Most Disappointing XI of the Season

By Cameron Christie (@CammyChristie97) 4-3-3  GK – Scott Bain – Until the last few games of the season, Scott Bain has looked very uninterested. Seemingly devastated when friends, Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings left the club, Bain has been a frustrated figure this season at Dens. Phoning it in this season, Bain has made a number […]

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By Cameron Christie (@CammyChristie97)

4-3-3 
 
GK – Scott Bain –

Until the last few games of the season, Scott Bain has looked very uninterested. Seemingly devastated when friends, Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings left the club, Bain has been a frustrated figure this season at Dens. Phoning it in this season, Bain has made a number of simple mistakes costing Dundee goals. For Bain to fulfil his potential, it seems like he needs a move from Dundee to motivate him again following rejecting a contract extension. Despite the poor season, there will still be plenty of interest in Bain 
 
RB – James Tavernier –

I called this last year that Tavernier wouldn’t be able to make the step up and I have been proved right. Whilst still very capable going forward, he hasn’t improved on the defence side of the game. Been caught out on a number of occasions, Tavernier is a weak link in the Rangers defence and needs replaced in the summer and it would appear that Pedro Caixinha would agree after he placed him on the transfer list. The asking price of around £1.25m is a bit high but thankfully for Rangers supporters Caixinha knows where he needs to improve the team. 
 
RCB – Tasos Avlonitis –

The Greek international signed for Hearts in January as part of Cathro’s, mostly ill-fated, signing spree. Coming in with a pretty decent pedigree, Avlonitis has been a massive flop and is already headed out the exit door at Tyncastle. A bomb scare at the heart of the Jambo’s defence, he was dropped for midfielder Prince Buaben which given his performances towards the end of the season, makes the big Greek look a right diddy. He hasn’t featured at all in the final 7 games of the season and could possibly go down as Cathro’s worst signing. 
 
LCB – Zak Jules

A podcast favourite for all the wrong reasons, Zak Jules has been a monumental failure at Motherwell. A comical excuse of a defender signed on loan from Reading by Mark McGhee has been woeful in his half a season at Fir Park. Somehow a Scotland U21 international ahead of Liam Lindsay, Jules has made a catalogue of errors this season such as being frequently out muscled by much smaller opponents, keeping the ball in play against Ross County and the incredible own goal against Dundee. When you think about Niall Keown at Thistle also coming up on loan from Reading, and Motherwell got Jules, it’s easy to see how bad he has been. 
 
LB – Faycal Rherras –

The second Hearts player to make this list, Rherras looked to fill the left back slot following Juwon Oshiniwa’s dismal displays last year. Rherras has not done so. Not the worst player under Neilson but he has seen very little game time following Iain Cathro’s arrival after he signed Leonard Sowah, who narrowly missed out on a place in this team. Rherras was rumoured to have malaria, causing him to miss out on games earlier in the season but the Moroccan cap has played just once in 2017 and wasn’t even in the squad for most games. This disappointment continued for Rherras as he was released from his contract with 3 games to go. Since leaving he has also liked a tweet which was critical of Iain Cathro’s poor record at Tynecastle.   
 
RCM – Alexandros Tziolis

This really should have worked out. The experienced Greek international midfielder was another one of Cathro’s January signings that disappointed. Tziolis came to the club with a good pedigree having player at Werder Bremen, Monaco and Panathinaikos but he didn’t live up to his reputation. A string of good performances early in his first few games lead to rave reviews for the midfielder capped 63 times by his country but he has not followed these up. He seems to want too much time on the ball, which in this league, doesn’t happen. You can see the talent is there with Tziolis but he is not suited to our league and it is probably the best for both Hearts and himself that he has left following the end of the season. 
 
CM – Joey Barton –

The banter years at Rangers returned with the Barton saga. I’m not going to get into it as everyone knows what happened. This isn’t a slating of Rangers by any means, majority of the team have been a disappointment but Barton tops the lot. Brought in on big wages and a big reputation, it never got going for Barton in Scotland. From being nutmegged by Ali Crawford, to losing his man at a set piece Dundee scored from, then the tackle from Taylor on him. His ill fated climax at Rangers was in the first old firm game of the season, which saw Scott Brown run rings round him in a 5-1 defeat at Parkhead. Things were said in the aftermath which saw Barton leave the club. Since he has left, he has received an 18 month ban for gambling offences, all but ending his career. 
 
LCM – Andy Halliday

The king of Staunch himself, Mr Rangers. Andy Halliday may have orange blood pumping round his veins and may have supported Rangers since he was a boy but that shouldn’t cover up that he hasn’t played well this season. People had high hopes for Halliday after he bossed Scott Brown in last year’s Scottish Cup semi final but he has failed to live up to the promise. A stubborn Mark Warburton stuck by Halliday despite some very poor performances but he has been rarely used by Pedro Caixinha since the Portuguese boss came in to the club. An exit would appear to be on the horizon for Halliday and had he not been a huge Rangers fan, I’m sure many would be pleased to see the back of him. 
 
CF- Miles Storey

It’s been a frustrating season for Miles Storey. Aberdeen signed him from Swindon following a successful loan spell at Inverness, of course, why else would Aberdeen sign him? Storey has seen very little game time this season and hasn’t played since he missed a sitter right on the goal line against his former club. Due to his contract situation with Swindon Storey was unable to join up with the Dons until the July 1st, when Aberdeen were well into their preseason. It was obvious in the early games he was off the pace and his first touch was all over the place. Starting just two games this season, none beyond match day 3, Miles Storey has failed to make an impact at Pittodrie and could be heading for the exit door in the summer. 
 
CF – Martin Waghorn

Another one of Rangers’ Championship winning side who has failed to step up a level. Waghorn was Rangers top goal scorer last season despite missing a large chunk of games towards the end of the campaign. He is also included on the list despite being Rangers top goal scorer in all competitions but that does include almost 40% against lower league clubs. The main problem with Waghorn is that he is so wasteful, squandering many chances he should have buried. Rumoured to be off back down south, whilst not the worst striker, Rangers really could do with an upgrade and that upgrade is not this next player… 
 
CF – Joe Garner –

Rangers spent near enough £2m on Garner, making him pound for pound, the worst signing this season. Garner isn’t and hasn’t been terrible, notching 10 goals from 37 appearances, It’s just not what you expect from a striker with that kind of price tag. More associated with his abrasive attributes, look no further than his bodying of Dougie Imrie, and his tussles with opposition defenders than his goals and link up play, Garner has had a tough time of it. The other issue with Garner is that he was signed for almost 4 times what Celtic paid for Moussa Dembele who has been in a much richer scoring form across the city. Another one on Caixinha’s “to go” list, Rangers are set to make a large loss from the sale of Garner if he is to leave the club, which would also mean this is a financially disappointment as well.  

Most Disappointing XI of the Season

By Cameron Christie (@CammyChristie97)

4-3-3 
 
GK – Scott Bain –

Until the last few games of the season, Scott Bain has looked very uninterested. Seemingly devastated when friends, Greg Stewart and Kane Hemmings left the club, Bain has been a frustrated figure this season at Dens. Phoning it in this season, Bain has made a number of simple mistakes costing Dundee goals. For Bain to fulfil his potential, it seems like he needs a move from Dundee to motivate him again following rejecting a contract extension. Despite the poor season, there will still be plenty of interest in Bain 
 
RB – James Tavernier –

I called this last year that Tavernier wouldn’t be able to make the step up and I have been proved right. Whilst still very capable going forward, he hasn’t improved on the defence side of the game. Been caught out on a number of occasions, Tavernier is a weak link in the Rangers defence and needs replaced in the summer and it would appear that Pedro Caixinha would agree after he placed him on the transfer list. The asking price of around £1.25m is a bit high but thankfully for Rangers supporters Caixinha knows where he needs to improve the team. 
 
RCB – Tasos Avlonitis –

The Greek international signed for Hearts in January as part of Cathro’s, mostly ill-fated, signing spree. Coming in with a pretty decent pedigree, Avlonitis has been a massive flop and is already headed out the exit door at Tyncastle. A bomb scare at the heart of the Jambo’s defence, he was dropped for midfielder Prince Buaben which given his performances towards the end of the season, makes the big Greek look a right diddy. He hasn’t featured at all in the final 7 games of the season and could possibly go down as Cathro’s worst signing. 
 
LCB – Zak Jules

A podcast favourite for all the wrong reasons, Zak Jules has been a monumental failure at Motherwell. A comical excuse of a defender signed on loan from Reading by Mark McGhee has been woeful in his half a season at Fir Park. Somehow a Scotland U21 international ahead of Liam Lindsay, Jules has made a catalogue of errors this season such as being frequently out muscled by much smaller opponents, keeping the ball in play against Ross County and the incredible own goal against Dundee. When you think about Niall Keown at Thistle also coming up on loan from Reading, and Motherwell got Jules, it’s easy to see how bad he has been. 
 
LB – Faycal Rherras –

The second Hearts player to make this list, Rherras looked to fill the left back slot following Juwon Oshiniwa’s dismal displays last year. Rherras has not done so. Not the worst player under Neilson but he has seen very little game time following Iain Cathro’s arrival after he signed Leonard Sowah, who narrowly missed out on a place in this team. Rherras was rumoured to have malaria, causing him to miss out on games earlier in the season but the Moroccan cap has played just once in 2017 and wasn’t even in the squad for most games. This disappointment continued for Rherras as he was released from his contract with 3 games to go. Since leaving he has also liked a tweet which was critical of Iain Cathro’s poor record at Tynecastle.   
 
RCM – Alexandros Tziolis

This really should have worked out. The experienced Greek international midfielder was another one of Cathro’s January signings that disappointed. Tziolis came to the club with a good pedigree having player at Werder Bremen, Monaco and Panathinaikos but he didn’t live up to his reputation. A string of good performances early in his first few games lead to rave reviews for the midfielder capped 63 times by his country but he has not followed these up. He seems to want too much time on the ball, which in this league, doesn’t happen. You can see the talent is there with Tziolis but he is not suited to our league and it is probably the best for both Hearts and himself that he has left following the end of the season. 
 
CM – Joey Barton –

The banter years at Rangers returned with the Barton saga. I’m not going to get into it as everyone knows what happened. This isn’t a slating of Rangers by any means, majority of the team have been a disappointment but Barton tops the lot. Brought in on big wages and a big reputation, it never got going for Barton in Scotland. From being nutmegged by Ali Crawford, to losing his man at a set piece Dundee scored from, then the tackle from Taylor on him. His ill fated climax at Rangers was in the first old firm game of the season, which saw Scott Brown run rings round him in a 5-1 defeat at Parkhead. Things were said in the aftermath which saw Barton leave the club. Since he has left, he has received an 18 month ban for gambling offences, all but ending his career. 
 
LCM – Andy Halliday

The king of Staunch himself, Mr Rangers. Andy Halliday may have orange blood pumping round his veins and may have supported Rangers since he was a boy but that shouldn’t cover up that he hasn’t played well this season. People had high hopes for Halliday after he bossed Scott Brown in last year’s Scottish Cup semi final but he has failed to live up to the promise. A stubborn Mark Warburton stuck by Halliday despite some very poor performances but he has been rarely used by Pedro Caixinha since the Portuguese boss came in to the club. An exit would appear to be on the horizon for Halliday and had he not been a huge Rangers fan, I’m sure many would be pleased to see the back of him. 
 
CF- Miles Storey

It’s been a frustrating season for Miles Storey. Aberdeen signed him from Swindon following a successful loan spell at Inverness, of course, why else would Aberdeen sign him? Storey has seen very little game time this season and hasn’t played since he missed a sitter right on the goal line against his former club. Due to his contract situation with Swindon Storey was unable to join up with the Dons until the July 1st, when Aberdeen were well into their preseason. It was obvious in the early games he was off the pace and his first touch was all over the place. Starting just two games this season, none beyond match day 3, Miles Storey has failed to make an impact at Pittodrie and could be heading for the exit door in the summer. 
 
CF – Martin Waghorn

Another one of Rangers’ Championship winning side who has failed to step up a level. Waghorn was Rangers top goal scorer last season despite missing a large chunk of games towards the end of the campaign. He is also included on the list despite being Rangers top goal scorer in all competitions but that does include almost 40% against lower league clubs. The main problem with Waghorn is that he is so wasteful, squandering many chances he should have buried. Rumoured to be off back down south, whilst not the worst striker, Rangers really could do with an upgrade and that upgrade is not this next player… 
 
CF – Joe Garner –

Rangers spent near enough £2m on Garner, making him pound for pound, the worst signing this season. Garner isn’t and hasn’t been terrible, notching 10 goals from 37 appearances, It’s just not what you expect from a striker with that kind of price tag. More associated with his abrasive attributes, look no further than his bodying of Dougie Imrie, and his tussles with opposition defenders than his goals and link up play, Garner has had a tough time of it. The other issue with Garner is that he was signed for almost 4 times what Celtic paid for Moussa Dembele who has been in a much richer scoring form across the city. Another one on Caixinha’s “to go” list, Rangers are set to make a large loss from the sale of Garner if he is to leave the club, which would also mean this is a financially disappointment as well.  

The Most Improved XI of the Season

By Cameron Christie (CammyChristie97)

4-2-3-1

GK – Wes Foderingham –

I wasn’t totally convinced on Foderingham last season and the early part of this season. In all honesty, before signing for Rangers in 2015 the only thing I knew him from was getting hooked in the first half of a game when at Swindon when they were managed by the Mediterranean mad man, Paulo Di Canio. However, this season he has proved me wrong. He had kept Matt Gilks out the team up until his departure for Wigan in January and has retained his place, even for the cup games, since Jak Alnwick was signed up until the last game of the campaign against St Johnstone. Foderingham is one of the few Rangers players who have made the step up to the top flight and performed well. There are still some question marks over his kicking but he has pulled off many great saves this season. Rangers need a big shake up in the summer but Foderingham’s place in the team should not be under threat.

RB – Richard Foster –

Personal hatred aside, Foster has had a very good season at St Johnstone. It seemed a strange move at the time coming from Ross County as a replacement for Saints legend Dave Mackay but Foster has been yet another solid addition to Tommy Wright’s side. The very versatile player suits St Johnstone to a tee. He also adds another dynamic the Saints that they didn’t really have before with his pace which can benefit in both attack and defence.  The one black mark on his season is the Danny Swanson incident which saw the too fighting with each other at half time which resulted in both players being sent off but on the whole, the move to St Johnstone has been a success for both the club and the player.

RCB – Jozo Simunovic –

It’s hard to believe now that the best centre half in the league was almost off in the summer to Torino but that move was blocked and he’s been excellent for Celtic this campaign. He’s overcome his injury problems from last season to be a mainstay in the Celtic team since he came back from injury in late September. Easily Celtic’s best centre half, he’s been partnered with many different players at centre half but that has not phased him. Solid in the tackle, look no further than his challenge on Miller, and very assured presence on the ball, the Celtic defence has looked a lot better when he’s in it. If there is any improvement that could be made, he could add a few more goals into his game as he’s only got one this campaign but that’s being very harsh. Celtic could have a tough time hanging on to him in the summer.

LCB – Liam Lindsay –

Lindsay was the only non Celtic or Aberdeen player to make TOTY for 2016/17 which would warrant his inclusion in the team alone. Liam Lindsay has played with a maturity beyond his age this season at the heart of the Thistle defence. At 21 years old, the future is bright for the defender who has been linked with 7 figure moves down south. Not only good at stopping the opposition from scoring, he’s also bagged a number of goals for himself, scoring 7 goals in all competitions including a fantastic strike against Hearts. It’s a testament to how good Lindsay has been that he’s had to adjust to many changes at Partick Thistle this season, from Thistle use of a lot of goalkeepers, the shift between 4 and 5 at the back, Lindsay has adapted and helped Thistle keep a very solid defensive record before the split to make the top 6.

LB – Andrew Considine –

Big Andy has really made the left back position his own this season. Winning both the Aberdeen fans and players player of the year, it’s been a very successful season for this second generation defender. He’s gone from a relatively dependable central defender to a very good full back over the past two years. Left back was seen as a weak link for the Dons for many years, but with Considine now playing there, it’s no longer the same. He still has all the defensive abilities, but he has added an attacking threat to his game this season scoring 6 goals, including a surreal hat trick against Dundee. He’s also turned provider for a number of goals this season with an improved delivery. He’s continued to improve year on year and Aberdeen will hope that progression continues.

RCM – Scott Brown –

Brown looked finished last year and I will admit I didn’t see this return to form coming. Brendan Rodgers has turned round the fortunes of plenty Celtic players careers and Brown is a prime example of it. Arguably one of his best seasons in green and white hoops, the midfielder has been ever present in the Celtic side, only missing out on two games that weren’t through suspension. The all action captain is a huge part of Celtic’s success this season. The skipper looks re-energised and much more motivated than last season. If there was a criticism for Scott Brown, it is that he doesn’t score many but with the goal scoring talent around him, he doesn’t really have to.

LCM – Kenny Mclean –

Since his transfer to Aberdeen in January 2015, it hadn’t properly clicked for McLean until this season. His role and position in the team was being changed around from week to week but Aberdeen’s team, especially since December when Aberdeen’s selection has been very consistent and McLean’s form has been reflected by that. Often the scapegoat for many Aberdeen fans in his time at the club, this season, it has changed. A consistent role has improved McLean’s form,  playing in every single game for the Dons this season. He has also begun to up his work rate, possibly influenced by the tireless Graeme Shinnie playing alongside him. His range of passing is superb too. Just like I mentioned above about Scott Brown, is that McLean should score more goals and his shooting is quite erratic but McLean has been rewarded for a good season with a place in the upcoming Scotland squad.

CAM – Stuart Armstrong –

The most improved player this season bar none. Stuart Armstrong has been a revelation for Celtic this season. Then turn around in his game since Brendan Rodgers came into the club has been nothing short of miraculous. Initially looking like he would pan out of Ronny Deila’s “we want him so you can’t have him” signings, this season he’s proved everyone wrong. Biton has largely dropped out the team, Henderson has struggled for game time and Christie has had to go out on loan to find games and its all testament to how good Armstrong has been. He has bagged a very impressive 16 goals this season and won his first Scotland cap with a man of the match performance against Slovenia. Unfortunately for Celtic, the vultures could come calling on Armstrong but it would take a hefty fee to prize him away from Parkhead.

RW – James Forrest –

The final Celtic player in this team is James Forrest. This has been is most effective season and the most he has played in his entire Celtic career. He has dropped off towards the end of the season as Patrick Roberts has taken his place but for a good chunk of the season Forrest was keeping the £12 million man on loan from Manchester City out of the team. Forrest has got himself 8 goals this season, the most memorable being the second goal in the Betfred Cup Final against Aberdeen. Forrest looks like he is finally beginning to fulfil his potential under the influence of Brendan Rodgers. Despite how good he has been in the green and white this season, his performances in the dark blue of Scotland still flatter to deceive. Often going hiding in games, if he wants to take his career to the next level, he really has to start performing on the international stage.

LW – Danny Swanson –

Danny Swanson has been terrific this season. Last season, he struggled to get games at Hearts so left for St Johnstone who he had been on loan at the previous year. Swanson didn’t quite have the same influence on the Saints team last year as he did this year. He only notched one goal last season whereas he hit the back of the net 15 times this year with the midfielder finishing the season as the clubs top goal scorer. Operating through the centre or an either wing, Swanson has been key to Saints success this season, whether it be from his direct running or his eye for a pass, he constantly has caused teams problems this season. Swanson is off to boyhood heroes Hibs in the summer and will be a great addition to their team, however will leave a hole in the St Johnstone side for Tommy Wright to find the right player to fill.

CF – Alex Fisher –

Feels odd putting a striker of a relegated club on this list, there wasn’t much choice for the centre forward position, but Fisher merits the inclusion for his end of season form. He scored 6 goals in his last 6 games but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for Inverness. Little known to myself, Fisher signed for Inverness in January 2016 but only played one league game between then and the end of the season due to an injury. He’s been Caley’s top scorer this season despite playing very few minutes until April. Fisher has missed a few sitters but he has been the man to get the goals for ICT at the tail end of this season. Foran somehow persisted with McKay and Anier in the second half of the season which didn’t work. It does make you think where Inverness could have finished had Foran inserted Fisher into his starting XI earlier on in the season given the goals he has scored at the end of it.

Patter of the Playoffs

By Rory West (@rorywest96)

With the relegation/promotion Playoffs kicking off around Scotland this week, I thought that I’d throw my worthless opinion into the hat about what has effectively changed the calendar for clubs around the country.

Prior to the playoffs being introduced as part of the new SPFL era, there were many a game across all 4 leagues that meant virtually nothing come the latter stages of the season.

Now, since the addition of the playoffs, there is all sorts of excitement at both ends of the stick. Whether its the battle to escape the relegation playoff spot, or the race to gain a promotion playoff spot. Since it’s introduction there hasn’t been a season were both have been sown up early on.

Take the first year for example, in the Championship it was taken right up until the last day of the season for even the title to be decided (albeit it was partly down to an incredible Hamilton scoreline). The race for 2nd however was crucial in the scheme of promotion as the less games played by Hamilton allowed their advantage over Falkirk who they would beat to face Hibs.

The Hibs side mentioned lost a crucial lose or bust game against Kilmarnock which saw the loser finish in the relegation playoff spot. Hibs would then go on to lose to Hamilton in the playoffs, resulting in relegation. Obviously catastrophic for Hibs and their supporters but the sense of excitement that the playoffs that year created was incredible.

The following year would see the Premiership side prevail and remain in the division but that wasn’t without creating one of the best feuds of the season. Motherwell defeating Rangers 6-1 on aggregate would create one of the moments of the season. Again the element of shock created such excitement and enjoyment from the playoff matches. Also worth mentioning the ties between Rangers and Hibs from that year, sending Rangers through to the final, where the overcame a Hibs side looking sure to return to the top flight at the first attempt versus Rangers looking to complete the clean sweep of consecutive promotions.

Granted the excitement of the playoffs can sometimes be dependent of the sides involved but fortunately there hasn’t been a case as of yet that none of the teams offered competition to the other.

This season offers up, yet again, incredible excitement. The first Championship tie being Morton vs Dundee United offers massive intrigue with the season’s overachievers in Morton versus the United side who many expected to challenge Hibs closer for the title. As I’m writing this United have just won the first leg at Cappielow 2-1, which is massive going into Friday’s tie at Tannadice, especially with United’s home record.

A win would set up a tie with Playoff veterans Falkirk who are always hanging around those positions and will feel that one year will eventually be theirs. Both Falkirk and Dundee United will look at Falkirk’s collapse at Kilmarnock last season were they let a 1-0 first leg lead slip to a 4-1 aggregate defeat, and learn from that with a view towards the final.

Talking of the final, that is another matter that is yet to be settled from the Premiership’s front. With Ross County steering themselves away from the dropzone, it looks as though it will be a battle between Hamilton and Motherwell for who will take up the playoff spot. Neither side have been overly impressive this season and both Championship sides will fancy their chances.

That being said, the number of games played from the Championship sides and the break that the Premiership sides get offer an advantage towards the Premiership side. However a week or so spent sitting on numerous defeats could also work against the Premiership side so it’s a double sided coin.

Either way, there will sure to be much more excitement to be had throughout the playoffs run, in what is the best addition (competition wise) to the Scottish game the governing body has ever made.

Players teams need to avoid losing this summer

By Rory West (@rorywest96)

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When the transfer window reopens during the summer months, no matter what the level, each team has their prized asset that they try to keep a hold of at all costs. This is the case severely with Scottish sides. Many aren’t in a financial position where they can turn down a big money bid for one of their players.

While that is a fair enough reason in some instances, the sale of player resulting in a complete disharmony in a team could potential wreck the forthcoming season.

Here are each Premiership’s player that they must hold on to…

Aberdeen – Jonny Hayes

With Niall McGinn looking like he is on his way out, Aberdeen will be looking towards Jonny Hayes for most of their creative play next season. In my opinion, however, Hayes is the more valuable asset to have over Niall McGinn. Hayes is a more consistent performer while McGinn can have very off spells regularly in the season.

On their days both players are match winners but “their day” comes around more regularly for Hayes and it will be vital for Aberdeen to keep him as losing them both would be season ending, before it even begins.

With bids from Cardiff in January being swatted away, only for Hayes to sign a new contract was great news for the Dons and they will be hoping for more of the same this summer.

Celtic – Kieran Tierney

Consideration come under this choice as there is obviously Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele but if Dembele left Celtic would have a more than adequate replacement in Leigh Griffiths and personally I can’t see Sinclair tempting English clubs yet.

Tierney on the other hand will have plenty of suitors this summer and could be the hottest property of the summer. At this point he could walk into the majority of English Premier League sides’ teams at left-back. His ability is well documented and you only need to see him play once to realise how good he actually is.

It wouldn’t shock me at all if a team like Arsenal came in for him and it would be massive loss for Celtic as the more time he has at Celtic, the better he’ll get and in the end, the more Celtic can sell him on for.

Dundee – Cammy Kerr

Kerr is one of the brightest prospects to come through Dundee in many years. At right-back he has laid down such an important influence on the Dundee defence. There are aspects of his game that mirror those of Kieran Tierney at Celtic and any of those aspects on a full back should be cherished.

For his career in itself, another year at Dundee – whether that may be in the Championship – would massively help the development in his career as after all he is still only 21. There are still a few areas of his game where he could improve also and he is more likely to be given the opportunity to nurture those in Scotland, with a club willing to play him every week.

A move to England could be a disaster for his career and Dundee’s aspirations for next season.

Hamilton – Michael Devlin

It could be argued that Accies’ prized possession is Ali Crawford. In the last few seasons he would have (and has) been the man that they desperately tried to hold on to. Now things have changed and it is in fact Devlin that Accies will be looking to hold on to.

Crawford, although being the club’s top scorer, hasn’t performed at the level he has been known to. That may be partly down to missing parts of the season through injury but when he has returned to the side he hasn’t been up to his usual standard.

Devlin on the other hand, with also being the club captain, has performed outstandingly. There were always signs from Devlin since he first came through that he had the potential to become a top player and this season he has shown them.

Countless times he has saved Accies this season but not just at his own end of the park, at the other chipping in with a few goals. There have been rumours that he has been speaking to Aberdeen and he is out of contract at the end of next season but one more year of his qualities would be vital for Accies.

Hearts – Callum Paterson

This choice may be unlikely but in fact there is still a possibility it could happen. With Paterson almost admitting he would be leaving Hearts in the summer when his contract expired it looked as though he was on his way out the door. Until he suffered a season ending injury which could actually help Hearts.

Paterson won’t be fit again until mid way through pre-season and team’s may choose against signing a man who they have not had the chance to see play in 6 months.

Getting Paterson to sign on would be a massive deal for Hearts’ aspirations next season and something Ian Cathro needs to consider.

Inverness – Ross Draper

Mr. Reliable for so long for Caley, this season may have been a stretch too far for the big central midfielder. With the loss of so many key players around him and the soon to be loss of midfield partner Greg Tansey, things are going to get tougher for Draper.

Having signed a new contract during this season, it will take a transfer fee to drag him away from Caley and maybe if they go down there may be temptations to allow Draper to leave.

While financially that isn’t a terrible decision, especially with time in the Championship, Draper would be more than influential in that division. He would be one of the top players in the division and would thrive upon the rugged battles that you face in the Championship.

Kilmarnock – Jordan Jones

One of the many signed last summer by former boss Lee Clark, Jones not only has been one of the few that has managed to see it out but he has also performed at a high level for Killie this season.

Bringing a dynamic that allowed Killie to expand their game to the flanks with the use of his pace has helped players like Kris Boyd and Conor Sammon with the number of crosses Jones manages to put into the box.

With the chances looking very likely that Killie will be in the league next season, keeping a player like Jones and then adding to the others they have now, could allow them to push for a top 6 spot which would be a great improvement since last season’s playoff battle.

Motherwell – Louis Moult

A pretty obvious shout, yes, but Moult’s influence on the Motherwell team cannot be understated. A goalscorer can take even the poorest teams to a level that they shouldn’t be at.

Since arriving Moult has been a goal machine for ‘Well and it looks as though, even with some spells on the sideline, he has shot Motherwell out of a relegation battle.

His work that he has done so far in Lanarkshire will not have gone unnoticed within sides south of the border and it would not be a surprise to see some bids made for him in the summer. With the chances of Scott McDonald leaving at the end of the season, letting their top marksman go with no suitable replacement could be catastrophic for Motherwell.

Partick Thistle – Liam Lindsay

One of Scotland’s most promising centre halves, yet he can’t even get picked for the under 21s squad let alone the full squad, where he probably wouldn’t do as bad a job as some of the jobbers that take up those spaces.

Like Devlin for Accies, there have always been signs in Lindsay’s game that he has the potential to reach a high level. This season he has shown those signs and smashed them by helping Partick reach the top 6 for the first time since the 1980s.

He is a commanding figure in both penalty areas as he’s helped himself to more goals in the league than Joe Garner of Rangers this season. His defensive abilities have also shined with his pace being an important factor to Partick’s game.

With apparent interest from Leeds United, Partick may face a struggle on their hands keeping a hold of Lindsay but if they manage to they will be in great shape for next season.

Rangers – Kenny Miller

With news breaking in the past few days that he has finally been offered a new contract, this may be an old shout by the time you read but I’m sticking with it anyone as it is so pivotal for Rangers.

Miller has been their best striker this season, despite being 36 years old and having the competition of a £2million striker, yes Joe Garner was signed for that fee.

Albeit he hasn’t scored a sack load of goals, Miller’s teamplay has helped them get to where they are now. And with the goals and the number of important goals he scores, there may be questions that they could be further down the league.

Ross County – Liam Boyce

Again a similar shout to Louis Moult, Boyce has been key for County’s battle against the drop this season and their success last season.

Without many high profile news about it, there have surely been a few clubs come to Dingwall to cast an eye over Boyce since he started banging them in for County. More recent news that Hearts and – newly promoted – Hibs are looking to bring the striker to Edinburgh, means that there could be some work done at County to avoid the striker leaving for another side in the country.

St Johnstone – Joe Shaunghessy

When Shaunghessy first signed for the Saints from Aberdeen, not too much was expected from him but the Irishman has been a revelation.

Developing into on of the league’s best right backs, there is no question that he is one of the most important pieces to the St Johnstone jigsaw.

With the impending loss of Danny Swanson, a replacement for him is needed so Tommy Wright will not want the headache of another one of his top men needing a replacement.

The out of contract players Premiership clubs should sign

By Cameron Christie (@CammyChristie97)

Aberdeen –

Greg Tansey (Inverness CT) – Yes I know that Tansey has already signed for Aberdeen but I’m still going to put him on this list as I found it hard to chose a player who would improve Aberdeen’s team enough to validate an inclusion and Aberdeen would actually make a move for. Sure I could’ve put a second choice keeper on the list but didn’t see the point. Tansey is a terrific signing for Aberdeen, unfortunately for them it looks like he’s been drafted in as a replacement for captain, Ryan Jack. Tansey does offer them some quality in the middle of the park with a great range of passing, decent strike and is strong in the tackle. When he comes in, he should compliment both Graeme Shinnie and Kenny McLean.

Celtic –

Callum Paterson (Hearts) – This is the most difficult one as most of the Celtic side would walk into any other team in the league, however right back is not one of them. In another article, I named Lustig as the player Celtic should look to replace in the summer and I believe Callum Paterson could be the man to do so. Despite playing at right back and not playing at all in 2017, he’s still Hearts second top goal scorer at the time of writing. He would provide Celtic with a greater attacking with his pace, strength and fantastic leap (Incredible verts bro). Paterson does still have to work on his defensive roles as he has been caught out a number of times. Working alongside someone like Kolo Toure next season could do a lot of good for the Scotland international.

Dundee –

Lionel Ainsworth (Motherwell) – The position for Dundee was easy, they sorely lack wingers, and it was just a case of choosing which one. I ended up going with Lionel Ainsworth who appears to have fallen down the pecking order at Motherwell. Very pacey, the English man can add a dynamic to Dundee that they don’t have. Ainsworth however is a bit inconsistent and can be lazy when tracking back but even then, it wouldn’t be offering the Dundee full backs any less protection than they tend to get. Dundee need width and pace, these are two things Ainsworth can provide.

Hamilton –

Paul Quinn (Ross County) – Following the release of Tena and Seaborne, Accies need a centre half. Paul Quinn fits the bill. Whilst Devlin is great, I’m not entirely convinced he’s the best leader. This is where Quinn comes in. Fallen out of favour at Ross County and unlikely to sign an extension, it is a very realistic potential signing for Hamilton. Quinn is dependable and experienced at this level. He could be good foil for Devlin. Solid centre half and good for a goal he would be a wise addition to the Accies squad. I am unsure on Quinn’s allegiances however, given he came through the youth academy at local rivals Motherwell but if they can be put aside, a move to Accies would be good for both parties.

Hearts –

Alan Mannus (St Johnstone) – Hearts need an experienced head in that back line, they are currently a disaster. Not putting sole blame on him, but think Jack Hamilton’s inexperience is partly down to this. With Mannus, you get a leader and an organiser. The experienced Northern Irish international stopper has been one of the better keepers in the premiership since he came to sign for the saints. This season he’s been displaced by Zander Clark as Tommy Wright see’s him as the future for St Johnstone. Hamilton may be seen as the same for Hearts but he could be brought out of the firing line for a bit and Mannus is the perfect replacement for Hearts. He can go in as number one but also mentor Hamilton off the field. It’s a win win and a move Ian Cathro should look to makeproviding he doesn’t stumble upon a Championship Manager legend.

Inverness Caledonian Thistle –

Alex Schalk (Ross County) – This is idealistic thinking, but Inverness do need this type of player. Had they been able to sign Miles Storey, who’s done nothing at Aberdeen all season, this wouldn’t have been the case. Schalk is a similar type of player as Storey and would suit Inverness a lot. Being able to play him in, making runs behind the defence could and should get Caley a lot more goals than they are currently scoring. McKay has lost his edge and Anier isn’t cutting it so they could do with someone like Schalk. Of course this theoretical transfer is dependent on where Caley are next season.

Kilmarnock –

Danny Swanson (St Johnstone) – This may be some ambitious thinking but once the Kilmarnock squad is cleared out in the summer, it should free up some wages and they should look to trying to acquire someone like Danny Swanson. Kilmarnock have been turned into a functional but effective team by Lee McCulloch but I feel they could do with some quality in the midfield and Swanson can provide that. Lacking some pace but he is fantastic on the ball with a great range of passing. His service could do Kris Boyd a world of good and possibly allow Kilmarnock to push for a top 6 spot next season.

Motherwell –

Mark Russell (Morton) – Motherwell need a left back and Russell can solve those problems. Hammell is getting on a bit and is picking up a few too many injuries and Joe Chalmers is just the worst. This is a difficult one to describe as I really haven’t seen a lot of Russell play. The left back impressed on the big stage in the League Cup semi final against Aberdeen keeping the likes of McGinn and Hayes quiet. A mainstay in a very strong Morton team at just 21 is impressive and with a great potential future, Motherwell should try their hardest to make sure he is wearing claret and amber next season.

Partick Thistle –

Jordan Jones (Kilmarnock) – Despite the fact David Amoo is terrible, Thistle could still do with replacing him following his inevitable release. With Thistle making it to the top 6 and making a bit more cash off the back of it, they should set their sights on Jordan Jones. The former Middlesbrough trainee has thrived since McCulloch came in as Killie boss. Quick and direct, traits offered by Amoo, he would be a good fit for Thistle who do occasionally lack it. However, unlike Amoo, there is an end product with Jones having racked up a decent number of assists in his first full senior season. Jones is still a raw talent but Firhill could be a place where it is nurtured and Jones could be turned into a more complete winger.

Rangers –

Josh Meekings (Inverness CT) – Everyone can see Rangers are weak defensively. Clint Hill (who is 38) aside, the other centre halves are pretty poor. Wilson and Kiernan were shaky as a duo in the championship and the last said about Senderos the better. Whilst the money Rangers could spend on a centre half could get them a better one. I’m not trying to say Meekings is the cheap option as he is a very good centre half. When he doesn’t play, Inverness look worse off for it. He is a little injury prone but hopefully he can put that past him and forge a good career for himself, whether it is at Inverness, Rangers or elsewhere.

Ross County –

Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) – Ross County need a battler in the midfield and Fraser Fyvie could provide that. The County midfield has been lacking the hustle and bustle since Jackson Irvine moved down south in the summer. Fyvie certainly wouldn’t replace a player as great as Irvine but he would provide the energy, especially when you have Martin Woods unwilling to run. Fyvie’s lack of game time over the last season would suggest the FA Cup and Scottish Cup winner will not be retained come the end of the season which makes this a plausible move.

St Johnstone –

Craig Sibbald (Falkirk) – St Johnstone took Blair Alston from Falkirk last year, so why not try nabbing Sibbald this year. Sibbald has played 100 games and is only 21. It is an incredible achievement. That many games in his younger years shows a great character and already gained vital experience which would allow him to slot into the St Johnstone team with ease. Can either play central or out wide, he offers versatility which is key to what Tommy Wright has built at the Saints. I said in a previous article that Liam Craig could be replaced in the St Johnstone team and I believe Sibbald to be an excellent choice to do so.

Bashing your bottom 6

By Rory West (@rorywest96)

Some crave drugs, some crave alcohol but others crave bottom 6 banter. Since the season kicked off, the battle within the Premierships’s bottom 6 has been chaos and at no point has it showed any signs of calming down.

When onlookers, on the odd occasion pear through the Scottish football blinds they often don’t look any further than Celtic. Everything else to them is garbage, and in some cases they may be correct. However if they ignore the quality (which in my opinion isn’t actually as bad as it is made out to be) they would realise; that although there may not be an exciting title race, the relegation race defines excitement.

With 5 games remaining, no team in the bottom half are mathematically out of the race for relegation or the playoffs. While Killie and perhaps Ross County have realistically reached the shore, the 4 other teams are well and truly still out at sea.

So due to all sides, mathematically, involved in the carnival or carnage that some call the bottom 6 (and knowing Scottish football, maths means nothing) I’m going to get the magic ball out and predict the final standings of each bottom 6 side by the time the season is through.

7th – Kilmarnock

With 3 of the 5 remaining fixtures being at home for Killie, I can’t see them moving places from where they are now. Their two away fixtures see them travelling to Lanarkshire for two difficult games. Both Motherwell and Hamilton will be fighting for their lives at this stage with both level on points. Putting my neck out here (at very little rsik) and predicting the Accies v Killie bash to finish in a draw. Both teams love a draw more than Ric Flair loves getting booted out of seedy bars.

Since Lee McCulloch took charge, following Lee Clark’s departure to Bury, Killie have become a solid unit, cutting out the mass number of goals they once shipped and more importantly they have picked up points in games where, previously they may not have.

A 7th place finish for Kilmarnock, considering where they have been at points in the season and possibly where they could be if Clark stayed, isn’t a bad spot for them.

With 5 games remaining, and a 2 point gap over County in 8th, I can’t see Killie dropping enough points to the teams around them to drop any lower.

8th – Motherwell

‘Well are another side where, if not for a change in managerial personnel, they could be in a lot more trouble than they actually are.

The appointment of Stevie Robinson hasn’t exactly shown a huge improvement in Motherwell’s form or results but there has been an improvement of sorts.

What is vital for Well’s safety is the return of Louis Moult. Moult is a talisman for Motherwell and without him they struggle when it comes to the goal scoring department. In a similar position to Ross County – who I’ll get to later – what could be the difference between those two sides staying up and others not, is having a proven goalscorer. The other bottom 6 sides lack that.

This season has been disappointing for Motherwell and they’ll hope that either Robinson can pick up some bodies in summer to replace players such as, Hammell and McDonald who are still capable but slowly becoming less influential, and challenge for top 6 again.

9th – Ross County

As said above, what should keep County afloat is having a proven goalscorer, in Liam Boyce. However its all well having a goalscorer but you have to play him up front, not in midfield like Jim McIntyre has been recently.

Off the back of last season’s poor league form towards the end of the season, following the league cup win, County have picked up where they left off. They haven’t really hit a great run of form all season but have had enough about them when in desperation for results.

Big results such as; a home win over Aberdeen, a win over Hearts at Tynecastle and picking up a point against Celtic prove that County have too much about them to get dragged into a relegation dogfight.

There have been calls for McIntyre’s head, from sections of the County faithful this season, and while that may be a bit harsh considering he brought the club their greatest moment ever but he can’t ride on the for too long. The loss of Jackson Irvine in the summer has played a huge part in the Staggies’ struggles this season and I don’t think anyone outside County fans realised how important he was to them.

McIntyre needs to use his budget wisely this summer and hope that he can hold onto Liam Boyce for one more year.

10th – Hamilton Accies

Now this is where it got tough. Who would be the side to escape the playoff spots? I’ve went for Accies but that is mainly down to the form of the one final team missing, Dundee.

Many (myself included) thought before the season started that this would be the year Hamilton went down.

Accies have been the go to team this season when it comes to draws. However recently Hamilton have dropped the draws and while some have been turned into defeats, they’ve managed to pick up a few more victories. In fairness, they are far from the worst side for defeats this season but the number of times they have failed to pick up all 3 points from winning positions this season, would kill Martin Canning if it meant Hamilton would go down.

For the budget that Hamilton have, it is a surprise to everyone how they still manage to stay fighting each year. Although with the added inclusion of Hibs next season, they may be in for another struggle next season.

11th – Dundee

This one required some thinking at first, but then 7 defeats on the spin said otherwise. Since beating Rangers at Dens and then handing out a scudding to Motherwell at Fir Park, Dundee have been rotten.

This had to be swiftly rewritten as the original was written prior to Paul Hartley’s sacking on Monday. On the sacking, it may be seen as a little bit harsh but 7 defeats on the spin, including a 7-0 spanking at home to Aberdeen, wouldn’t help any managers case. The Dundee board would have been worried that Hartley couldn’t have got Dundee out of the slump and that form would have surely seen them in the playoffs.

Dundee’s run in isn’t the easiest also with a game away to Hamilton on the final day, which could prove to be one of the biggest games of the season, altogether.

Dundee’s team on paper looks like there should be enough quality in it to not only stay in the Premiership but challenge for top 6. Underachieving is an understatement. Granted that losing Kane Hemmings and Greg Stewart in the summer was a huge hole that Dundee would massively struggle to fill but never the less, they should have had enough not to find themselves in this position.

While I’m on the topic of 11th place and who will finish there, I’m going to put my neck out and predict the outcome of the playoffs.

The Championship playoffs is a complete different matter and something that requires a post in itself. To shorten things I think that Falkirk will reach the playoff final to face Dundee and this season they will go one better than last season and gain promotion to the Premiership, relegating Dundee in the process.

12th – Inverness

Cheap appointment, brave appointment? Whatever it was, the Richie Foran appointment hasn’t worked out for Caley and it will result in them ending their 7 year stint in the top division.

Caley don’t have an easy run in to save their season in their final 5 games. 3 away fixtures including, perhaps the biggest Highland Derby ever to open the bottom 6 fixtures. They also have a tough trip away to Killie and going by their 1 win on the road all season, things aren’t looking too bright for Inverness.

Over the last few seasons, Caley have lost a number of key players with; Shinnie (Graeme and Andrew), Ryan Christie, James Vincent, Billy McKay when he could score and Marley Watkins all departing the Highlands. No matter how good your recruitment is, players like those are very difficult to replace and that looks as though it has finally caught up on Caley.

Players such as Tansey, Draper, Meekings, Warren and to an extent McKay should have left Inverness with their head above water but Foran’s tactics all season have been an abomination. He has no idea what he’s doing and that was exemplified by his crazy beard he grew. Beards don’t make you look like you know what you’re doing Richie!

Caley can take faith that, unlike the past few bottom of the pile sides, they haven’t been cut afloat and left with no mathematical chance of staying. However similar to sides like Hibs, Hearts and Dundee United, going down will allow them to get rid of a lot of dead wood in the squad and build a new team, ready to regain their top league status. This won’t be a quick fix but one that is necessary.