Lauri Dalla Valle has been sent to Dundee United on loan. This might not mean much to you, but it’s a nice reminder of days gone by for me.
(First things first, Dundee United play in orange-black-orange. If I started a team from scratch my team would wear these colours. I haven’t thought about this seriously for about 25 years, but this was always my position on the matter: any football club I found would wear orange-black-orange. I see no reason to change this stance now, except to stipulate that all players should wear black boots (I wouldn’t have needed this rule in 1985, of course, but we must move with the times).)
Back to business: Dundee United nearly won the UEFA Cup in 1987, back when this was a very worthy trophy (the European Cup was for champions; the Cup Winners Cup was for cup winners, the UEFA dragged in the rest). The team’s route to the final is a who’s who of exciting (and of course unknowable back then) names:
RC Lens (a lot of French teams had the exciting RC prefix. Lens as well! Very evocative)
Universitatea Craiova (a team of Eastern European scholars)
Hadjuk Split (as crack as crack Eastern European outfits go)
Borussia Moenchengladbach (the daddy of European teams, frequently pitted against English sides in big games, their untouchable surname made them even more intimidating)
IFK Gothenburg (this works wonderfully well, too)
(PS how to learn where places are in Europe: become an obsessive football fan at a young age, preferably pre-Champions League when you had different teams every season).
The good things from this tournament were the Barcelona wins (Kevin Gallacher scored from the right wing with a cross that kept on going and lodged in the far top corner) and (I’ve just read) the debut of one Billy McKinlay, which is perhaps the link for Dalla Valle. Also in the final Gothenburg scored a goal that I was convinced had crept in through the side netting.
But maybe not. Odd.
So yes, hurray, nice move for Lauri.