Gordon Strachan has a way with words.
That’s nothing new. It’s something he has been known for since his earliest days in management in England – and indeed probably even before that.
The value of a razor sharp quip or a confidently deployed put down has never been lost on the man who is now Dundee’s technical director.
Stick his name into the search bar on YouTube and you’ll be treated to a highlight reel of Strachan’s shtick.
Some of it is inarguably very funny. But, like everyone else, he’s capable of the odd clunker.
The former Scotland gaffer has been hammered for certain remarks over the years – like those concerning Scottish genetics being behind the national team’s 20-plus-year struggle to qualify for a major tournament.
More recently, he got it in the neck when shooting from the hip on the state of professionalism – or the lack of it – at Scottish lower league clubs.
Now, after Strachan got to talking about player development with journalist Graham Spiers on the latter’s Press Box podcast, it’s hard to escape the feeling another group of people are going to be upset with him.
Clearly, youth football is a subject that consumes the ex-Celtic boss.
For nigh-on half-an-hour, he expounded enthusiastically to Spiers on his vision for creating technically adept, fit as a fiddle young footballers at Dens Park.
He delivered his message in a meandering, yet always engaging stream of consciousness, shot through with decades of accumulated research and practical knowledge.
His underlying message – that only hard work and dedication from young players and a skills-first approach from coaches will solve Scotland’s player production line problem – is a tough one to refute.
Everybody acknowledges Scotland’s need to produce more technically adept players – and in far higher numbers than at present.
Pretending otherwise is to kid ourselves.
Yet, in criticising the current national youth blueprint, Strachan referred to “a flood of nonentities” passing along its development pathways – and the “excuse society” that underpins their attitudes.
However correct Strachan may be – and let’s admit there’s something worthy of examination in what he says – both his phrasing and choice of target will end up turning a great many people off.
Publicly describing young footballers who have progressed through the youth systems set up before them as “a flood of nonentities” is the linguistic equivalent of a brutal two-footed challenge on a grounded opponent.
His target was the systems – they were the ball that was waiting to be won – but by God he took the man too. And it looked nasty.
Strachan’s words have always had power and his communication style has served him well over the years.
But for a man who clearly loves to teach, on this occasion he was more polemicist than pedagogue.
It’s going to be a nervy few days for Dundee United fans.
That’s just how it gets when the transfer window is closing and you’ve got a striker like Lawrence Shankland on the books.
Now it’s 94 in 114.
The total ticks ever-upwards. Relentlessly. Inevitably. Unstoppably.
It’s the sort of thing that attracts admiring glances from clubs with greater resources.
It’s the sort of thing that then attracts bids.
Having dropped out of sight and, quite possibly, out of mind during his injury lay-off, Shankland is back with a bang.
Two goals in his first two games back saw him called into the Scotland squad for next week’s European Championships play-off with Israel and the following pair of Nations League clashes with Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
That’s fantastic for Shankland and fantastic for United.
But it comes with an inherent profile boost for a player Micky Mellon will be as keen to keep at Tannadice as United fans are.
It wouldn’t be a shock if a club tests the water with a bid before the deadline on Monday night.
The question will then become whether United are minded to cash in.
It is 20 years since Claudio Caniggia signed for Dundee.
Sit back and let that wash over you for a minute or two… It’s enough to make anybody with any sort of memory of it feel old.
But whether your memory of Caniggia’s time as a Dark Blue is in tip top condition, slightly on the muddy side, or non-existent due to youth, there’s an opportunity coming along to be reminded.
DCT Media have put together a feature-length documentary on the Argentinian legend’s Dens days .
It will be posted online on Thursday and, take it from me, it’s well worth a watch.