Is it really all that long since the first day of the season? Time flies when you’re having fun eh!
Ever since Dundee Utd’s Jim McIntyre (or Jim Hamilton – depending on whether you watched Scotsport or not!) cancelled out Andy Tod’s opener on the opening day of the season, the Pars have been turned over a bunch of Icelandic fisherman, the Scots were almost turned over by a bunch of Moldovan bus drivers, and, more importantly, Dirty Den has left Eastenders again! But enough of the past, the first round of games is over and it’s time to look to the future, and, in particular, this weekend’s mammoth 10th versus 12th clash (formerly 4th v 5th) across the
With a solitary point separating the SPL’s bottom five clubs – Livingston, Dundee and Caley the others – this Saturday’s fixture could well prove be the first real ‘six-pointer’ of the season so far. Although both side’s league position suggests otherwise, the Pars and United do have an undoubted wealth of talent in their respective squads – talent which, so far this season, has failed to produce. With Ian McCall’s side boasting such Scotland hopefuls as Barry Robson, Mark Wilson and Alan Archibald, you would have to feel that it would only appear to be a matter of time before the tide will turn for the Tannadice side (although I’m sure many have said that about the Pars!).
With both sides appearing to have shown signs of turning the corner in their last two fixtures, Saturday’s fixture looks set to be a close encounter, one which – even at this early stage in the season – could go a long way to deciding the end-of-season fate of the two clubs. Despite the Pars enjoying some memorable results at Tannadice over the years – the year 1996 springs immediately to mind – their recent Tannadice record of two wins in fourteen – the last Pars triumph at Tannadice coming in September 2002 – would appear to offer little cause for optimism going into Saturday’s fixture.
In terms of the overall match record between the sides, it would be true to say that not much separates the two sides; the Pars winning 40 and losing 43 out of a total of 114 encounters. Despite having the marginally poorer record, the Pars do seem to enjoy scoring against their Tannadice counterparts, hitting the United net a total of 193 times, conceding 178. The Pars Tannadice record is somewhat worse, the Pars winning just 15 out of a total of 57 encounters, losing 28.
However, no matter how strongly both sides appear to be flirting with relegation, Saturday’s fixture – for Pars fans at least – will no doubt be overshadowed by a certain subject…The Dundee stewards! Last Saturday’s fiasco at Dens Park is no doubt still very fresh in the minds of many a Pars fans – the ones that could be bothered making the trip at least – and Saturday’s game at Tannadice – a ground policed by the same stewards – undoubtedly spells trouble. With many a Pars fan – eight in total, according to Tayside police – ‘ejected’ from the ground simply for standing up after the Pars had taken the lead, the situation became farcical with the police and stewards picking and choosing at random which fans to ‘eject’. One things for sure, if we are blessed by the appearance of Steward No.44 – the rake with the glasses – or the brick shit house dressed in drag – the female supervisor – then prepare yourself for an afternoon spent trying to sneak back into the ground.
With Gary Dempsey and Noel Hunt still out injured – Hunt set to return to training this week or next – it would once again appear that Davie Hay will keep faith in the same starting eleven which has started the last two fixtures, although Billy Mehmet – once again turning in a n impressive substitute performance, this time against Rangers – could possibly be considered for a starting place.
With the worst attack in the SPL – the Pars having scored only seven goals in eleven games – coming up against the worst defence in the SPL – McCall’s side conceding a total of 22 goals in eleven fixtures – something looks sure to give in a game in which both sides will undoubtedly be going all out for the three points.
If the Pars do manage to score this Saturday just remember though, even if you have spent eighteen quid of your own hard-earned cash, don’t get too carried away and do something stupid like cheer or stand up, or anything which may be viewed as boisterous, you should probably even think twice about smiling, just to be on the safe side. Start getting your practice in then… “Sit down if you love the Pars, Sit down if you love the Pars…”