Writer: Arab Jacques
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
With the 2007/08 SPL campaign only a few days away, Dundee United sit 3rd in the league table, on alphabetical order.
But, could this be the highest position Dundee United achieve this season, or will manager Craig Levein inspire United even further up the league table?
Unlikely - even a weakened Rangers or Celtic side are probably going to end-up 1st and 2nd in the league, the best Dundee United can hope for is a UEFA Cup spot or a top 6 placing.
Although, after the encouraging performance against Barcelona last week, the Dundee United players are feeling quietly confident and Aberdeen better watch-out.
Even Thierry Henry thinks Dundee United deserve more credit from the Scottish press for their abilities and Barca coach Frank Rijkaard thinks his side were lucky to leave Tannadice with their 1-0 friendly win.
However, its been several years since Dundee United started the season with a victory - infact it was 8 years ago, a 2-1 win over local rivals Dundee.
On that occasion it was Paul Sturrock who lead United to the best possible start to the campaign, with goals from Magnus Skoldmark and Joaquim Ferraz securing all 3 points at Tannadice on the 31st of July 1999.
Since then, United have drawn 4 and lost 3 times against Falkirk(1-2, 06/07), Aberdeen(1-1, 05/06), Dunfermline(1-1, 04/05), Hibernian(1-2, 03/04), Partick Thistle(0-0, 02/03), Dundee(2-2, 01/02) and Celtic(1-2, 00/01), - despite taking the lead in many of those matches.
Dundee United and Aberdeen last met on the opening day of the 2005/06 season, with Barry Nicholson's 48th minute equaliser securing a point for the Pittodrie club in a 1-1 draw at Tannadice, after Charlie Miller`s 7th minute opener.
Last season, supporters were hopeful that manager Craig Brewster would get the club off to winning ways against Falkirk at Tannadice, especially after captain Barry Robson opened the scoring in the 17th minute.
Though, former United midfielder Russell Latapy had other ideas and equalised 5minutes later, before setting-up Liam Craig`s 59th minute winner in a match which Falkirk mostly dominated.
However, chairman Eddie Thompson is feeling a bit more confident about United`s chances of kicking off this season with a home win against Aberdeen.
"I said to some sponsors the other night that at the beginning of the new season I normally feel a little bit of hope but mostly trepidation," admitted Thompson to the Courier.
"This year I am looking forward to things with confidence. We have the right management team now."
"Subject to injuries and the manager getting a striker, I think we have everything in place for a successful season."
"The manager is spending an enormous amount of time trying to find the player he wants."
"His contacts are impressive because there are some managers who couldn`t go much further than Glasgow, but I have one now who looks on the world map when he is looking for a player."
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
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