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Tony Soprano once noted that “‘Remember when’ is the lowest form of conversation”, but he was only partially right. We are nothing if not our memories, so it makes little sense not to glory in them, Dirk Nowitzki Authentic Jersey all the more when circumstances take a turn for the worse. And for Dundee United – for Scottish football in general – that is irrevocably the case, so, T, with all the love and respect, “vaffanculo”. Founded in 1909, Dundee United spent their first 62 years doing not very much: they won the second division title twice, but otherwise not even an international cap. Things improved when Jerry Kerr was appointed manager in 1959 – he established the club in the top flight and led them into Europe for the first time, but that was pretty much it. United did, though, achieve brief notoriety during the freezing winter of 1962-63, using a tar-burning truck to thaw the Tannadice pitch and removing all the grass in the process, before pouring on a load of sand and applying whitewash like a goth doing their eyebrows; such did they earn their nickname “The Arabs”. Kerr retired in 1971, and United’s board did not look far for his replacement. They had observed that the players across the way at Dundee were always incredibly fit; the man responsible, Jim McLean, had also played for the club. But despite that allegiance, and though the Dark Blues were by far the more illustrious of the neighbours, he fancied the job and was appointed aged just 34. The first request he put in was for a stopwatch, and during one of the first practice matches he oversaw, stopped the action within 10 minutes. “I thought we had 11 coaches on the park,” he said. “Naebody was prepared to do any running.” This terse tyranny bestrode Scottish football for a generation. McLean’s maternal grandfather had played for Rangers and his father was a decent player too, but things changed when, after getting married, he joined the Plymouth Brethren. Bestowing upon his children all the fun of an ascetically religious upbringing, Authentic Brandan Wright Youth Jersey two of his sons – Jim and his older brother Willie – nonetheless followed him into the local team, Larkhall Thistle, before Jim left school and took an apprenticeship as a joiner. Though he soon signed for Hamilton Academical, he maintained his trade, and after spells at Dundee and Clyde, joined Kilmarnock, where he played with his younger brother Tommy. Arriving at United, McLean quickly realised that his grand ambitions could be satisfied only if he developed his own talent – the average attendance in his first season was just 9,743. So he restructured the club’s youth system, at the same time cementing himself as its sole source of power. And it worked! Though United remained in mid-table, in 1974 he led them to their first Scottish Cup final – they were walloped by Jock Stein’s Celtic, McLean later admitting to being in his thrall – and things continued improving thereafter. The lean years were over; now it was time for the McLean years. McLean was less than gruntled, having spent hours working with Gray on the training ground. “It was no use plying him with good balls for he scored too easily,” he said. “It was the bad balls that helped him. His right side was not nearly as strong as his left side. We helped him develop that.” Accordingly, he ensured that never again would he be so burned.

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