Dundee boss James McPake is getting it in the neck from Dark Blues fans.
His team’s performances aren’t good enough by a long way.
The club, which should be chasing promotion, looks currently to be more in danger of relegation.
It’s still early days in the season but, with a truncated fixture list, Dens devotees are entitled to worry.
Paul McGowan’s brutal comments after the defeat at Ayr, where he said the team was carrying too many passengers, will either galvanize the team or worsen dressing room harmony.
There appears to be a growing constituency who want McPake out, but changing a football manager isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, no matter what fans think.
The risks of continued poor performance under an incumbent manager are matched by the possibility of reinforcing that failure under any new boss.
That’s why at Dundee, or Celtic, or any other club where a manager is currently feeling pressure from the supporters, wise counsel and serious thought are prerequisites before embarking on any rash course of action.
Often, the intended cure of a new boss proves worse than the current malaise, let alone any possible financial implications.
I’ve seen situations where clubs under duress to replace managers are still paying up previously dismissed bosses.
A new man will also want players out and his own men in, so that’s another sum of money not budgeted for.
The wrong call could set a club back years.
‘Some have suggested that Charlie Adam could be a boss in waiting’
James McPake is Dundee’s third boss in three seasons and if he was to be dismissed to appease those fans wanting his head there’s no guarantee of success with a new face in charge.
Some have suggested that Charlie Adam could be a boss in waiting and I’ve little doubt that he’ll end up coaching and managing, perhaps at Dens.
He has great contacts and is well regarded in the game, but presently it would be a calculated risk to replace a still inexperienced manager with another managerial novice.
McPake knows himself he must start delivering improvements, but I suspect he’ll get a bit of grace yet before any axe swings.
Is Lawrence Shankland suddenly the third man at Tannadice?
The previously lethal striker has had a miserable start to this season between an ankle injury and a lack of goals.
Now Nicky Clark and loanee Marc McNulty look as though they could be the favoured pairing for United manager Micky Mellon.
Both players are mobile, quick and link well.
Clark’s nine goals this season make him United’s top scorer, while Shankland, looking a shadow of himself, has netted twice.
Chasing back for balls far away from the opponents’ goal, or finding himself in wide positions to win possession, doesn’t play to Shankland’s main strength as a marksman in and around the penalty box.
Concerns over Dundee United asset
There’s increasing speculation that the Scotland internationalist could be on the move in the January window as United contemplate cashing in on a major asset.
However, if that is the case, the last thing needed is for that asset to be depreciating on the bench.
Goal-scorers attract buyers; benchwarmers attract tyre kickers.