View Fae the Red Side - Dons 2 Bonnie Langfield 1
As Richard Gordon has noted recently, regardless of the conditions the hardcore are always there. Indeed it can surely only be a matter of time before David Attenborough, doing a voice over for thon 'Planet Earth', says:
'And here we see the Dandies huddling together and each taking turns to stand on the outside of the pack, in a manner not dissimilar to penguins in the Antarctic, to protect those inside from dying of exposure...'
Saturday was one of those days, and my selection of a light cagoule type thingy, a t-shirt and a pair of Adidas Gazelles was entirely inappropriate for 'Y' duty in November. I've learned my lesson and a fleece, hat and pair of boots will be worn from now on...oh, and bright sunshine in November does not equal warm...on Saturday I knew exactly how the Germans felt at Stalingrad.
Speaking of which, I've frequently bemoaned the way fitba fans are expected to be the Nation's Official Mourners, however I have no objection to doing so for the noble reasons we did on Saturday. It may be the sort of crap you see in knee-jerk reactionary rags like the Daily Mail (but even they get something right once in a blue moon) but without the sacrifice we remembered pre-match on Saturday, we would have been doin Nazi Salutes before the game. Needless to say it was observed impeccably by both sides and there wasn't even the usual bloke at the pie stall or phone interruptions.
Once again Tango's Tactical Tombola brought much gnashing and wailing to the ‘Y'...why in the name of f*ck was Seve in defence AGAIN? I'm sure Seve isnae happy playing in a position which, whilst he's competent, he rarely looks truly comfortable and god knows what effect this is having on the morale of Diamond and Considine.
Hopefully Touzani will come through the bounce match wi Forfar unscathed and this irritating fixation Tango has will end. If you want an explanation for the poor crowd on Saturday, it's the negative managerial mindset like this that is keeping the punters away.
I mean there was no danger of us losing this game and it was one-way traffic. Murrawell (wi the exception of their central defenders) were shockingly poor but once again it was a stop start performance with a poor final ball letting us down and the absence of Seve in midfield meaning our strikers had to come too deep to get the ball.
Not that we didnae make chances with both Miller and Seve rattling the woodwork wi headers, but all in all frustration was beginning to grow that we hadnae broken them down. Still we kept up record the bizarre record we hold of not conceding a goal in the first half since July.
Half time came and there followed a discussion on the meanings to be found in the lyrics of Girls Aloud's latest effort.
We concluded any 'song' involving a lyric with 'Tutu' and 'ooh ooh!' probably wasnae a tribute to Archbishop Desmond's valiant efforts to defeat apartheid, but just a steaming pile o keech.
Then there were the cheerleaders...
Now we live in a sensitive age where parents filming their kids' carol concert can be reported to Social Services and the fuzz as potential paedos, or even worse lynched for being Paediatricians. Yet the 'half time entertainment' at Todders consists of eight scantily clad pre-pubescent quines gyratin' to some Euro pap.
It's about time someone at Todders bit the bullet and went doon tae 'Angels' or a similar establishment and got some o their lassies....ken a dance to a song fit a tenner a head (no pun intended...but if that's fit yer after...another 20 sheets usually does the trick I've fo...sorry been informed)....sorry where was I? Oh aye, ok so they may be Dundonian crack hoes but at least the punters would have something tae watch that wouldnae make them feel a bit like Gary Glitter...just nae the one fae Peterhead wi the tatts and cellulite, okay!
Anyways intae the second half and it remained the same. We were well on top but banging our head on a wall. 'Make the feckin change Calderwood' is a severely edited version of Das Jute's advice to Tango, so loud I swear he turned round and heard it.
Of course as is the way with these things he'd barely finished his spleen shattering rant when we went and scored a great team goal.
It was flicked around with pace on the right making the Well defence look like statues then quickly switched wide to the left to the wide open Smith who passed it into the net. A superb team goal by anyone's standards.
'Ok so how long till we go one up front then?' was the cynical view on the ‘Y' post-goal...that we didnae was due to a dreadful howler by Bonnie Langfield.
Mickey makes a great sliding challenge (it would turn out to be Murrawell's only 'shot on target' all day) and the ball was trundling back to Bonnie...
Now back in the day I used to be a keeper (like most keepers cos I was shite anywhere else...well, I did grab a few in a short spell as a kinda uncoordinated Peter Crouch-style centre forward ken but I was basically sh*te and it was the only position I showed any real talent at) and one of the first things I was taught as a keeper was when you go down to pick up the ball keep yer legs together using the blatantly obvious logic that if you missed or fumbled it, it would hit yer legs and you'd have a second shot at recovering the situation.
So quite why Bonnie thought he could pick up a trundler with his legs wider than a Torry Bird after two Bacardi Breezers, f*ck knows. Christ it wasnae even a 'schoolboy error', no schoolboy would make such an error on fear of being kicked to death by his team-mates. Looking at Seve, Russ and Mickey it took all their restraint to stop them doing precisely that.
What's even worse is the only back up is Soutar....Jesus! Whilst there's nae cash for a move in the January window it will be negligence of the highest order if we don't bring in a better keeper in the summer. Langfield and Soutar are adequate but they are not and never will be of the calibre required to win silverware.
As a result every subsequent touch by Bonnie was met with sarcastic cheers from the Reds and realising they had a complete fanny behind them had an effect on the defence as Russ would spend the rest of the game playing like Gary Caldwell on a bad day.
Murrawell, with their confidence boosted, began to take control of the midfield...not creating chances right enough, bar one cut back brilliant cleared by Mickey, but for the only time in the game they had us on the back foot.
Once again the wailing for him to make the change we wanted at the start began. It took a further 10 minutes for him finally to make the changed with Seve finally being moved to where he belongs, Mickey slotted in at centre half and Chris moved back to right wing back...one has to ask why we didnae start like this? Though only Cuprinol can explain why initially it was Dempsey and not Nicholson who moved out onto the right flank.
He also withdrew Lovell for Mackie which brought booing as Daz came on. Now I have no problem with folk booing him when he f*cks up, and, lets be honest, wi Daz yer hardly gonna have to wait long, but those that booed him onto the park are, not to put to fine a point on it, complete f*ckin dickheads.
A few minutes later NotPhil Maguire came on. As I said in the preview it's far too early to lay all our hopes on him but I think after a generation of waiting we've finally got a home-grown striker to get excited about.
He still plays with the lack of inhibitions that only an inexperienced teenager can; he loves running at and beating his man. I still think he's best deployed coming off the bench and is too lightweight (physically) to lead the line from the start of a game, but there is only one way to answer that for sure and when the inevitable injury/suspension breaks up the Lovell/Miller combo, he's got to be at least worth trying.
It was from his efforts the winner came. A typical run into the box was snuffed out but broke to Chris who sclaffed his cross and it was tucked away by Lee Miller...cue goal celebrations that were part euphoria part survival technique against hypothermia.
As for Miller he polarises opinions. Some subscribe to the view of Guido the house-trained Pikey that he's a lazy unfit haddy. I'm in the other camp, in that if you leave him fighting for long balls in midfield he does indeed look like a lazy unfit haddy, but if you feed him balls to feet in the box he'll grab ye 20+ a season. To back this up I'll point to the fact that in his last three games he's scored, had an assist and scored, all from balls to feet in the box.
So a win...but once again a lot of questions to be asked about our manager's formation, line up and tactics. But somehow despite all these faults we're in the race for a CL spot in November and even a Tango sceptic like masel has to admit that a few years back that would have been unthinkable.
I'll reserve judgement however until next month and I see how we fare against better opposition than Murrawell. But the shackles have to be thrown off soon...it's been a lack of goals not points that have cost us in the last two seasons. Against teams like Well we should simply go out and play and score goals not worry about what they're gonna do.
Still, another 3 points and into third...mustnae grumble too much I suppose.
The Red Avenger