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upgotheheads

Jim McLean

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upgotheheads

Having watched his career from player to manager, as well as the careers  of Jock Stein and Alex Ferguson, I wonder what other supporters of my generation would think of his place in the Pantheon?  

 

For me I find it difficult to decide, because  Stein and Ferguson won major European trophies while Jim McLean's top achievement (arguably) was a Scottish League Championship, yet he did that with fewer resources than the other two. Dundee United's performances in European football were remarkable even when you compare them with Ferguson and Stein.

 

A new play by Phil Differ debuted tonight in Dundee. Sadly Jim McLean now suffers from dementia, like so many other of our football heroes. 

 

 

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Locky

Getting United on the verge of a European Cup final is remarkable in it's own right. Maybe not quite an achievement as the other 2 as he never actually won it, but remarkable all the same.

 

Crazy to think that was only 30-odd years ago.

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Hectormasson
3 minutes ago, upgotheheads said:

Having watched his career from player to manager, as well as the careers  of Jock Stein and Alex Ferguson, I wonder what other supporters of my generation would think of his place in the Pantheon?  

 

For me I find it difficult to decide, because  Stein and Ferguson won major European trophies while Jim McLean's top achievement (arguably) was a Scottish League Championship, yet he did that with fewer resources than the other two. Dundee United's performances in European football were remarkable even when you compare them with Ferguson and Stein.

 

A new play by Phil Differ debuted tonight in Dundee. Sadly Jim McLean now suffers from dementia, like so many other of our football heroes. 

 

 

Dundee utd were  unbelievable " wee club like they are  and won 5 trophies inc a UEFA cup final amongst some great european nights ?   No bad form for around 40 odd years ago ,   , mclean had them punching well above there weight for years, decent side and history.......👏👏👏

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Geoff Kilpatrick

The fact they have a 100% record in competitive games against Barcelona is ridiculous. They were also cheated out of a European Cup Final spot in 1984 by AS Roma bribing the refs.

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Hectormasson
Just now, Geoff Kilpatrick said:

The fact they have a 100% record in competitive games against Barcelona is ridiculous. They were also cheated out of a European Cup Final spot in 1984 by AS Roma bribing the refs.

Correct ,remember watching the Roma game on tv "  maybe a wednesday afternoon '84' dun utd were robbed big time,  bent ref and a horrible bunch of cheating b.....s roma were !  So glad they lost the final to liverpool.......

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ToqueJambo

He was a tyrant but D Utd's achievements are right up there with Scottish clubs that won things in Europe IMO, simply because of how comparatively tiny a club they were. Very unfortunate not to have also appeared in a European Cup Final. I've always had a soft spot for Utd because of that period.

 

Te old European competitions were so much better. A smaller club could put a one-off run together and get quite far. D Utd did it several times under McLean, which is incredible.

Edited by ToqueJambo

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Macros

It's a sign of the change in football since the formation of the Champions League and it's skewed 'qualification' process where a country's TV coverage and advertising income potential means more than it's football. Teams like Dundee United have little or no chance of getting into the group stage let alone reach the final of either European competitions now compared to his time. Thinking back we didn't realise at the time how fortunate we were seeing us reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup and watching both Dundee Utd and Aberdeen reach and win finals. The system now makes the chance of European success outwith the reach of clubs like ours. 

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Sir Gio

A perfect example of how the world has gone soft  :whistling:

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Jamhammer

IMO any manager that can win the top division up here outwith the OF deserves nothing but respect. That United team had some fantastic players and, up until the last week or so of the 86 season were our main challengers for the league. Celtic came with a late run IIRC as they'd had games postponed because of Scotland games. Think Wallace offered him a job here but got KB'd

We got his poxy brother though

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Weakened Offender

If Dundee United had beaten Roma then football might now be a very different sport. 

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Debut 4

A few born and bred Hearts men aided them to their successes.  

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leginten

His achievement was remarkable. They are a smaller club than Aberdeen, and Ferguson obviously had a greater trophy haul (including a European success), but for me what United did in those years was just as impressive. Had Ralph Milne not blasted over an open goal early on in the return leg in Rome, they would surely have survived even the blatant cheating that went on that night and made it to the European Cup final. 

 

How UEFA must have been shitting themselves. Liverpool’s semi-final against Cold War era Polish opposition was also on a knife-edge. UEFA must have dreaded the prospect of only a few hundred Polish fans and maybe 5000 United fans making it to the final in Rome. Of course, they eventually got the Liverpool - Roma final they wanted.

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Gabriel

There are probably still players at Dundee United seeing out the last year of the contracts McLean made them sign! 

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Debut 4

.  

Edited by Debut 4

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fancy a brew

Don't you £u¢king offer me that again!

 

*Whack*

 

images.jpeg

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Fort Vallance

There's a play about him about to start in a theatre in Dundee. Ironically titled "Smile"

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Tazio

I know the actor that is playing him. Poor sod has had half his napper shaved to get the authentic Maclean look. 

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Cruickshank for Scotland
1 hour ago, Gabriel said:

There are probably still players at Dundee United seeing out the last year of the contracts McLean made them sign! 


Close to the truth!!! Massive achievements at DU but uncouth doesn’t cover it.

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Seymour M Hersh
1 hour ago, Weakened Offender said:

If Dundee United had beaten Roma then football might now be a very different sport. 

 

They'd have been hammered in Rome by LFC. 

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Enzo Chiefo

Great time for football the 80s, domestically and at international level. Always nostalgic thinking back to that period and the huge away supports we took - 7k to Parkhead regularly - the atmosphere, the terraces. On the field, it was a decade that saw Aberdeen, DUndee Utd and ourselves beat Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich reapectively. It is a privilege to have been a fan during that era.

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bigsuperslim1874
21 minutes ago, Seymour M Hersh said:

 

They'd have been hammered in Rome by LFC. 

Not sure about that. Even if you look that Liverpool were only just able to beat them where Roma had to cheat to get past Utd. I think it would have been pretty close.

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leginten

The strange thing is, I reckon by the time United won the league, then got to the European Cup semi-final and later the UEFA Cup final, they were well past their peak. For me they were at their absolute best in 1980-1. I was at Tannadice the night they beat Mönchengladbach 5-0 in the UEFA Cup. It was crazy, absolutely insane. It remains the single most impressive team performance I have ever witnessed from the terraces.

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ToadKiller Dog

The fixture list didnt help them with the Gotenburg games ,United were knackered .

Sure they played the between the first leg on the 6th ,2 league games one was a draw with us ,and a cup final before the 2nd leg on the 20th .

Edited by ToadKiller Dog

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jambogemz
23 minutes ago, Enzo Chiefo said:

Great time for football the 80s, domestically and at international level. Always nostalgic thinking back to that period and the huge away supports we took - 7k to Parkhead regularly - the atmosphere, the terraces. On the field, it was a decade that saw Aberdeen, DUndee Utd and ourselves beat Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich reapectively. It is a privilege to have been a fan during that era.

This. Followed home and away throughout the eighties with my dad and uncle. We used to take a mammoth support to Tannadice in particular. 

 

Back on topic, Jim McLean was a truly outstanding manager. When you look at Utd in the years since he stepped down then his achievements look even more remarkable. I remember watching the UEFA cup run on TV as a kid and really wanting them to do it.

 

 

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leginten
Just now, ToadKiller Dog said:

The fixture list didnt help them with the Gotenburg games ,United were knackered .

Sure they played the between the first leg on the 6th ,2 league games a draw with us ,and a cup final before the 2nd leg on the 20th .

 

Yes, that period between losing the Cup final to St Mirren and then the second leg of the UEFA Cup final must have been a bit like our difficult week in 1986. But not as bad.

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Hearts007

still laugh at this

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N Lincs Jambo
3 hours ago, leginten said:

His achievement was remarkable. They are a smaller club than Aberdeen, and Ferguson obviously had a greater trophy haul (including a European success), but for me what United did in those years was just as impressive. Had Ralph Milne not blasted over an open goal early on in the return leg in Rome, they would surely have survived even the blatant cheating that went on that night and made it to the European Cup final. 

 

How UEFA must have been shitting themselves. Liverpool’s semi-final against Cold War era Polish opposition was also on a knife-edge. UEFA must have dreaded the prospect of only a few hundred Polish fans and maybe 5000 United fans making it to the final in Rome. Of course, they eventually got the Liverpool - Roma final they wanted.

 

Dinamo Bucharest mate. You are still right that UEFA were shitting themselves over the prospect of a Dundee Utd v Dinamo Bucharest final in Rome with around 10K fans. Remember Aberdeen v real Madrid in Gothenberg had a crowd of 12K.

 

2 hours ago, Seymour M Hersh said:

 

They'd have been hammered in Rome by LFC. 

 

That we will never know unfortunately. Michel Vautrot was bribed, he has admitted this himself. The game was inexplicably moved to the afternoon with all the intendant Mediterannean heat - everything possible was done to guarantee Roma got to the final.

 

I was at the 1st leg at Tannadice. Utd should have won by 8 they were that far ahead. Utd supposrting mates of mine left thinking they were already in the final. I thought they had blown it. Sadly I was proved right.

 

Worst thing is there wll never again be a Scottish team that close to winning Europe's main prize.

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RobboM
8 hours ago, N Lincs Jambo said:

 

I was at the 1st leg at Tannadice. Utd should have won by 8 they were that far ahead. Utd supposrting mates of mine left thinking they were already in the final. I thought they had blown it. Sadly I was proved right.

 

Worst thing is there wll never again be a Scottish team that close to winning Europe's main prize.


A Dundee United supporting friend of mine went to that second leg game in Rome. It was a no frills bus trip from Dundee to Rome, days and days on the road reaching Roma in time for kick off. It was a really intimidating experience, pelted with oranges and cheated on the park. After the game it was straight back on to the bus and home. The Roma game was on Wednesday and they had made it back to Scotland by the saturday and went straight to Fir Park for the game. They were the only supporters bus there 😄

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Pans Jambo

"YIN IY TIT".

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davemclaren

I remember when he was offered the Hearts job. I doubt he would have got on well with Wallace Mercer but who knows what could have been...

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Rizla

A true Victor Meldrew character if there ever was one.

Fantastic achievements back in the day.

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scott herbertson

Maclean was a radge but a brilliant manger - especially good at getting players to play to their strengths and to counter attack in numbers.

 

I worked in Dundee for three years which coincided with United winning the league - saw many of their games, especially midweek ones. They had a terrific team, with for me Paul Sturrock , Dave Narey, Ralphie Milne and Paul Hegarty being standouts 

 

Ralph Milne when he felt like it was the greatest winger I've seen in the flesh - he had immense talent but a totally wayward attitude similar in some respects to Paul gascoigne.

 

Imagine if john Robertson has scored a goal that won us the league at easter road ...........

 

 

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grumpyespana

Its sad but players now days would not put up with auld Jims ways lol.

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The Old Tolbooth
11 hours ago, bigsuperslim1874 said:

Not sure about that. Even if you look that Liverpool were only just able to beat them where Roma had to cheat to get past Utd. I think it would have been pretty close.

 

Aberdeen thought the same with arguably a better team than United when they played Liverpool, they were easily tucked aside 5-0 on aggregate, I reckon  Liverpool would have beaten United pretty comfortably in that final myself, but there's no question that United were absolutely cheated by Roma, and it's one of the reasons I have zero time for Italian football, because it's rife there and has been for years. 

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upgotheheads
11 hours ago, Hearts007 said:

still laugh at this

 

it's the sound of the slap that gets me.😄

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Hearts007
Just now, upgotheheads said:

 

it's the sound of the slap that gets me.😄

🙂

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SectionDJambo

No doubt a great tactician, but his treatment of players was questionable, though not unusual for his time. Players were held to contracts quite rigidly where the clubs had control over them, even at the end of their contracts. There was a fear factor at work, for many players, and McLean looked to be one of the worst for this in Scotland. He had public disputes with a few of his better players, when it came to wages. Duncan Ferguson was one of them.

I dare say that this way of controlling players was due to wanting a good work ethic and discipline within clubs, and a paranoia of players being tapped up by bigger clubs to get to move on for as small a fee as possible. 

It also created the mood for the Bosman ruling, which has now gone too far the other way, with big name players telling their employers how it's going to be.

I'm not sure McLean and Wallace Mercer would have lasted too long together, had he come to Hearts. Wallace had a desire for a happy work place, to the point that he used to comment that he had never had to get rid of a player. McLean ruled by fear, which worked well for him, but may not have sat well over time with Wallace.

 

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Deevers

I first remember seeing him playing for Dundee.   Not a bad midfielder. He was touted as a possibility to manage Hearts at  point in the seventies. He certainly put United on the map.  A greetin faced mumper of the first order though.

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Diego10

He's probably the 3rd best manager in the history of Scottish football tbh.  Remarkable achievements

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smartinmaroon
50 minutes ago, Deevers said:

A greetin faced mumper of the first order though.

🤣 spot on description 

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ford donald
2 hours ago, davemclaren said:

I remember when he was offered the Hearts job. I doubt he would have got on well with Wallace Mercer but who knows what could have been...

 

Twice he was offered it,no slackers in his teams!

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Crete

Dundee United and Aberdeen deserved all the plaudits they got in the 80's regularly beaten the old firm and their great European runs.If only football could be like that now in Scotland.Jim McLean should have been Scotland manager after Jock Stein.

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Section Q
1 hour ago, Diego10 said:

He's probably the 3rd best manager in the history of Scottish football tbh.  Remarkable achievements

He'd have to be close.

The year he won the league they had the smallest first team squad. I think they only used 13 players.

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i8hibsh

Great manager, his brother not so much.

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Governor Tarkin
18 hours ago, ToqueJambo said:

He was a tyrant but D Utd's achievements are right up there with Scottish clubs that won things in Europe IMO, simply because of how comparatively tiny a club they were. Very unfortunate not to have also appeared in a European Cup Final. I've always had a soft spot for Utd because of that period.

 

The old European competitions were so much better. A smaller club could put a one-off run together and get quite far. D Utd did it several times under McLean, which is incredible.

 

Agree with all of this, including the wee soft spot for Utd.

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hueyview
2 hours ago, ford donald said:

 

Twice he was offered it,no slackers in his teams!

Agree......

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hueyview

His teams in the early 80s, were a great challange to get anything from.  Football was so much better without the Old Firm running away with everything...

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jambosdad
6 hours ago, Hearts007 said:

🙂

Didn't he not break John Barnes nose, so probably a punch.

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Hearts007
5 minutes ago, jambosdad said:

Didn't he not break John Barnes nose, so probably a punch.

suffered a cut lip

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davemclaren
2 hours ago, i8hibsh said:

Great manager, his brother not so much.

Which one?

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