I don’t like Neil McCann. Regular readers will probably have twigged to that. What few will be aware of is that I love the City of Dundee. I almost moved there some years back. I had good friends there and found the place to be very pleasant and hospitable.
A lot of people I know also have a soft spot for the place, with many of them having been educated there.
It’s partly because of those two things – my strong dislike for Neil McCann and my very real affection for the city where he currently works – that I hope Celtic absolutely turn their top flight football club over tonight. It’s also partly because I want us to resoundingly beat everyone, of course … but sometimes more personal reasons seep into that wanting.
Dundee are headed for relegation at the end of this campaign. It doesn’t matter if it’s straight down through finishing bottom or via the play-offs; that club has the Mark of Cain. I’ve gotten very good at spotting it down through the years. They are headed down. They are headed out. And it’s because they have made a series of very bad choices, culminating in the hiring of a former player turned TV pain in the rear end with no managerial experience at all.
I remember when he was appointed; I got into an argument with some Dundee fans on Twitter when I called him “the temporary manager”.
They thought I was being cruel because of his former association with Ibrox; I told them I was simply reacting as any sane person should to the utter stupidity of hiring him in the first place.
I wished those Dundee fans nothing but well. I wished their club nothing but well.
What would a guy like me have against their team? Yes there was an alleged incident up there involving some of our fans a few years back, but that’s something I covered at the time and was mostly the press trying to make mountains out of molehills. There have been bigger issues than that to be dealing with and to the best of my knowledge they played no part in the diabolical stitch-ups of yesteryear; indeed, in 2012 they were the team who replaced Rangers in the SPL after being told they would have no vote on whether the club should be admitted to the Scottish Football League, with the governing bodies citing “conflict of interest.”
(Bear in mind, when Sevco were applying for permission to join the SPL Rangers were allowed to vote for or against that motion.)
I would like to see Dundee stay up; the only way that is going to happen is to jettison the joker in the dugout, and before this campaign gets to the point where there’s no saving it. A big win for Celtic tonight would give the Dens Park board a big decision to make prior to facing Sevco at the weekend, and it’s a decision I hope we push on them.
McCann is a disaster for that club. The longer he stays the more damage he will do.
When Kilmarnock were faced with a big decision over the manager – they, too, had gone down the Old Pals of Ibrox route – they acted decisively and hit a home run with the appointment. Dundee will not get that lucky, but in terms of simple survival they may just get lucky enough.
Tonight’s Celtic team lines up as follows:
Enjoy the game folks.
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