Premiership first round review: Dundee United

THE best and worst of Dundee United’s season thus far following the first round of Premiership fixtures.
Dundee United celebrate after advancing in the League Cup. Picture: Jane BarlowDundee United celebrate after advancing in the League Cup. Picture: Jane Barlow
Dundee United celebrate after advancing in the League Cup. Picture: Jane Barlow

Best player

Despite our position in the league, it’s hard to single out any individual at United who has regularly produced eye catching performances.

But if I was to give it to anyone, I’d give it to Chris Erskine. After the horrendous start to his United career last season, it was hard to imagine that he’d ever manage to break into the first team again, and yet there he is, starting almost every game and banging in the goals on a regular basis. Well done Chris.

Worst player

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Purely based on how well we know he can play, I’ll give it to Stuart Armstrong. On his day he’s one of the best players in Scotland, but he’s been nowhere near that this season, and instead has played almost every minute like he’s in the huff.

Biggest surprise

Rather than give it to Chris Erskine again, I think I’ll instead give it to Brian Graham, for genuinely believing he deserved to start games for United. Away ye go ya big donkey.

Biggest disappointment

Our general lack of attacking flair.

I would say this is mostly down to the lack of attacking threat from the fullback position. Sean Dillon and Keith Watson are solid defenders and we are conceding fewer goals than we did last year, but neither of them work as attacking outlets, and that’s what we need. Andy Robertson is sorely missed

Best team performance

It would have to be the 4-1 demolition of Dundee at Dens. And even then it probably wasn’t that great a performance.

Worst game

I think most would expect me to say the 6-1 defeat at Celtic Park, but it wasn’t that bad. We started the better team and we tried to play good football, but unfortunately we just couldn’t defend set pieces.

Instead - even though I wasn’t even at the game to be able to comment with any first hand authority - I’ll say last Saturday’s defeat at Inverness. Reading what those in attendance had to say, we were brutal.

Most worrying contract

There are genuinely no contracts I’m worried about. GMS is leaving - so there’s no point worrying about that – and every other player would seem to be on a contract ideal for their age/circumstance

Manager’s performance

McNamara has come under fire from some fans this season because of the aforementioned lack of stylish performances, but I think he’s done a good job. He’s sorted out the obvious flaws from last season – the soft centred defence and the lack of a Plan B – and has us one point off the top of the table.

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Furthermore, he isn’t afraid to address problems when he sees them, as we saw in the Quarter Final of the League Cup vs Hibs when he dropped underperforming players who most managers would insist upon playing.

The only criticism I would have of him is that I think he’s left us too light up front. Yes, we have a wealth of talent in the attacking midfield position, but in terms of actual strikers, we’ve got two. When Ola Adeyoma gets a game for the first team, you know you’re lacking depth.

Written by @SGMilne for The Terrace Scottish Football Podcast website.