Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
Dundee United manager Craig Levein wants an experienced defender - someone like West Ham's Christian Dailly, Ranger's David Weir or Celtic's Steven Pressley.
However, Levein believes there is a shortage of good, experienced defenders at the moment and is finding it hard to find someone who can help solve his defensive crisis.
Caley Thistle's Darren Dods arrives at Tannadice in the summer, but Levein wants to bring in another central defender until then, even if it's only on a short-term loan deal.
"There is a gap between players such as David Weir, Elvis (Steven Pressley) and Christian Dailly, who have been the backbone of the Scotland defence in recent years," said Levein in his weekly column for the Daily Record.
"The return of David Weir to the SPL last week had me lamenting the lack of top-quality defenders in the Scottish game."
"The difference in the Rangers team at East End park on Saturday, as they recorded a 1-0 win with my former hearts club-mate making his debut, was imminently noticeable."
"The value of good and experienced players in the centre of a team's rearguard has been highlighted by the Old Firms moves for David and Steven Pressley during the January transfer window."
"Unfortunately there isn't the same experience or quality around these days, like when I made my and a debut for Scotland back in 1990, when the squad was packed with experienced central defensive talent."
"I know my opinion on the absence of experienced defensive talent is shared by quite a few managers in the SPL, who would love to be able to sign players for their teams of the strength of characters of Weir and Pressley."
Dundee United attempted to sign Steven Pressley, after he was released by Hearts at the end of last year, but the club couldn't match the wages offered by clubs like Celtic, Charlton and Southampton.
There has also been recent speculation linking Christain Dailly with a loan move to Tannadice, since Levein is determined to bring in an experienced defender before the end of the month.
The 33-year-old former Derby County and Blackburn Rovers player is only getting a game for West Ham at the moment, because of a minor injury crisis at Upton Park, but still remains behind Davenport, ferdinand, Gabbiadon and Collins in the pecking order.
He's been played out of position in the center of midfield, playing the holding role for West Ham United - similar to what he has done for Scotland in the past - but has ended up on the losing side 8 games in a row.
Now, with Swedish businessman Eggert Magnusson taking over and introducing new manager Alan Curbishley, its unlikely that Dailly will play much further part in the 1st team squad - leaving the door open for Dundee United to take him on loan until the end of the season.
Dailly made over 140 appearances during his first spell at Dundee United, before joining Derby County for £1million in the summer of 1996 under the Bosman ruling.
Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
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