Another week is in the can. Of course, it was an international week in which,…
Winter is here. Christmas is but a faded memory, all that’s left at the bottom of the Celebrations tub is a solitary Bounty and worst of all, the Scottish Premiership is on its mid-season break. There’s no football.
Of course, that’s strictly not true, there is a full card of lower league games today (get along to one if you can), but this week we’ve spent our time looking at pictures of all the top flight clubs on their holidays in places like Dubai (if you’re Aberdeen and Celtic), or Tenerife (if you’re Motherwell) or Florida (if you’re Rangers) or, err, Kilmarnock (if you’re Kilmarnock).
This was the week Rangers signed Spongebob Squarepants. And Patrick. And Squidward. I mean, they can’t really be any worse than Carlos Pena, can they? This was also the week that TheTwoPointOne ran their predictions for 2018 – five predictions that will probably prove horribly wrong. Here’s a run through of them, and some other stuff, that we did this week.
Last season, Pedro Caixinha claimed that Aberdeen were coming to the end of a cycle. The Portuguese wasn’t right about many things during his time as Rangers manager, but he got this spot on. Aberdeen were indeed at the end of a cycle.
But their next cycle might be even better. 2018 will be the year that the Dons’ young stars – like Frank Ross and Scott Wright and Scott McKenna – truly come to the fore. Andrew Southwick wrote about how the future is bright, the future is red.
What if you could categorise the style of play of a football team? What if you could tell, before a player has signed, whether they will fit into their new surroundings? Would there be a way to do that using statistics? Essentially, could you come up with a formula?
Dougie Wright has come up with a theory. He believes that you can do all of the above. So how would it work and could you use it on Scottish Premiership clubs? Here’s what he came up with.
Another one of our predictions for 2018. Tommy Wright is a St Johnstone legend, of that there is no doubt. But there have been signs that the Wright era is starting to come to an end at McDiarmid Park.
St Johnstone haven’t been as strong so far this season, but more so, Wright has been linked with almost every job going over the past 12 months – with the Rangers job, with the Aberdeen job, strangely with the Dundee United job and perhaps most crucially, with the Northern Ireland job. Is the end of his time with the Saints imminent?
The comparisons have been made for a long time. Many see John McGinn as the natural successor to Scott Brown at national team level. Indeed, there are parallels to be drawn between the two players and in 2018, Graham Ruthven predicts that the two players’ paths will cross.
There’s a certain inevitability about McGinn ending up at Celtic, given his family links with the club. Even more so when Brendan Rodgers must start coming up with a succession plan for Brown, who is well into the twilight of his career. They might be slightly different players, but this will be the year McGinn becomes Brown’s heir for club and country.
If there’s one thing Scottish football fans like to moan about, it’s the quality of broadcasting in Scottish football. People are listening, though, and that is showing in the improvement of coverage of our national game. 2018 will be the year that sees broadcasting in Scottish football undergo a full-blown revolution.
There are a number of key issues coming to a head – the renegotiating of the TV deals with BT Sport and Sky Sports and the trialling of the unmanned Pixellot cameras in the Scottish Championship, to name just two. This is the year that things will change.