SPL Fanzone: As the supporters see it
FANS of the 12 SPL clubs give their verdict on the week’s action on and off the pitch
Another Scottish Cup campaign ends with a whimper rather than a bang. Many thought the last three games may have defined our season and may also define Craig Brown’s tenure. A solid defence-minded side is Brown’s trademark, but we are now desperately in need of a more attacking outlook for the remainder of the season.
Moving to two up front on Sunday saw a complete change in the game as we looked more threatening than the previous insipid 70 minutes. We have to now play the rest of the season going out to dominate and win games rather than hoping to sneak something whilst not conceding.
Changing style may be difficult for Brown but positive attacking football will keep fans happy and may just produce results.
Steve Wilson - www.afc-chat.co.uk
Two solid wins have followed the insipid performance against St Mirren and our latest victory against Raith has set up an opportunity for cup revenge sooner than expected.
We still appear to lack a touch of creativity in midfield but, with the Juventus tie looming on the horizon, a few players seem to have upped their work-rate in the last two games.
Let’s hope that continues on Saturday against Inverness. It is always a tough game in the ‘sneck and, with their recent dip in form, I am sure they will go into the game with a point to prove.
It would be fantastic if we could have both Sami and Forrest fit for the European game next week and our regular ‘keeper between the sticks. We’ll need every advantage against Juve and all of these players have really excelled on the biggest stage this season.
After scoring a measly eight goals at home this season prior to Sunday, Dundee go and hit five in one game against Morton in the Scottish Cup, to confound all those predicting a cup surprise at Dens.
A Dundee team floundering in the SPL have now comfortably seen off good First Division opposition in Livingston and Morton in the Scottish Cup. After seeing the side busting a gut to even get a shot in in the SPL, it was surreal to see goals flashing in from all over the place, from five different scorers, including two centre-halves. And how that sixth stayed out... It’s about time we beat the other Dundee team in the Scottish Cup, so bring on the quarter-final.
We entertain Ross County in the SPL on Friday night. Our chances of SPL survival are almost nil but a win would be nice.
The Club 12th Man
Like fans of all other clubs in Scotland, many parents decide to keep their young ones away from Tannadice when either of the Old Firm come to town, whether it’s due to the yobbish attitude of their supporters swigging in the streets around the ground or the nonsense songs that can be heard from their support. So it was refreshing on Saturday, when the Rangers fans boycotted, to see so many families at the game. New manager Jackie McNamara kept both Russell and Mackay-Steven up the park when United were defending set pieces. Having all 11 men back zonal marking under the Levein/Houston regime irked the supporters but if he changes nothing else except keeping men up the park and returning to man marking, he will go a long way to establishing himself with the fans.
Jamie Kidd - www.dundeeunited-mad.co.uk
A satisfying week for Hearts which should have resulted in six points rather than four from the two outings. The most pleasing thing about our recent form is the way we are playing good, passing football, creating chances and we finally have a focal point up front who can finish. Hearts created enough chances in both games to have won several matches, but a point in Dingwall is not the worst result in the world. Since returning to the team, Jamie Walker has been outstanding and I was delighted to see him get his goal, hopefully the first of many. We have emerged from the transfer window with a stronger squad, and that seemed far from likely at the start of January. The game on Saturday will be tough, but we have performed well at Tannadice this season and with the team in good form we should be confident of the three points, so we can continue to climb the league.
As Craig Brown tried to prove that statistically Aberdeen had actually won Sunday’s cup match, the Hibs fans celebrated the only statistic that mattered. It may have been a less than stellar performance, but the goal by Gary Deegan was a thing of beauty. Goalkeeper Ben Williams gave a heroic performance as he made repeated vital saves including a penalty save. It’s a long time since we had a goalkeeping hero, but we have one now. Aberdeen fans may bleat about the number of chances they created being an indication that they were unlucky on the day, but our defending more than matched the efforts of their strikers. Playing one up front at home is never going to be popular, but Pat Fenlon will be forgiven as he continues to get results. We are deservedly in the next round of the cup and for the time being that is all that matters. Well done Hibs.
John Robertson - www.hibs.net
After a disappointing last two games and going out of two cup competitions on successive Saturdays, we have been dumped back down to earth with a bump. This is not a full crash landing but a mere wake-up call for a team that was high on confidence. Sometimes a team needs a reality check now again and there’s no doubt we’ve just had ours. The January sales have brought in some quality for the rearguard and, with the added bonus of long-term injury duo Simon King and Chris Hogg back in training, this should be a great boost. However, at the front end Billy McKay seems to have lost his shooting boots and injuries to Richie Foran and Andy Shinnie are causing concern.
Time now then for the bench warmers to stake their claim and what better way to do that than by beating league leaders Celtic this weekend.
Dave Wilson - www.caleythistleonline.com
Since the last column we have lost away to the top team in the division and beaten the team lying second in the Scottish Cup. We played well in both games despite the manager introducing several youngsters. At Celtic Park we were robbed of a perfectly good goal which the players of both teams knew crossed the line, only to concede one straight away while still protesting. There was never three goals in it but you just have to take some results on the chin. Terry Butcher must feel similar as his team performed well but just didn’t do enough. It is great to see the likes of Barbour, O’Hara, Winchester and McKeown getting a chance and not looking out of place. It adds a different dimension to our game and reinvigorates the team at a time of year when we are traditionally looking a bit jaded through injury and suspension. Long may it continue.
Barry Richmond - www.killiefc.com
The winter break was a much heralded introduction (again) to Scottish football this season but we return to normal business this weekend. The chances are fans up and down the country will be disappointed in what they see (again) – why do we continue to expect improvements to come from the same changes which have failed in the past?
The Motherwell board has been reticent about the recent reconstruction proposals (they were not involved in the latest negotiations) but it can only be hoped that the Well Society can slowly begin to exert some influence. We are told football is business, yet no business could continue to function while treating its customers as football does. Motherwell fans could now be in a position to change things for the better. But it needs fans to step up and the board to listen.
Derek Wilson - www.firparkcorner.com
The league reconstruction appears to be coming one step closer and tomorrow night it will be interesting to hear what County’s chairman, Roy MacGregor, has to say about it
in a fans’ forum being held at the club.
I’m not sure how our club feel about the proposed 12-12-18 league structure, although the fans appear to be following the majority of other fans in that they are not in favour of it.
The main issue I see is that there seems to a matter of urgency for the SPL/SFL to force through a restructure, regardless of what the structure is without looking into the long-term future, or what the fans are wanting.
I think we need the creation of a single governing body, made up of totally impartial people, with club chairmen not involved with any decisions. We need what’s best for the game; not what is best for the individual clubs.
Alan Ross - www.thejailender.com
It was the same old story at St Mirren Park on Saturday. No one could have grudged us a half-time lead, maybe even by a couple of goals.
But, once again, we spurned chance after chance – albeit with Craig Samson having a stormer in the home goal –and shot ourselves in the foot by conceding the opener against the run of play.
It has been a familiar tale this year. It’s no exaggeration to say we could easily be sitting second in the SPL given the amount of points we have simply thrown away this term. It is certainly hugely disappointing to go out of the cup in the same circumstances.
We visit Easter Road on Monday night and really shouldn’t have anything to fear. We’re only a point behind Hibs, who sit fourth, and have a game in hand. Here’s our chance to push on towards the split. Let’s take it.
Jamie Beatson - www.weareperth.co.uk
All in all, it wasn’t a bad week. First we had our fantastic, never to be forgotten victory over Celtic in the League Cup at Hampden. Then, a backs-to-the-wall performance to snatch a win against Inverness Caley Thistle in the league. Finally, we knocked St Johnstone out of the Scottish Cup to reach the quarter-finals once again. Scoring in all three games was Esmael Goncalves. The Portuguese forward is already a firm fans’ favourite after only three games thanks to his four-goal haul and he must think Scottish football is easy – especially as he’s doing this despite not being fully fit. No doubt many people scoffed when he compared himself to Didier Drogba but he is similar with his power, strength and his composure in front of goal. It’s going to be great fun watching him and hopefully he can bag a few more vital goals.
Stuart Gillespie - www.saintmirren-mad.co.uk
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west