Saturdays Without United

Levein's Scotland struggled

Saturdays without United is nothing short of boring… no trip to the pub for a few pints and some banter followed by a trip to Tannadice or no away day with the boys, on a bus, to somewhere in Scotland for a few pints and some banter.

It’s a day where there is just not much on, well apart from time with the family…

Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case me be, we had Scotland to keep us entertained(!) last night.  Ok, so there was no involvement on the playing side from any of our boys but our former and current gaffers were there, trying to lead the boys to victory in Prague.

And boy, did Craig Levein take a few pelters in the build up to the game for dropping Kenny Miller.  It was a gamble that failed and today’s reading will not be much better for the man who turned our club around.  It wasn’t only the team selection that had people asking questions though, the fact that we appeared to line up with a 4-6-0 formation also raised more than a few eyebrows.

And I must say, I honestly didn’t see how we were going to get anything from that game last night with that set up.

So it raises the question, was Levein trying to be too smart and outfox the Czechs or was it’s just truly negative in the hope of picking up an away point?

Whatever it was, in true Levein style he failed to admit that he got it wrong.

Now I am not about to go Levein bashing here because I am truly thankful for what he done for our club over the years .  He took over at Tannadice when we looked certain to struggle to avoid relegation.  If he had not lead us to safety, would be we be in the same position as our neighbours at Dens Park, who confirmed yesterday that they were set to go into administration for the second time in seven years?

He made some truly terrific signings for the club who, to this day, are still stepping onto the pitch and giving their all.

The man saved Dundee Unite from god knows what.

But amidst all this, there were times at Tannadice when tactics, and team selections were baffling.

We all remember the diamond midfield, with 4 central midfielders and no width.  He stuck with that, and it cost us until he finally changed.  He never said he was wrong in playing the system.  And yes Houston has done this, more through necessity than choice though.

There were times when Lee Wilkie took to the pitch as a centre forward, to use as a battering ram, when we left strikers on the bench.  It sticks in the memory for me, the day we played Wilkie up from against Inverness CT.  Wilkie was horrendous, although it was not his fault, and in turn, we were awful.  Levein stuck by his decision though.

Yes, Levein was not one for admitting he got things wrong.

But lets not take anything away from the man, he is clearly a very intelligent man and he knows the game inside out.  When he done things simple, we played well, when he got too complex, it went wayward.

He got away with it in the SPL, but I fear for him that he is open to too much scrutiny at International level.  The hounds will be out now but hopefully the SFA see fit to give him time.  Levein didn’t get us to where he did overnight, it took time to stabilise the club and then build it up.  With Scotland, given the time, I believe he can do this.

He maybe needs to admit when he get thing wrong though, and keep things simple.  We as a nation are not blessed with the likes of Messi,  Ronaldo and Rooney, but we do have a hard working set of boys who can play to a decent level.  If he keep the team choices simple and the tactics the same, I believe that things will get better.

Dundee United won the Scottish Cup and finished third in the SPL last year.  Credit goes to Peter Houston for the way he carried the club forward from December onwards but Levein played no small part in this.

As it stands now for Dundee United, we have a very competent Gaffer in Peter Houston, who, to be fair, is more adventurous that Craig Levein, and some would rather it that way.  I for one would not swap back to Levein now, as Houston is doing well.  That said, if it ever came to it, I would have no problems in Levein taking over the helm again.

And as for Scotland, if Levein steps back, takes stock and pinpoint where he went wrong, he can rectify the situation.  He just needs to keep things simple.

So readers, I pose you a couple of questions;

  1. Is Levein the Man for Scotland?
  2. Houstie or Levein, who would you rather in charge at Tannadice?

Let us know by leaving a comment.

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