventh consecutive defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Hamilton at Dens which was a shocking performance from the team overall. There was no fight nor did it look like there was any desire from the players except for a chosen few. Secondly, we slipped down to eleventh in the table. The dreaded play-off spot. This team were having thoughts and aspirations of finishing in the top six only back in March. It’s been the all mightiest of arse collapses from the team to be in the position they are in now. Lastly, Paul Hartley was giving his marching orders on Monday to bring to an end his reign at Dundee which lasted three years, two months and twelve days. I wasn’t surprised by the decision. In fact, I felt that it maybe should have come after the 7-0 demolition we bent over and took at home from Aberdeen a few weeks ago. I was willing to live in hope that he could turn it around with the games remaining but Saturday put an end to that for me. The team looked disjointed. No one looked like they knew what the hell they were doing. Hateley was playing right wing back (even I never knew where he was supposed to be) and Cammy Kerr was shunted over to play on the left again. The body language along with the lack of effort, especially in the second half, from some players suggested to me that he had lost the dressing room. In all honesty, it was a sad end to Hartley’s Dundee managerial career that started with a win at home to Hamilton and then finished with defeat at home to Hamilton. Paul helped us over the finishing line to win the Championship in 2014 then in our first season, managed the team to a very unlikely top six finish. The following season, we missed out on finishing in the top six on the last day of the season despite having possibly three players (Scott Bain, Greg Stewart, Kane Hemmings) who were the best or close to for their position in the country. It was a massive disappointment to finish seventh that year and this was merely papered over by the Doon Derby where we relegated our neighbours on our own patch. This season has been a disaster. We flirted with the prospect of being safe this year with a top half finish but ultimately, we bottled it. I lost count of the chances we had to create gaps with the bottom clubs only to blow them. We then went on a record breaking six consecutive defeats only to go on and match that record and then beat it. All in the space of six months or so. So, with Hartley’s desk cleared, it was time to find an interim manager for the reminder of the season. Names such as Alex Neil, Jim Duffy, Alan Stubbs and even Fabrizio Ravanelli were banded about but our fate would be placed in the hand of Sky Sports Pundit and former Dundee hero, Neil McCann. It’s up there with some of the strangest appointments out there. It caught me off guard and I’ll hold my hands up and declare I was underwhelmed. You then remember that he knows Dundee from his two spells with us. He has seen the team play plenty of times this season and will know the players. There is no doubting that he will have been watching us in the past while wondering why this player was being played there, why we weren’t using a certain formation so the players could play to their strengths etc etc. It’s a massive gamble to bring him in for the final five games of the season for his first managerial job but then again, no matter who we brought in, it would have been a massive gamble considering the timescale. We need someone to come in and motivate the players. We need someone to come in with a passion for the club and to boot them right up the arse! We need someone to come in to play a simple formation that the players can all adjust to and feel comfortable with. Is McCann the man to do this? Well, we will find that out soon but one certainty is, he will have my full backing. He has just under two weeks to get in, make his mark on this team and get them back to picking up points. It’s not the most ideal situation to be in but it’s happening now and everyone from the fans to the players have to back each another. This starts next weekend at Motherwell, the scene of our best performance this season. More than ever, let’s get behind the team and MON THE DEE!
  7. UWTB1893

    HERE COMES THE FEAR!

    Saturday was not only our sixth defeat on the trot, it also moved us a point closer to the relegation play-off spot after Hamilton managed to grab a draw with ten men. Bottom side Inverness Caley lost yet again but they still remain just the five points behind us. The finger needs to be pulled out quickly and we need to get points on the table. These points have to come this Saturday when fellow strugglers Hamilton visit Dens in a massive game. Hamilton come to Dens without a win all season away from home. Hamilton come to Dens with only ten goals scored away from home. Hamilton come to Dens with only seven points collected away from home. These kind of statistics would make the blood rush to the nether regions of a betting man’s delicate areas but for me, all it gives me is the dread that we will become Hamilton’s first and possible only away win this season. This isn’t a defeatist attitude. I’m only going by our recent form and struggling to see where our next points are coming from. Hamilton will be missing a few key players that are pivotal to their starting line up which will be a massive blow for them. This will undoubtedly result in a more than usual physical approach from the Accies as they hope to grind out a win. The need to not concede an early goal will be greater than ever for Dundee because if we do, you can put your car, house, wife and dog on them putting every man behind the ball. One positive for the Dee to go into this game is the arrival of Daniel Higgins into the team. I’m not one for slating players but if Kevin Gomis gets the nod over him then there will be riots. Gomis came to us and he did look like he had something about him but as time has passed, he has looked disinterested and would rather be elsewhere than in a Dundee shirt. I’d much rather have a young, hungry player in our team, wanting to make a name for himself than someone that just seems to stroll around the park without a care in the world. Saying that, if Kosta Gadzhalov is fit for Saturday, then I’d pick him in the team over the young lad. It has the potential to be a humdinger of a match, one with both teams going for the win, creating chance after chance. It also has the potential to be a game full of nervous players, not wanting to put a foot wrong. We all know it will more than likely be the latter. Whatever the performance, it has to end with Dundee claiming all three points. The players have done all the talking in the papers they could possibly do. We all know that they have to come out and speak about our up-and-coming games but the fans need their words to spread onto the pitch. We need the desire that they show in the media to get us out of this situation to roll over onto the hallowed turf. We need their actions to speak louder than their words. So, let’s stop the talking and start acting on Saturday with a win against Hamilton. MON THE DEE!
  8. UWTB1893

    TOUGH TIMES AHEAD FOR THE DEE

    Five straight defeats that included a 7-0 hammering at home to Aberdeen. Following the absolute pumping we took from the Dandie Dons on our own turf, we had a few players in the media speaking in the aftermath with midfielder Paul McGowan being especially critical of the whole scenario. ‘Embarrassing. Gutless. S***e. P**s Weak. Sunday League.’ They were just few of the choice words he had to offer. Quite frankly, everyone has said their piece and judging by the comments on some of the posts on Facebook and The Dark Blues website, they are sick to the back teeth of even speaking about it now. It’s a result and performance that we all want to put behind us but won’t forget anytime soon. It was our heaviest defeat at home in just over seventeen years and it won’t be erased from my memory in the near future. A trip to Ross County was our next destination in the hope we could bounce back from that pumping but we would leave with the bitter taste of defeat in our mouths after ten man County slotted home a 90th minute penalty for the win. This, to me, was a huge game for us. One that if we had won, it would have given me and everyone else the reassurance of still having a nice point gap above Caley Thistle and hopefully open up one over either Motherwell or Hamilton. Obviously, Lady Luck wasn’t to be on our side and instead she walloped us with a swift kick in the nuts instead. From thinking we could make the top six at the end of February to being in a relegation fight by the end of March. Football’s a not so funny game. I’ve written plenty of times this season and last about people calling for the manager’s head. Now I’m beginning to see people who were vocal in their defiance that the manager was doing or would come good, swither and start to question his position. I’ve only questioned his role once, back in October after a record six defeats in a row which came at the hands of Partick Thistle at home. We then went on a run over the next fourteen games that saw seven wins, two draws and five defeats which did get me back on his side. Now though, I’m right back at that spot I was at back in October. My honest opinion is that he has taken us as far as he can. We overachieved in our first season back in the top league by finishing in the top six. We then found our level by challenging for a top six place but ultimately failing and seeing out the season in eighth. This year though, we have gone backwards. Everything about this term has been frustrating and if it wasn’t for our home form from November to March, we would be sitting bottom. Some of his signings haven’t been good enough. Some of his tactics and formations haven’t been good enough. The whole season hasn’t been good enough. For me, a 7-0 defeat at home is unacceptable and if it was right bang in the middle of the season, he may have been handed his P45 already. Luckily enough for Hartley, we were near the end of the season with eight huge games left to play. Now only seven after the County defeat. Gerry McCabe spoke to the press after that game and said “Seven games to go, seven cup finals for us.” As one poster pointed out tongue in cheek, maybe comparing our remaining games to cup finals isn’t the best choice of words considering our horrendous track record in any competition. He is of course spot on. Every game should be treated as one and the fans should treat these matches as a final too. We must put aside any opinions regarding the management team and players who you don’t see fit to play for us, and get behind the team. Let’s be realistic, we won’t see Hartley sacked at this crucial time of the season. The only way he won’t see it out if is he walks. Dundee fans are terrific when it comes down to the nitty gritty and showing our support. Yes, we moan like hell a good bulk of the time but when we back our team, it’s like no other. We start off with the first of our seven cup finals against floundering Hearts away at Tynecastle. We all know they have the players to win matches but we also know that under Ian Cathro, they haven’t reached the dizzy heights they were expecting. I’d take a draw right now. It’s an exceptionally hard venue to visit and come away with all three points. The players have to put the fact we are on the verge of equalling an unwanted record of six consecutive defeats that we set only this season behind them. The players have to go out and show the fight and determination that we need right now. The players have to go out to play and fight for badge that we all love. The players and management team needs to know that the fans have watched Dundee slum it in the lower leagues from many a year and do not want to go back to them dark days. MON THE DEE!
  9. Just shy of sixteen years on, 14th March 2001, we last tasted victory over Rangers at Ibrox in the league. Last Sunday, we finally banished the demons against the poorest Rangers side I’ve witnessed at Dens Park in a long time. We out thought them from the very first minute to the last. We wanted it more than them. Even at two-nil up, we kept plugging away for the third goal and despite the Glasgow team pulling one back, we refused to let the heads drop. We stuck to the same game plan that we started with and should have added to our goal tally. The whole performance was pleasing on the eye which has only happened rarely at home this season while the first half was the best I’ve witnessed at Dens for a long time. Every player was exceptional but a special mention has to be reserved for Kevin Holt, James Vincent, Cammy Kerr and Marcus Haber who I thought were all excellent. No doubt there will be fans who are reading this saying “what about McGowan, O’Dea etc” and even though they were all tremendous, the players I’ve mentioned were the stand outs for me. It was a great and massive result for the club. Too many times we have blown the chance to create this much needed gap between ourselves and the bottom two but we stood up and were counted for on Sunday, especially with Inverness picking up an unlikely point away to Hearts. Our home form since we were defeated by Partick back in October has been nothing short of spectacular. Five wins and two draws from seven has been a fantastic return from the team who have found it hard to find their feet at times, especially away from home. The big thing now is to try and carry on the good feeling that has come with this victory by getting a positive result away to Motherwell. They have not won at home in the league since November and are in the midst of a three game losing streak which includes a walloping from Aberdeen when they were smashed 7-2. Regardless of this and taking into our abysmal away record, it will be hard to pick a winner from this fixture. If we play the same way we did on Sunday, then there is no doubt in my mind that we will claim all three points but it all depends on what Dundee team shows up. Will we see the team that lost to your Partick’s and your Kilmarnock’s or will we see a team with a new belief around them and one that plays 4-4-2? Fingers crossed for the latter! Mon The Dee!
  10. TheDarkBlues

    Dee Draw With Killie To Move Up Table

    Am I expecting too much from the team? Was it the drink? Or should I just lower my expectations a notch or two? When it comes to playing your Kilmarnock’s, Hamilton’s, Patricks etc, I’ve always had the mindset that we should be seeing out the game with a win. I’ve always felt that we had a better squad than them but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all, we are no better than what they have at their disposal. From 6th place downwards, all the teams are on par with each other, everyone has taken points off each other and this will no doubt continue until the end of the season. Could you pick a standout team from them all? I would struggle myself. I guess this is why it’s evident in how tight the league is between all of us. Regardless of my thoughts just now, a few positives from Saturday where it was our sixth league game at Dens without defeat since the end of October and we also moved up a few spaces in the league. We of course were well beaten by St Mirren in the cup but for me, at this moment, it is all about doing enough in the league to make sure we aren’t near the bottom two hence why I’ve only looked at that statistic. We also looked much more of an attacking side when Craig Wighton came on as substitute and even though he was only on for the last few minutes, Faissal El Bakhtaoui looked dangerous. New signing Henrik Ojamaa had a solid home debut despite drifting out of the game in the second half but a few more matches under his belt and hopefully we will see more of him. Up next for us is another home match, this time involving Rangers. It’s been a bit of a circus involving them since their reincarnation back in 2012 and it hit a peak at the weekend when they announced that Mark Warbuton and his magic hat had resigned. He came out not long after that to say he had not stood down and had no idea about the statement. It looks likely that he thought he was a shoe in for the Nottingham Forest job, never got it and the board just thought, “Nah, see ya later.” Comical stuff. So, Rangers are in dissary, no manager and their next visit is a trip to Dens Park. Our tails should be up for this match, we should be going out thinking that this whole episode will effect the team. Knowing our luck though, they will appoint someone a few days before hand and wallop us 4-0. As a supporter of Dundee, I feel I’ve now learnt to never go into a game thinking we will win! A draw would be a good result for us here hands down. I can slag them off all I want but they possess the players to dig out victories. We will have to have our wits about us which means a few players who shall remain nameless will have to up their game drastically. I’d be looking to include Wighton back into the team for this game. With him and Ojamma playing beside Haber, I feel that those three could cause real problems We are now nine matches away from the split and there isn’t one team who have been caught adrift yet. Caley are the closest to doing so but two wins and they are right in the mix again. I’ve always been one that wants to see at least a semi-decent display from the team if we win but right now, I’ll take being utterly dominated by teams and score a goal in the 91st minute to win the match. MON THE DEE!
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