BBC BLOGS - Jim Spence

Archives for September 2011

Small has its place in the beautiful game

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Jim Spence | 15:04 UK time, Friday, 30 September 2011

Many of Scotland's finest footballers have been "Wee Men".

Players cast in that very Scottish mould of being vertically challenged, but magnificent on the ball.

However, while they may have been small, there was nothing lacking with the size of their hearts or their playing ability.

In giving a first international call up to the prodigiously talented Danny Swanson and cementing Barry Bannan's place in the Scotland squad, boss Craig Levein has turned the clock back to an era when one question and one question only needed to be answered in picking a player.

"Can he play?"

With "wee" Jimmy Johnstone and "wee" Willie Henderson and countless other small players at every club in the land, the answer in the past was an emphatic yes.

You'll all remember players at your own club who fit the bill.

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Take the money and run?

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Jim Spence | 11:44 UK time, Saturday, 24 September 2011

So, Dundee United's highly-rated Scott Allan has refused a new deal on much improved terms from his current situation at Tannadice.

His manager Peter Houston says the youngster, who has come right through the United youth system, has had poor advice from his agent.

The case points to a dilemma for clubs who invest heavily in their youth systems.

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What makes a footballing rivalry?

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Jim Spence | 16:55 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

A Dundee United-supporting mate of mine sends Dundee Football Club a remembrance card every September, to remind them of a famous date for United fans of a certain vintage.

The card celebrates United's 5-0 win at Dens Park against Dundee FC, on 11 September 1965, a game referred to in song by United fans, as the "Dens Park Massacre of 65".

For obvious reasons I won't divulge his identity.

But, does his faithful posting of the card every year make him a sad Tangerine basket case, or should we see his behaviour as a celebration of the kind of humorous and harmless rivalry which football fans often indulge in?

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Giant of the game recognised by United

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Jim Spence | 19:14 UK time, Wednesday, 7 September 2011

In renaming their Fair Play stand "The Jim McLean" stand, Dundee United have paid due recognition to one of the great Scottish football men.

The name change was announced as "Wee Jum", as he came to be known by the Scottish football community, was honoured by a gala dinner in Dundee's Caird Hall last Friday night.

McLean is a giant of the Scottish football scene.

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