Thursday, May 13, 2010

One Golac was enough

Any talk about Dundee United's Scottish Cup win over Rangers in 1994 always throws up a couple of Scottish football's great unanswered questions.

How did they fail to win the trophy in the Jim McLean era? And how did anyone ever expect McLean and Ivan Golac to enjoy a stable working relationship.

The first might be put down to nothing more than a footballing hoodoo. They can happen.

The second is more interesting. Golac, the Serbian manager who liked his players to stop and smell the flowers, and McLean, the gruff manager turned chairman who could kill a whole rose garden with a sideways glance.

That really was an uneasy coalition.

Yet it survived long enough to bring the Scottish Cup to Tannadice for the first time. And nobody knew better than McLean the magnitude of that feat: six times over the course of three decades he'd led the club to defeats in the cup final.

The intriguing Golac was somewhat miscast in the Scottish football of the early 1990s and his tenure was brief. He went on to manage a chocolate factory in Belgrade.

It's probably safe to say that was never one of Jim McLean's ambitions.

United's Winning Team: Guido van de Kamp, Maurice Malpas, Gordan Petrić, Brian Welsh, Jim McInally, David Bowman, David Hannah, Alex Cleland, Christian Dailly, Craig Brewster, Andy McLaren (Jerren Nixon).

Brewster's winning goal is always worth a look, United extracting a modicum of revenge on former Motherwell 'keeper Ally Maxwell:

Those lost finals

1973/74 0-3 v Celtic
1980/81 1-4 v Rangers (Replay)
1984/85 1-2 v Celtic
1986/87 0-1 v St Mirren
1987/88 1-2 v Celtic
1990/91 3-4 v Motherwell
2004/05 0-1 v Celtic (United manager was Gordon Chisholm)

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