Are Dundee good now?
It’s a pretty simplistic question but one that’s had a simple answer for a long time now.
I’ve been saying all season I expected the Dark Blues to get things together at some point.
It’s taken a while and I was concerned I’d been babbling like a blithering idiot, optimistically pinning opinion on hope rather than reality.
However, I do feel things are changing at Dens Park for the better.
Seven matches unbeaten, four wins and three draws, that included victories over the two other sides in the play-off spots.
Yes, the draws were disappointing but Dundee were the better side at both Dunfermline and Inverness.
Three clean sheets in there, too, which was unheard of from this Dens Park outfit for much of the season.
Also 13 goals scored in those seven, even if things had dried up a little up top lately.
That’s the area missing at the moment – if Dundee can rediscover the sharpness at the top end, they will be a scary outfit to face for anybody.
It’s been a couple of corners and a penalty that’s brought goals in the last three games.
Jason Cummings, though, stuck away that penalty to end a wee run of games without a goal.
Charlie Adam is looking back to his old self after a difficult few weeks.
Paul McMullan’s relentless assists tally has slowed up lately but we’re talking crosses and passes that are just slightly off.
There are plenty of other goal threats in that squad, there’s not enough space to list them.
If the goals start flying in again like they were not so long ago and the defence can keep them out like they have done recently, Dundee will finally be a good team.
And one that can get up through the play-offs, however difficult a route that may be.
Concentration is key
Their problem all season has been one of concentration at the back.
That cost them at Inverness last week when nine-man Caley Thistle took the lead.
However, it wouldn’t be Dundee if there wasn’t something going horribly wrong somewhere.
The difference now, though – and manager James McPake has praised this in his team – is they are able to find ways out of any trouble they get themselves in.
Lee Ashcroft in the Highlands is proof of that, the same man was again in the home draw with Morton.
And that bodes well, too, ahead of these massive play-off ties on the horizon.
They have one more game in the regular season to go – heading to my team Queen of the South.
Our season is over, exactly the type of game the Dark Blues would want with second place still a possibility.
Regardless of that result, looking at the three teams in the play-offs, Dundee are the strongest and most in-form.
The question was: are Dundee good now?
The answer is: Not yet, but they are getting there.
And at the perfect time of the season, too.
Good things come to Arabs who wait
Dundee United v Hibernian, Scottish Cup semi-final 2021.
Just think back to the start of the season 2016/17 Arabs.
I’d bet you were all wondering if big cup days like that would return any time soon.
Yes, United had been in the Scottish Cup semi the year before as they were relegated but the team was needing completely revamped.
And it took a long, long time to get things right.
But good things come to those who wait, as Mr Guinness likes to tell us.
That’s certainly true of Dundee United fans right now and I’m delighted for them.
It’s just such a shame they won’t be able to be there in person to cheer their side on.
— Dundee United FC (@dundeeunitedfc) April 26, 2021
I’m still hopeful the authorities might be able to figure out a way to move the final from Hampden and we might get bums on seats.
But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
It’s a tough draw against Jack Ross’ Hibees but from where United have been in recent years, who cares?
And if they play like they did against Aberdeen on Sunday then they have every chance of getting through.
Hibs are a big threat with some serious firepower but can’t seem to shift that soft underbelly that costs them at times – Saturday v Motherwell was a case in point.
United have a league game to get out of the way first but it’s all about next weekend now – cup fever has certainly hit Tannadice.
Got to feel for poor Chris Kane and the goal he’ll never be remembered for
I can’t help but feel sorry for St Johnstone’s Chris Kane this week.
He scored likely the biggest goal of his career on Sunday night and nobody will remember him for it!
It’s all about the Zander Clark show.
Fair enough, the big beardy goalie was colossal.
You could see in the celebrations above, Clark was off but Kane in the background is saying ‘it was me, it was me!’
Sadly, nobody cared.
I know not too many reading this in Dundee will be much fussed but it was a great moment for Saints.
I have a soft spot for them – both Clark and Kane had good loan spells at Queens, as did Jason Kerr.
Glad to see former Doonhamers doing so well.