We’ve had our fair share of critics over the years. From Sky TV pulling the plug on broadcasting our top league to Rangers’ liquidation, ‘Armageddon’ has been upon Scottish football for quite some time.
Yet, we’ve recovered to deliver memorable moments like the James McFadden-inspired national team win away to France on September 12 2007 to St Mirren’s 3-2 League Cup semi-final victory, against all the odds, over a Celtic team – who have beaten the Barcelona this season – yesterday.
Believe it or not, but Scotland has something to offer. We have some of the oldest teams in Britain as well as some of the most successful. For all the problems which come with such a dominant force in the Old Firm duopoly, Celtic and Rangers continue to give back with their appeal not only across the UK and Europe, but worldwide too. Below the big two, Hearts, Hibs, Dundee United and Motherwell have taken turns to represent the country on the continent shifting from their reliance on experienced journeymen to hungrier, younger and arguably more talented teams.
An inexperienced Inverness Caley Thistle are setting the Premier League alight with their unexpected rise to second in the table. Similarly, Craig Brown’s Aberdeen look like they’re back where they belong, albeit the sale of top youngsters like Fraser Fyvie and Ryan Fraser do their fortunes no good. We have a Dundee derby and Highland derby to add to the Edinburgh rivalry already there. Motherwell continue to thrive under Stuart McCall despite working on a shoe-string budget – key to that success? Quality players and they’re all getting younger.
The theme continues down the divisions. Partick Thistle, Greenock Morton and Dunfermline scrap it out for promotion in the First Division with talent arguably at it’s most concentrated. Mark McNulty, Lyle Taylor, Archie Campbell, Michael Tidser, Brian Graham; the list of quality First Division players goes on. Queen of the South are romping the Second Division while Rangers do similar in a Third Division which refuses to lie down to the Glasgow giants. Montrose – you’ve heard of them, right? They drew 1-1 with Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday and regardless of their performance they ground out a result where many, some bigger, clubs have failed.
Is it all really that bad?
League reconstruction is quite rightly on the cards and you have to hope that the SFA, SPL and SFL will make the correct decision when it comes to which change they make and when they decide to make it. Imagine a correctly assembled league involving some of the teams we have? Even the most pessimistic Scottish football fan would enjoy it.
And ultimately what drives our game? Teams? Certainly. Fans? No doubt. But, it’s the players who affect everything. They set the tone, quality and reputation of Scottish football.
In our view, they do a fine job of it as well. So, in the first ever Talking Baws Mc25, starting with five players a day across the week, we give you the definitive list of the best players across all four Scottish leagues. Prop the feet up, make some tea, relax the jaw and prepare to boo or applaud the view of the best football website around.