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Thread: Reflections on the season

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    6,974

    Reflections on the season

    Well that’s been a roller coaster of a couple of years. From the high of AZ Alkmaar at Tannadice and the rich promise it tantalised to the abject mediocrity of Poppadom against Stevie May (amongst others) and the subsequent disastrous relegation to the recovery this season. In many ways it feels like it’s flown by, particularly this season. That opening game against Arbroath feels like only yesterday somehow.

    It’s had it’s ups and at times it’s definitely had it’s downs, but overall you have to give this season a solid 8 out of 10. The points haul is high, the goals scored is high, the goals against is low and to get up in one season has to be given enormous credit given the carnage that was left behind following last season. Were it not for Raith Rovers we would have won this league by 10 points plus easy but the simple fact is that we couldn’t do anything about them acquiring a points total which would have won the league for both the previous seasons. That in itself put extra pressure on a team and management which already had huge pressure on it to deliver. And that pressure wasn’t just sporting in nature. As we all fully well know, the financial consequences of failing to do a one-er were too much to contemplate and it’s hard to imagine any other Club in the division operating under that sort of burden. So massive credit where it’s due - when it mattered, really mattered, they delivered and got us over the line.

    In that sense, and yes he has (and still has) his critics, but Goodwin has to get enormous plaudits. What happened last season happened and in many ways he was starting the season off already labelled as a loser so to have got the job done is highly commendable. Remember that this season he has not had anywhere near the resources of his immediate predecessors. Analytical, scouting, recruitment teams all slashed to the core or gone completely for reasons of financial necessity so it’s been all on him. Literally. I can only imagine the strain he must have been under over the last year. ‘Loser’, ‘Rattled’, ‘Bottler’ - he’s been labelled the lot at times. Combine this with the fact that his Assistant Manager was dealing with the tragic illness and ultimately untimely passing of his spouse then the strain must have been enormous. With that in mind, I think that’s where Raith’s social media spilled over completely unnecessarily and distastefully - one of his best mate’s wife is dying and they’re coming out with schite about ‘sliding’ and ‘rattled’. Yep, I think it’s fair to say he’ll take satisfaction from this but of course wish none of it had happened at all.

    Key points this season -

    1. Keeping a ‘core’ from the previous season. In 2016 there was a mass clear out which did us no benefit whatsoever. Chucking the baby out with the bath water helps no one and keeping the likes of McMann, Graham, Sibbald, Watt, Middleton and adding to it was so important. Continuity is important.

    2. Bar Watt ( and of course the Aussie Imposter), the clearance of the previous wage bill I thought was remarkable and critical. Relegation is a financial disaster but the dealings 12 months ago, combined with continued high season ticket sales, high attendances and of course the total bonus of the Harry Souttar money may keep losses to the minimal we can get away with.

    3. Thrashing Arbroath first time out - this was massive. It set the tone, put a signal out to the rest of the League that we meant business but also, critically got the punters onside quickly after the previous season’s disaster. If there’d been any phuck ups in that one, it could have got ugly. And quickly.

    4. Recruitment has been spot on. The only one that really went wrong was Denholm but obviously that was identified quickly with firstly Gallagher coming in, then McClelland in the January. And the thing is it had to be spot on. The financials meant there was no room for error whatsoever. If even another one of the new recruits had failed I think we were rubber ducked. This is where Goodwin has to get massive credit. As above, it’s been him and ALL on him. The recruitment and scouting teams had been slashed - he had to get it right. And of course, now we’re sitting where we are, he clearly did.


    Has it been all plain sailing? No, of course not. There have been two particular occasions where I genuinely thought we might not do this. Raith at home, but particularly Dunfermline away. We dodged a bullet with that last one. But given how they responded after that you have to give them credit ultimately. However, over the piece they were given one job and one job only. And they’ve done it.

    Next season is obviously a completely different ball game again but right this minute that’s for then. For at least a short time we should all enjoy this and once again stepping up to the plate as support - we really have been magnificent in terms of numbers and backing both home and away. Absolutely tremendous stuff.

    But one final point - much as Friday was ‘enjoyable’ please United from next season onward and each one thereafter can we not have a repeat of having to win the Championship? We’d really appreciate it.
    Last edited by JamesMcClean; 05-05-2024 at 11:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Posts
    5,628
    Great post that!

    Like you say in your final point, we cannot have a repeat of a championship win, even if i am still buzzing 2 days later! When we dropped, i could not get away from the parallels from the last relegation, and while i want to move on now the weekend is over, i really hope there is someone who has Mr Ogrens ear and reminds him he needs to really learn from the mistakes of the previous regime, and the contributing factors that he has to be held responsible for.

    If he plans to continue as owner, Mr Ogren has to invest the money you mention from Harry Soutter, and add to it the reported Aziz Behich money, and surely the gate money from the backing the club has received throughout this season, especially towards the end.

    You gave the team 8 out of 10, but i give us supporters 9.5 out of 10!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,885
    Overall a very good season with a healthy points total and one season bounce back which took 4 seasons last time round. A lot of anxiety around inability to shake of Raith Rovers for so long in what would otherwise have been a fairly comfortable time in Championship.

    The season split in to quarters

    1st 21 points
    2nd 20 points
    3rd 14 points
    4th 20 points

    Clearly the big wobble was in the 3rd quarter which coincided with key injuries (which is always an illustration in importance of having a depth in squad) and a poor January transfer window which you cant really blame JG for. JG did admitted though he made mistakes during this sticky period which is a good sign he will learn from it. The strong finish to the season hopefully will allay fears that JG struggles when it really matters.

    The appointment of a recruitment manager is real plus. One of JG strengths has been in identifying players. Between them I am willing to trust they will be competent in bringing in the right players. Listening to the Courier podcast, the story about ‘unearthing the next Miovski’ the point was made that the club wouldn’t have released this bit of info if they didn’t have something up their sleeve. Hopefully this is correct

    Going in to next season we might have something we haven't had for a while, a bit of stability with no managerial merry go round so we can hit the ground running on planning for next season.

  4. #4
    Excellent assessment JamesMcClean. And excellent answers given too.
    On Jim Goodwin, I reckon he got the basics of a team, any team, in place at the start of the season.
    A solid spine: decent keeper; Gallagher/Holt at back (or Graham/McClelland); Docherty/Sibbald in the middle; Watt/Moult up top. All are reliable and consistent, rarely caught out of position, and they all know their jobs and are pretty good at their jobs.
    Next most important are the full backs, and McCann is as steady as they come. The right-back slot was more often changed but there is a player in Miller Thomson – I think he is one of the best prospects to come out of the academy in some time.
    Wingers and players who can (hate this phrase) “break the lines” are prone to form dips and, sometimes, can be nullified if they come up against opposition players who just “have their number”. But the team does have options there. And in the modern game this sort of player also has to be able to do a job when out of possession too. No passengers these days.
    Getting those creative bits of a team right is very difficult (and even more difficult to get consistently right) and every club in the world is looking for players who can dismantle the opposition’s shape, get behind them, do the unpredictable things, produce magic.
    So there is a decent framework of a team. There is strengthening to be done and some added stardust could be sprinkled around, if we can find it and if we can snap it up before other clubs do. Does anyone know of a young Paul Sturrock, Ralphie or Graeme Payne (what a megastar he’d be in the modern game without 1980s hatchet men kicking him off the park. A better player than Luka Modric, I kid you not)?
    But we appear to have a team of which you could say: “They all know their jobs”.
    Which has to be, it must be said, a sign of a manager who knows his job.
    I reckon Jim Goodwin has improved and learned as a manager over the past couple of years, at his various clubs, and is continuing to do so. That “spine of a team” thing wasn’t an accident. That could only have been the result of sitting down, working out a plan (the easy bit) then finding players to put into place to execute the plan (the very much not easy bit).
    Also, looking at Tony Watt’s vlogs (which probably don’t prove much at all!) there does seem to be a genuinely happy and cohesive dressing room. The banter and closeness wouldn’t be easy to fake. And they don’t seem shy about telling each other about it when things are going wrong. Again, that is the bringing together of a set of characters who can create that sort of dynamic in a dressing room. Which isn’t easy. But Jim Goodwin has done that.
    I don’t trust optimists, they always seem naÔve to me. But I’m fairly optimistic about the underlying direction of travel.
    The fans, I reckon, need to realise that sometimes a club loses games. And not lose all sight of reason and self control when that happens. The fans could also, again in my opinion, provide a bit more backing when the team goes a goal down – instead of sitting and moaning. And not walk out when it is a bad performance. Supporters want players who “give everything for the shirt for the full 90”, but don’t give everything for the shirt for the full 90 themselves.
    Supporters, the club, the players, the Scottish media and the world should also recognise what a good job the DUSF is doing at this club. It is *****ly important this is kept going. The number of members is impressive, but with 11,000 at the game on Friday there must have been 9,000 of them who aren’t – but should be – members. If you know someone who isn’t a member, bully them or shame them into joining up.
    We should also recognise that the displays team at United is the best, pound for pound, of any club in the UK. Again, this is something to be proud of and something that should be supported.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    21,587
    Can't really add much to the OP, summed up nicely

  6. #6
    My reflection: phew.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
    Posts
    770
    Quote Originally Posted by TerryTheTerror View Post
    My reflection: phew.
    that Ayr game: phew

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    23,553
    Some post James,i started reading it at the back O 7 this morning and i have just finished the thread.To show you just how good it is the long lost Steve Finan joined in.I reckon Steve is worried you may actually go to print and seriously affect his future income streams.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    23,553
    Sorry James forgot to add i agree with around 10% of it.

  10. #10
    James could replace me!
    But then, a pot plant could replace me!

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