This season will be brutally tough in the Scottish Premiership.
No matter how well the Dundee clubs and St Johnstone do they’ll be among the pack scrapping it out for one solitary remaining place in the top six.
Celtic fans may be in a rage at the shambles that many think their club is in, but they’re still likely to be Rangers’ closest challengers, although I have a sneaking fancy that a resurgent Aberdeen could mount a serious attempt to break that Glasgow mould.
Hibs have been reborn under Jack Ross and the Easter Road side will be formidable opponents and, for me, a shoo-in for a top half placing.
That leaves only two berths and I’d be very surprised if the newly promoted Tynecastle team with their big financial advantage over the rest of the league haven’t booked their place by the time the split comes along.
So the ambition to finish in the top six will require a special set of skills; perhaps not quite the kind that Liam Neeson exhibited in the film ‘Taken’, but robust qualities and toughness will be required nevertheless if our three local clubs are to make life a nightmare for opponents.
Staying in the top half is an aim which shouldn’t be beyond either of the three, although Saints are the most likely of the trio to repeat the feat which they’ve managed for seven of the last 10 seasons.
It’s too early for predictions given that each squad may yet be strengthened or weakened by transfers before the window closes.
I sense very contrasting views among the three sets of supporters, with United fans being by far the most pessimistic of the bunch.
Dundee united league prediction 2021
Current squad 11th/bottom
Few signings 5th/6th
Trying to not be a doom monger but without signings we are gonna struggle..our best 11 would give most a game but a few injuries plus inexperience will kill us..3 signings can turn it around🧡🖤
— andy crichton (@andycrichton6) July 29, 2021
Arabs feel that a lack of transfer activity to date without the addition of the creative midfielder that many of them feel they lack, along with another decent striker, is a major issue.
Big characters at Dens
Dundee fans sound more positive than I’ve heard them in years and neighbours of mine who follow the Dark Blues are heartened with the range of players at James McPake’s disposal, the depth of the squad assembled, and the fact that the club have done their squad-building early.
There’s a also a feeling that they have a few big characters around the club, with Charlie Adam, Cillian Sheridan, and Jason Cummings all bringing the kind of positive thinking and confidence that players who’ve experienced a fair bit in their football lives tend to possess.
St Johnstone supporters are buoyed ahead of a huge European adventure against Turkish heavyweight’s Galatasary, and also delighted that the double winning squad is practically intact.
Saints fans have every right to anticipate another fine season.
Football is the bringer of dreams and the breaker of hearts and Callum Davidson, Tam Courts, and James McPake carry the hopes of many as the season kicks off.
All three will need broad shoulders to bear the weight of expectations.