Fraser-shaped holes killing the Tangerines
DUNDEE United’s capitulation in the Championship title race has been as explosive as it has been surprising.
Plenty of Arabs will dispute the ‘surprising’ part of that statement after watching their team over the last couple of years.
However, to get spanked 3-0 at home while you’re chasing down St Mirren at the top of the table is way beyond not good enough.
I seriously feel for the Tannadice support after yet another battering to what pride is left in their team.
Seeing the result coming in on my phone while at Hamilton brought back memories of Ray McKinnon’s last game as manager.
Against Inverness back in October, there was just no reaction from the players to going behind — and then further behind.
From afar, it looked exactly the same again.
What Saturday’s defeat highlights — and this has been apparent for weeks now — is show how much the Tangerines relied on the quality of Fraser Fyvie and Scott Fraser.
Without those two pulling the strings, creating chances and putting some fear into the opposition, teams are coming up against United knowing they can turn them over.
Without the two Frasers it just shows how short of quality the rest of the squad is.
At any level, Championship or Champions League, losing your two best players is going to have a massive negative effect.
That duo missing leaves a squad full of ageing pros like Willo Flood and Scott McDonald, most probably in their last season, combined with inconsistent performers like Paul McMullan and Billy King, and youngsters just starting out like Jamie Robson and Harry Lewis.
What Fyvie and Fraser can do is put their foot on the ball and dictate the game — there’s no one else who can take a game by the scruff of the neck and pull United through.
Sam Stanton is as close as they’ve got quality-wise but he needs good players around him to be able to play.
The rest of United’s season hangs on whether or not they can get Scott Fraser back fit and on the pitch.
The hope is he’ll be back before the end of the season and he’ll be needed if they are to do anything in the play-offs.
Scott Fraser and Fraser Fyvie have been massive losses as Dundee United have struggled in recent weeks.