Writer: South-East Arab
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
How do you become an expert on Scottish Football?
Easy, you play a couple of seasons at either Ibrox or Parkhead, then get snapped up by BBC Scotland as a football pundit.
Then, you become the font of all knowledge, you give 'meaningful` insights into the season ahead, predicting which clubs will and which clubs wont have a 'successful` campaign.
Despite Craig Levein`s influence at Tannadice and the encouraging performance against Barcelona last week, Paterson has decided that Dundee United aren't one of the better sides in the SPL.
Craig Paterson spent four seasons with Rangers in the 1980s, so the BBC thinks he is just the man to tell me that Dundee United wont achieve much this season.
Signed by Rangers for £200,000 in August 1982, the former Hibernian & Motherwell player gave his verdict on the 2007/08 season and made a staggering prediction.....Rangers or Celtic will win the SPL.
Wow, I mean, you`d have to be either a mystic or some kind of Scottish Football expert to make a bold prediction like that.
In a very long winded interview for the BBC, Paterson claimed "As far as the title is concerned, I think it will be a much closer contest this season between the Old Firm."
Apparently, Dundee United supporters wont have much to cheer about this season, because the UEFA Cup slot will go to either Aberdeen, Hearts of Hibernian and Kilmarnock will get the final top 6 place.
"I would expect the Uefa Cup slot to go to either Hearts, Aberdeen or Hibs, as they make up the best of the rest in the SPL," proclaimed Paterson.
"I reckon ABERDEEN will have a similar season to the last one."
"HEARTS are a bit of an unknown quantity and there has been talk of the club having more of a British influence on the field."
"HIBERNIAN are as good a footballing team as any in the country on their day."
"Killie always manage to punch above their weight and they have great spirit, so I think they'll do okay overall and are a good bet for a top-six finish."
Although 47-year-old Paterson - who was part of the Motherwell side which unfortunately beat Dundee United in the 1991 Scottish Cup final - still believes United can have a more positive campaign than recent years.
Paterson continued, "I am pretty hopeful that United will have a promising season ahead."
"They have done well since Craig Levein took over at Tannadice. He has settled the team defensively with a central pairing of Darren Dods and Lee Wilkie."
"But their outstanding player in my mind is Barry Robson. He's the influential man in the middle and, if he can kick on with even better form, there's no reason why he can't push himself into the Scotland set-up. "
"United have underperformed for a few years, so I expect them to have a reasonable campaign."
But who does Paterson think will go down this season?
Saint Mirren, Motherwell, Caley Thistle.....no, they`ve apparently all got what it takes to steer clear of relegation.
No, Paterson has wimped out and gone for the obvious choice.....new boys Gretna.
"I think Gretna may well find it hard to cope in the SPL, despite the fairytale of coming up through the divisions," conceded Paterson.
"Owner Brooks Mileson has some money to spend if things get a bit tight. At present, I would have to say they would be favourites for the drop."
Date:Thursday August 2 2007
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