Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Dundee Football Club has yet another "famous eleven"
Last weekend I emerged frae my Devon midden in auld Angleterre and took a wee jaunt up Scotland way tae Dundee. I arrived in the rain,sleet and snow at Tay Bridge station, strode up to the Nethergate and then strolled along to, and through, the Wellgate and puffing and panting climbed the steps and managed to struggle up the Hilltoon until I arrived at Dens Park to watch Dundee Football Club defeat Queen of the South 2-1 and break a club record,which until Saturday had been the property of the greatest of all Dundee sides,the 1961-2 team. The new famous eleven took the record by remaining undefeated in the league for 20 games. This current side is neither metaphorically nor literally in the same league as the great 1961-2 side whom many well respected opinions still describe as the most stylishly accomplished club team the UK has ever produced. However this current side have had to play at the same time as going through all the insecurities involved in being employed by a football club which is in administration. They have seen a good number of their fellow players being made redundant. There are now only about 14 or 15 players in the first team squad because the financial and regulatory restrictions administration puts upon a club, do not allow it to sign new players. The quietly impressive manager, Barry Smith,doesn't often use substitutes during a match - he used only the starting eleven on Saturday - because of the limited resources available to him, but this means the players, who make up quite a skilled group, all know each other very well and work hard together. If the club had not been deducted 25 league points as a consequence of administration, the team would now be well ahead at the top of the league preparing for promotion to the Scottish Premier League. Instead they are now in a heroic struggle to avoid relegation to a lower league. No wonder then that at the end of last weekend's victory Dens Park was rocking and we were also singing "Naa naa naa nana naa nana naa naa Du- undee" to the tune of Hey Jude !