Kevin McDonald is a player of serious pedigree.
So to see him training with Dundee is fantastic.
Not just for the Dark Blues, who can only benefit from having him about the place.
It’s also great for Kevin himself.
Everybody knows he has been through a rough spell, health wise.
A kidney transplant is a serious operation with serious implications and a serious recovery time to match.
The way Kevin dealt with it was heroic.
He spoke out publicly, he explained what he’d been dealing with for so many years and, by doing so, he took what might been taken as a scary situation and made it seem almost normal.
He was so matter of fact about it. It was incredible.
Now he’s through the other side and, after leaving Fulham in the summer, he obviously feels ready to test himself on the training ground again.
For me, that’s a really good sign.
It suggests to me that Kevin is in a place where he wants to put himself through his paces and see what he’s got in the tank.
It makes sense for him to do that with Dundee – the team that brought him through the ranks as a kid.
He knows the club, he knows the area, he’ll have family around. It’s a comfortable place for him.
And who knows… he might end up being a terrific signing for Dundee.
All you need to do is look at the level Kevin has played at – and for how long.
You don’t hang around at clubs like Wolves and Fulham for years and years unless you are a very good footballer.
The fact that Fulham gave him such a respectful send-off when he left says everything about how he was thought of down there.
There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind – and there shouldn’t be any in anyone else’s – that a fit and firing Kevin McDonald could boss games for Dundee in the Scottish Premiership.
— The Courier Sport (@thecouriersport) October 11, 2021
And bossing games is exactly what Dundee need to start doing – and quickly.
Not to put too fine a point on it, the Dark Blues NEED to win a game – and then win a few more – now.
I’ve spoken this season about how they’ll have been able to take positives from matches, despite not winning them.
Against St Johnstone, that wasn’t the case.
James McPake never hides from uncomfortable truths – and he didn’t at McDiarmid Park.
But against Aberdeen this weekend, nobody in Dark Blue can afford to hide.
As it stands, a win will lift the Dee up the table.
They don’t want to get themselves into a situation where it won’t.
Aberdeen are always a tough nut to crack.
But the Dons have struggled this season – and Dundee should be looking to take full advantage.
My criticism of Scotland of late is that they have looked like a team lacking in confidence.
In the second half against Israel, they found it.
To win it at the death against the stubborn Israelis ought to be a huge boost for that group of players.
Now it’s vital they make those three points count by picking up another win against the Faroes.
I’ve had my own experience out there – and the less said about that the better.
That 2-2 draw with the Faroese in 2002 still brings me out in a cold sweat.
But there should be no such concerns for this Scotland squad.
Steve Clarke has a really talented group of players at his disposal, with a number of key men playing at a really, really high level.
Too often, they haven’t looked like such a side.
But they did in the second half at Hampden on Saturday.
If they can retain some of the swagger that saw them through against Israel, they are capable of blowing the Faroes away.
It should be unthinkable for Scotland’s World Cup voyage to be blown off course in the North Atlantic.
We’ve got the players. We’ve got the momentum.
It’s time for Scotland to step up.
Dundee United will be desperate for Harry Souttar to get his move from Stoke City.
It’s no wonder – there are millions on the line for the Tangerines.
I’m delighted for Harry that his decision to move south has come good for him.
As a kid at United, he was always a good footballer first and foremost.
But with the size that he is, it was always likely that an English club would come calling.
— The Courier Sport (@thecouriersport) October 8, 2021
Now he’s playing week-in, week-out for Stoke City in the Championship – and is an internationalist with Australia.
With that has come talk of interest from the likes of Everton and a potential eight-figure transfer fee heading to Stoke for his services.
If United can cash in too, it will be great business.