Dunfermline Athletic

Post Match Dundee

Author: Stephen Taylor Date: Sunday, 18th Aug 2002

After a second consecutive home win, in wonderful flamboyant fashion, it would be hard to think Jimmy Calderwood has any problems on his horizon as he settles down to plan for our visit next week to Tynecastle.

But perhaps there is a problem he will be chewing over but, happily, one of those "nice" problems borne by having a good squad of players. Just, what is his favoured defensive line up ?

Jimmy must have been a bit perplexed in the last two games to think he has signed two excellent new defenders in Scott Walker and Scott Wilson and then out of the blue, Lee Bullen proves what a superb utility player he is.

Bullen`s performances at centre back against Livi and Dundee were quite outstanding considering he is primarily a forward. Maybe it should not be too much of a surprise when you consider other SPL examples including Chris Sutton who has done a similar job for Celtic or even at Hearts where they have tried things the other way round moving their centre half McKenna to centre forward.

Lee always gives 100% commitment, whatever position he is playing and is going to prove a valuable member of this team.

However, his role will perhaps not prove to be a regular starting role at centre half. Against Dundee, the back three of Skerla, Bullen and Thomson all played well as individuals but were at times were lacking as a unit by allowing the very quick and talented Dundee forwards too much space.

The Pars had a touch of good fortune at one point when the referee gave a foul against Dundee when Skerla was pulled to the ground but it seemed Skerla was doing the pushing.

Both Dundee goals showed up a bit of frailty in the defensive line up but more through players positioning rather than bad play.This frailty was further shown up by Dundee`s second goal.

At that point, Scott Wilson was introduced to the crowd and team when he came on and was immediately launched into a potentially difficult tactical change where he was one of only two defenders as Scott Thomson was pushed further forward to help seek the equaliser. Wilson settled to the task extremely well and in the remaining 25 minutes showed some touches of class and the required steel. In doing so, Jimmy Calderwood, probably gave the answer to any perceived defensive line up problem. There is n`t one !

Jimmy is probably the best tactician in the SPL. From his background in Holland the concept of total football permeates throughout the game over there and players tend to be more adaptable to different roles.

Jimmy has now got himself an excellent pool of defensive players and his skill will be to vary the line up to fit the tactics or game plan. Consequently, the fans are likely to see Skerla, Walker, Wilson, Thomson, Dair, McGroarty and of course Bullen feature at different times in varying line ups of a back 3, 4 or 5.

Yes, a great "problem" for Calderwood to have and one which will no doubt be a recurring theme for debate and discussion by the fans throughout this season.

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