Lawrence Shankland’s move to Beerschot will be good for both him and Dundee United.
His contribution in tangerine will be warmly remembered but increasingly he looked to me to be out of sorts and distracted at Tannadice.
This move allows him a chance to reset his career and international hopes, while freeing up funds for United to bring in someone like Marc McNulty, who’s a more mobile and pacy style of striker.
— K. Beerschot V.A. (@kbeerschotva) August 11, 2021
Last weekend’s highly impressive win over Rangers hopefully silences the small, divisive group of gripers among the United support who, it appears, would rather see manager Tam Courts fail than succeed.
Unless they’ve also coached, picked and fielded a team to beat Rangers then their views currently lack currency.
Courts pondered aloud in his post-match thoughts whether he had ‘the minerals’ for the Tannadice gig.
On the evidence so far I’d say his position has been fortified.
🗣 "I think I can say with some conviction that we just about shaded that one today. It was a perfect day today."
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) August 7, 2021
The majority of fans saw enough from his team last week to glimpse a bright future, even without former talisman Shankland.
They watched a rock solid defensive performance and an energetic, combative and high-tempo midfield display, sealed with a fine finish from Jamie Robson; a young lad who has proven his previous doubters to be too quick off the mark.
Its early days under the Courts coaching regime but, if the promising kids get game time and the experienced hands in the squad guide and counsel them well when they do, his appointment may turn out to be one which leaves egg on some faces.
Dundee were clobbered at Celtic Park last week.
But despite the fact a six-goal hammering is deeply depressing for their fans, I suspect they’ll not be the only team to suffer at the hands of a Celtic side which looks much more impressive than the detractors within their support were suggesting.
The deftness of touch, quickness of thought and passing and all round slickness of Ange Postecoglou’s team was simply on a different level to the Dark Blues’ skill set.
Dundee’s season won’t be defined by how well they do against Celtic, just as United’s won’t be gauged by a one-off win over Rangers. It’ll come down to how they perform against those in the bottom half of the table and just above.
There’s decent ability and character in James McPake’s team but it’s a long way short of the kind of talent they squared up to at Parkhead.
The usual reflex response is to say that lessons will be learned, but the lesson from last week is a simple if dispiriting one; Dundee lost to a team which was and is superior in all departments.
Unless McPake wins the lottery there’s little that he can do to change that.
St Johnstone were always unlikely to beat Galatasary over two legs.
But their highly spirited efforts took them as close as possible – and made the huge financial disparities between the sides look less obvious than they are.
Money talks louder than ever in football and while the occasional well-organised and supreme effort from a decent side will catch a much better side out on an off day, by and large, quality will reign supreme.
— St. Johnstone FC (@StJohnstone) August 13, 2021
The Turks have a gifted squad and craft in abundance, but Saints stuck gamely to the task and at least have another opportunity for a full house in Perth in the Europa Conference League.
The game was another slap in the face to those who mock the size of the McDairmid Park support.
Given the population of the city they’re as well backed as many other clubs, and when a match captures the imagination of the Perth public as this did, they’ll turn out in great fettle as Thursday’s jam packed stadium proved.