Friday 4th January, 2019 at 9:00am
Scottish Premier League
12th March 1980
Dundee United 0 Partick Thistle 0
Surprise, surprise. I haven’t chosen this fixture because it was wildly exciting , with the spectators on the edge of their seats. No, I am highlighting a football philosophy which takes the view that results are important above all else. If the fare served up is entertaining, then that’s an additional bonus. Bertie Auld was the manager at the time this match was played and either side of it were two interesting outcomes, as follows: – Aberdeen 1 Partick Thistle 1 and Rangers 0 Partick Thistle 0, In other words, three draws away from home, three points out of six.How good is that? and don’t forget that those games were played at very difficult venues. It is of course easy to accuse the manager of employing tactics which are largely defensive, but getting points on the board is always commendable. However, at this point in the arguement I have to confess that I’m talking about 1980 when it was one point for a draw and two for a win, not three as is the case nowadays, so my arguement becomes less convincing. Three points out of six from three very challenging fixtures is pretty good going. Now, three from nine, how do you rate that? My personal view is that the draw, sometimes fought for with courage and determination, as was certainly the case in the three featured fixtures, has been slowly devalued. Robert returned from Pittodrie, Tannadice and Ibrox a happy man.
Concentrating now on the Tannadice fixture, Thistle fielded the following team: – Alan Rough, Dave McKinnon, Brian Whittaker, Andy Anderson, Colin McAdam, Jamie Doyle, Ian McDonald, Ian Gibson, Alex O’Hara, Jim Melrose, Ian Jardine.
To add further strength to the arguement that the first essential is to keep the door closed at the back, Thistle’s two substitutes were Jackie Campbell and John Murray. The former came on for Andy Anderson after 84 minutes, and Thistle “saw the game out”, to use the popular jargon.
It is worth remembering that the home line-up contained high-profile names such as Paul Hegarty, David Narey, Eamonn Bannon, Paul Sturrock and Willie Pettigrew, so 0-0 was a decent result.
Incidentally, Dave McKinnon, won the toss and chose to play in the first half up the Tannadice slope, the existence of which is contested by some, and I agree that was the right thing to do. Get to half-time and then you have the advantage in the second-half. I should have been a manager!