Sunday, 31 January 2010

Back across the Irish Sea for Chris!

Darkblueforever understands that Chris Casement has joined Linfield on loan. According to the BBC website, Chris has penned a loan deal until the end of the season. Casement joined Dundee on a free transfer from Ipswich Town in the summer.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Dundee 0-1 Ross County

4,912 witnessed Dundee's second defeat at Dens this season in the league to a very spirited and determined Ross County, who were looking to close the gap between them and league leaders Dundee.
Paul Lawson struck the winner for Ross County in the 44th minute as his shot deflected past Rab Douglas and into the net.
The scond half, Dundee had a lot of the ball, yet we very rarely troubled the County keeper.
Dundee to me lacked spirit, determination, and never looked likely to score throughout the whole drab affair. The closest coming from a Harkins header which McGovern held smartly on the line at his near post. We never got into any sort of rhythm and our play was far too tight and we hardly kept good possession of the ball. To be fair to County, the sat in deep and countered Dundee on the break and in the end they deserved to win but perhaps should have had only 10 men on the pitch at the end of the game as some of their challenges were very over-zealous and some downright late.
Jocky in my opinion got it all wrong. From the tactics, to formation to team selection, it was as if the team hadn't played together before and some individuals were caught out today. Leigh was a huge miss in the first half and perhaps Jocky will be ruing that decision to keep him on the bench for the start of the match. Darren Young, Rab Douglas, Jim Lauchlan and Gary Harkins to me are the only ones that come out the match will pass marks and Leigh did well to try and brighten the play up for the Dees second half.
What's for sure, it was a terrible day at the office and our grip on top spot maybe slipping as Ross County and Queen of the South have games in hand and County's win at Dens today will have given them a huge boost as the race for the title hots up. But there is a long way to go and it's the typical Dundee FC way, we always do it the hard way! :)

Thud! Hear that? That's the sound of Dundee FC falling back down to reality!

To read BBC's full match report and manager views, go to:

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Andrew "Shinnie's it" back to Dens!

Dundee have signed 20 year old Andrew Shinnie from Rangers until the end of the season. It will be the Aberdeen born youngster's second spell at Dundee after spending the latter part of last season on loan from Rangers, making 20 appearances in the process.

I am delighted that Andrew is back at Dundee, he is a decent player with an eye for goal and has skill and speed to back that up aswell.

Welcome back to Dens Andrew!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

4 days to go!

The countdown is well and truly on until the slamming shut of the transfer window at midnight on Monday 1st February. It has truly been a frustrating month as regards to transfers for Jocky and Dundee. It seems he has looked high and low for players but no opportunities have arisen but that might change with a loan deal possibly on the cards this week of an SPL midfielder.
One reason that I think might be for the lack of transfer actitivity is that other clubs are playing frugal. They knew Dundee have a bit of spending power with the backing of Calum Melville and they are using that to the advantage in order to secure a better deal for themselves. It looks as if Jocky is no fool as hence there has been no money transfers on the cards and he believes (I assume) that Dundee should not be held to ransom over players just because we have a little bit of money. Jocky is also correct in his view that it has to be suitable for Dundee any new face that comes in. We don't want to bring in a disruptive influence after we have a squad of players that get on so well at the moment in our drive to return to the top table of Scottish football, the SPL.
Whilst it maybe frustrating for some Dundee fans that we haven't brought anyone in, we don't neccessarily need to bring players in, we have a decent squad as it is and players who are out injured, such as David Cowan, will be returning in a few weeks time to bolster the strength in depth of the squad again. We all now have to sit tight and believe in Jocky that whoever he brings in on loan or permanent deals that that player will be of benefit to Dundee FC.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

SPL midfielder on way to Dens?

According to the Evening Telegraph, Dundee hope to have tied up an SPL midfielder on loan in the next few days.

Now with so many rumours going around could this be Andrew Shinnie returning to the club on loan? Perhaps, but it's all speculation but it would be good if we could get a few new faces into the club and hopefully a central defender will be one of them and let's hope that Wayne Buchanan can make an impression on his trial with us.

Player in focus: Darren Young

Darren Young was born on 13th October 1978 in Glasgow. He joined Aberdeen in February 1996 and he quickly became involved in first team matters. His debut came in the league cup against Queens Park. His first goal for the club came just a day short of his 18th birthday, 12th October 1996 against Dunfermline in a 3-0 victory for the Dons. Darren's career progressed and after impressive performances for Aberdeen, he was rewarded with Scotland U21 caps but his progress was cut short with a serious injury that didn't see him properly back in the first team at Aberdeen until 2000. He made 33 appearances for the Dons in season 2000/1 and that included a UEFA Cup appearance against Irish outfit, Bohemians. He further cemented his place in the Aberdeen first team before a transfer to Dunfermline Athletic in season 2002/3. His first season at East End Park saw him play in a Scottish Cup Final defeat against Celtic even though he scored in the semi final against Inverness CT to reach the final. The following season would see injuries mar his season although he scored against Livingston in the League Cup semi final before Dunfermline were beaten by Celtic in the final. The following season saw relegation for Dunfermline but Darren managed another final with Dunfermline, this time the Scottish Cup but were defeated again. The following season he was involved in the Pars disastrious European campaign in the UEFA Cup where they were defeated by Hacken.
In the Summer of 2008, Darren turned down a contract with the Pars whom he had been there for 5 years and decided to young Alex Rae's Dundee. He was injured for the majority of season 2008/9 and change of manager saw Jocky Scott return to the club and in the summer of 2009 after proving his fitness to Jocky, Darren signed a new contract with the Dees and so far has had a few games this season after returning from yet another injury. for outline player info.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Back from a "land down under"!

Dundee FC are understood to have given a trial to former Northern Ireland Under 21 international and Bolton centre-back, Wayne Buchanan. According to the Evening Telegraph, circumstances in Austrailia have resulted in Wayne returning to the UK in search for football and Dundee have offered Wayne that chance.

There is not anymore news on the move regarding Aberdeen striker Michael Paton to Dens on a loan deal.

To me, we are needing a central defender and with Wayne, it allows us to put him through his paces and hopefully will persuade Jocky to offer him a deal at Dens.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Queen of the South 1-1 Dundee

Dundee maintain their position at the top of the league and further dent Queens title ambitions. Although Dundee missed a penalty early on in the match, Queens crept ahead with a wonderful Bob Harris freekick. I wasn't at the game but it sounds as if Queens had the bulk of the play and chances and Dundee were content to hit them on the break. Was really feeling annoyed with the Dees as this was a great chance for Dundee to assert their dominance in the league but feelings of annoyance soon subsided as Leigh Griffiths equalised for the Dees after 77 minutes. With what was going on at Firhill, I felt the last 10 minutes in the Dundee game was the time we stood and be counted and to get the winner but watching the reports on the Dundee website and BBC websites it looked positive that Dundee might sneak it as there were plenty of chances but alas it wasn't to be and the Dees left Palmerston with a creditable draw. The Dees keep marching on! Next, Ross County at Dens!

Queen of the South v Dundee

Dundee go into this game knowing a win will open the gap at the top of the league to 14 points, even though Queens have three games in hand. Dundee go into this game on the back of two wins against Dunfermline in the league and against Livingston in the Scottish Cup whilst Queens last game was postponed last week due to adverse weather.

Lets hope that Dundee can produce the goods and claim a major milestone in the march towards the SPL.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Dundee 3-2 Dunfermline Athletic....phew!

Today was always going to be a battle and a battle it certainly was. Dundee started the game very brightly and on their first sojourn up the park, we scored. It was a great build up play down the left wing and an excellent cross from Eddie Malone into Dunfermline's area saw Leigh Griffiths tap it into the back of the net. Dundee continued to control the game and had good possession with the ball until the 1oth minute. Slack play from Dundee allowed for David Graham to tee himself up and drill an excellent strike from the edge of the 18 yard box right into the top corner of the net leaving Rab Douglas well and truly beaten. Dunfermline took a great deal of heart from that goal but it was Dundee that would strike again just before the break. It was a well worked cutback from Leigh Griffiths that found Colin McMenamin in space and he tapped in his first goal at Dens for 2010. Half time came in which Dundee deservedly led and a half of industry and determination saw them 2-1 up at half time. Second half, Dunfermline came flying out of the traps. They immediately won a corner. Moments later, the Pars were back on equal terms. A very deep cross into the Dees box saw confusion amongst the Dundee defence and David Graham cusioned a header towards Andy Kirk who managed to stick it into the Dundee goal. Dunfermline were flying now. The confidence was oozing out of them and Dundee were all over the place. The midfield battle was easily won by Dunfermline and all of the second balls that Dundee were expected to win, the Pars won. Changes were needed and Jocky made them. Richie Hart was replaced by Brian Kerr, although it didn't go down too well with the Dens faithful as they felt that he was the best player on the park. Dunfermline pressed and pressed and were in total control of the ball. They were unlucky not to have taken the lead when one of their efforts rebounded off the bar. That proved to be a turning point for the Dees and they slowly began to creep back into the game. The old addage, "you have to take your chances" sprung to mind and Dunfermline certainly had loads of chances but they didn't take them and they were to pay for their ineptness in front of goal. In the 82nd minute, Dundee again were in front and again it was the determination of Leigh Griffiths that managed to place the ball past the keeper after Fleming initially saved 'Sparky's' first effort. Both teams made changes with Joe Cardle and Jim McIntyre going on for Dunfermline and Pat Clarke replacing Leigh Griffiths for the Dees. The last 10 minutes was all Dunfermline as they looked to rescue a point they would have deserved but Dundee stood firm and held on for all three points.

Final Anaylsis:

A tale of two halves for me. Dundee were great and exciting going forward in the first half and in the second it was Dunfermline that was in control. A massive three points nonetheless for Dundee and it gives us a boost going into the next league match against Queen of the South next Saturday at Palmerston. Let's hope that it's the first part of three wins in a week for Dundee.

Team Line ups:

Dundee: Douglas, Paton,Malone, Klimpl, Benedictus, Lauchlan, Forsyth, Hart, Griffiths, McMenamin, Harkins.

Subs: Soutar, Casement, Kerr, Young, Clarke

Dunfermline: Fleming, Ross, McCann, Bell, McGregor, Dowie, Gibson, Phinn, McDougall, Kirk, Graham.

Subs: Paterson, Cardle, Holmes, Woods, McIntyre.

Attendance: 5,207

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Livingston v Dundee, Scottish Cup 4th Round

Dundee will now play their re-scheduled Scottish Cup 4th Round tie against Livingston at Almondvale on Tuesday 19th January 2010. If the tie goes to a replay, then that will be played at Dens Park on Thursday 21st January 2010.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Player in focus: Tony Bullock

Tony was born on 18th February 1972 in Warrington, England. Tony started his career at Leek Town before a big transfer move to Barnsley in 1997. After making 38 appearances for Barnsley, Tony moved to Macclesfield Town in 2000 where he spent a season making 24 appearances before moving to Lincoln City where he only made 2 appearances. Tony decided to make a fresh start, this time in Scotland and so in July 2001 he joined Ross County on a free transfer. He would spend two seasons at Victoria Park, making 69 appearances before being transferred to Scottish Premier League side, Dundee United. He made 31 appearances for United, including a Scottish Cup final appearance against Celtic in May 2005, which turned out to be his last as a United player. Tony ventured back south and joined Gillingham, but it lasted only 5 months and he was soon on the move again, this time to St Mirren in January 2006, making 29 appearances and winning the Scottish First Division title before being released in May 2007. Tony then re-joined his former club, Ross County in June 2007 and went on to make 40 appearances for the Dingwall side and also won the Scottish Second Division title. He left Ross County in the early part of 2009 and joined Montrose. Whilst at Montrose, he signed a pre-contract agreement with Dundee but went on to play 16 times for Steven Tweed's side. In July 2009, he joined his new team-mates for pre-season training and has settled in well at Dens Park, already having a settled run in the team when Rab Douglas was out but currently is recovering from surgery and is out for the foreseeable short-term.

Jocky is 'Phenomenal'!

Jocky Scott has been awarded the Irn Bru Phenomenal First Division Manager of the Month for December. It caps a great few days for the Dees as Gary Harkins won Player of the Month for December.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Soapy to stay until end of the season.

Derek Soutar has agreed a deal that will see him stay at Dens until the end of the season. The former Aberdeen and Ross County keeper is in his second spell at Dundee but so far has had very limited chances to make an impact but is a useful understudy for Rab Douglas and Tony Bullock.

Livingston v Dundee, game off again!

The rearranged Active Nations Scottish Cup fourth round tie between Livingston and Dundee at Almondvale on Tuesday 12th January, has been postponed due to wintry conditions. Both clubs are now seeking for a date for the match to be played. Whoever wins this match will face either Ayr United or Brechin City in the fifth round.

Looks like we could be waiting a wee while before this tie is played and is a sign of just how hard this winter has been so far.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Gary Harkins, Irn Bru First Division Phenomenal Player of the Month December 2009

Gary Harkins has won the Irn Bru First Division Phenomenal Player of the Month for December 2009. Gary scored 4 goals in 5 games during that period but also recieved a red card against Inverness CT on boxing day. Well done Big man and here's hoping many more Phenomenal awards!

Oh Dea, Oh Dea, Oh Dea!

According to reports in the media, Celtic defender Darren O'Dea has rejected the chance to come to Dundee on loan for the rest of the season. The young Republic of Ireland star has recently returned to Celtic Park after a loan stint at Championship side Reading. If reports are accurate, the 22 year old wants another crack at a Championship side on loan in order to work his way into the Celtic first team.
Elsewhere, it has been rumoured that we were after Russell Anderson, Chris McGuire and Stephen Dobbie. One loan deal that looks as if it might happen is Michael Paton from Aberdeen until the end of the season. Personally, I don't really see the need for someone like Paton to come to Dens as we have a great attacking line up. What we do need is a defender and I am a little disappointed that Darren O'Dea won't be coming to Dens. Jocky will not discuss possible names that he is looking at and that is great. The press are having a bit of a field day with players being linked with us because we have some money to spend. If Celtic and Rangers were going to spend big, then I am sure all the media attention will have been on them, not Dundee. I am sure that Jocky has players in mind and I am sure he will spring a surprise or two this transfer window. For me a defender would be top of my list!

Friday, 8 January 2010

Scottish Cup match postponed

After valiant attempts by the Livi groundstaff to clear the pitch and surrounding car parks, on advice by the police, the cup match at Almondvale between Livingston and Dundee has been postponed due to tricky underfoot conditions outside the ground. The game has now been re-scheduled for Tuesday 12th January 2010 with a 19:30 kick off.

100 years of waiting

The Scottish Cup has long given Dundee fans a fair share of thrills and spills over the years but the fact remains that our only success in this competition came a century ago in 1910 where we had to overcome Clyde. Our last appearance in the Scottish Cup final saw us narrowly lose to Rangers 1-0 courtesy of a late Lorenzo Amoruso header. As we look to the future in this competition, could 2010 be the year Dundee win the Scottish Cup? 100 years since our only triumph and with quality of players now at our disposal, surely Dundee fans are allowed to dream of the prospect of the famous old trophy residing once again in the Dens Park boardroom.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Tuesday blogs

Every Tuesday on "Dark Blue Forever", there will be a players focus in which we delve into the history of players past and present that have graced the dark blue shirts of Dundee. Tuesday 12th January, the player in focus will be Tony Bullock.

Livi to do all they can to keep game on.

Livingston FC are trying their very best to keep the 'Active Nations' Scottish Cup tie at Almondvale with Dundee FC on Saturday 9th January on as the country is bracing itself for more wintry conditions. The Livi grounds people are working very hard to keep the pitch playable and also to keep the cark parks surrounding Almondvale clear. There are covers on the pitch and the undersoil heating has been switched on.

One player that will be looking forward to the game if it's on will be Leigh Griffiths. He has not waited too long for a chance to return to his old haunting ground. Dundee signed the teenage striker for £115,000 from Livingston in the summer and has not failed to impress yet, infact he is a firm fans favourite already and this tie against his old club could spur him on even further.

Meanwhile Colin McMenamin's fitness will be checked upon this week after he could only make a place on the bench in last Sunday's defeat at home to Airdrie United.

Pedro stays put!

Alledged Dundee target, Pedro Moutinho is understood to have accepted Falkirk's offer of a contract extension until the end of the season. The 30 year old Portuguese striker is in his second spell at the club after rejoining Falkirk late last year.

Dundee 0-1 Airdrie United

Dundee were made to pay for missing their own penalty by conceding a match winning penalty themselves. It was Leigh Griffiths that took the Dark Blue's penalty but his shot was saved by the Airdrie United keeper, Stephen Robertson. Airdrie United then won themselves a penalty in the 24th minute and it was Kevin MacDonald that sent Big Rab the wrong way and all three points were bound for Airdrie. To make matters worse, Gary MacKenzie was sent off just before half time for a challenge on the United keeper. Numbers would be evened up in the last few minutes of the game when Robert Donnelly was sent off for United, but Airdrie held on to compound the first league defeat on Dundee at Dens Park this season.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

A decade of memories, both good and bad!

A decade which saw Dundee reach the Scottish Cup Final and ventured back into European football was countered by the extreme lows of administration in the Autumn of 2003. Will we ever forget the sight of Claudio Canaggia and Fabrizio Ravanelli gracing the dark blue shirt? Nor shall we forget the silky, continential style of football played under the Bonetti era. One things for certain though, we shall never forget how close our beloved Dundee Football Club nearly went out of buisness altogether in the dark days of administration in 2003. It certainly showed the true spirit and togetherness of the Dundee fans to try and save the club by the creation of Dee4Life, a supporters trust that has raised thousands of pounds and fundraising events and is one of the main reasons why Dundee FC still exists today.
Relegation from the SPL in 2005 hurt the club badly and the club lost some great players such as Steve Lovell, Garry Brady and ultimately Lee Wilkie. Being in the First Division though, certain young talented players were given their chance to shine further. Kevin McDonald, Paul Dixon and Scott Robertson all established themselves and all would later move on to higher levels.
Various managers have come and gone over the last decade; Jocky Scott, Ivano Bonetti, Jim Duffy, Alan Kernaghan, Alex Rae and Jocky Scott (again) have managed the famous club. As have players with so much talent and skill have also come and gone. Players such as Fabian Caballero, Beto Carranza, Claudio Canaggia, Temuri Ketsbaia and Fabrizio Ravanelli have played for the dark blue jersey but ultimately left the club.
Controvesary has also lingered at Dens over the last decade. Rumours of takeovers, mergers, "tainted director". Sprinkle with the phase of administration, Dundee certainly have had their fair share of low-ebbed moments in the last decade. 25 players and staff lost their jobs as Dundee were plunged into their darkest chapter in thier entire exisitence in 2003.
Since the dark days of administration, through the help of Dee4Life and changes of the board we have risen from the ashes and now are trying for promotion back to the SPL. With the help of a board who have worked wonders in our recovery and a director that has put a lot of money into the club (Mr Calum Melville), a Supporters Trust in Dee 4Life, the club can only get stronger and let's hope the next decade will be full of positive memories and players such as Leigh Griffiths and Gary Harkins are still playing for us and also more silverware added to the Alba Challenge Cup that now resides in the Dens board room for 2009.

Dundee v Airdrie United, Sunday 3rd January

After a change of venue due to adverse weather conditions around New Broomfield, this match now takes place at Dens Park on Sunday, but there will be a pitch inspection on the morning of the game as temperatures are set to plummet as the cold snap that has gripped Scotland for the last fortnight continues.
Dundee therefore have the chance to further enhance their gap over second place with a win over the Diamonds at Dens. With Queen of the South, Inverness CT and Dunfermline matches postponed, it leaves Dundee the opportunity to gain a futher points advantage, even though the chasing pack still has games in hand.
Missing the game on Sunday, will be Gary Harkins, suspended after seeing two yellow cards at Inverness last week. In his place, Maros Klimpl is in line for his first start after recovering from injury.
Airdrie United come to Dens determined to give the Dees a run for their money. United lie bottom of the First Division, 4 points adrift of ninth placed Ayr United. Kenny Black will have his side fired up and Dundee will be in for a game and will have to be professional in order to gain maximum points.
Hopefully, Dens Park will have a great crowd to cheer on the Dees this Sunday and to encourage the lads as we hope to extend our thirteen game unbeaten run and to start 2010 in style.

Transfer Window opens

Well, the January sales are here and football in general will be dominated this month by the transfer window as clubs scramble to sign new recruits in the space of 31 days. That's no exception for the Dees. The transfer rumour mill has gone into overdrive as to who the Dark Blues might sign. So far we have been linked with players such as Charlie Mulgrew (Aberdeen) Pedro Moutinho (Falkirk) and Ryan Stevenson (Ayr United) whereas long term target Pavel Mihadjuks is still being linked with a move to Dens Park as Jocky Scott looks to add another defender to the Dens Park roster.
Whatever happens though, Jocky knows best and if he decides to bring anyone in then it will be those who he sees will help enhance the strength in depth of the squad as we push for promotion.

Happy New Year!

A very Happy New Year to all Dundee FC fans and here is hoping that 2010 can see us gain promotion and get back to the top table of Scottish football, the SPL.