In the midst of an international break and with the domestic leagues just around the…
We’re quickly approaching crunch time in the Scottish Premiership. That period of the season when teams either reach their goals set out last August or simply slump over and cave in to the pressure and criticism.
As such, this week’s content on TheTwoPointOne has largely been based around exactly that – whether Scotland’s biggest football clubs are surpassing expectation or simply look like they’re in a spot of bother.
As ever, this roundup is free for all to see and you can read any of the articles below by clicking on the images.
Every week we like to kick things off with our manager power rankings – unless it’s the very first Monday of the month. In that case, we dig through the past four or five weeks of football and decipher just which coach performed most admirably with the resources at their disposal.
To little surprise, Kilmarnock’s Steve Clarke once again came out on top but the two men directly behind him may surprise one or two readers…
After succumbing to a humbling 2-2 draw with Motherwell the Saturday before, Rangers and Graeme Murty now found themselves without a win in their last three league games and very much back in amongst the race for second place alongside Aberdeen and Hibernian.
Yet Stefan Bienkowski opted to take a long-term view at the problems at Ibrox right now and questioned why the upcoming problems in June – when the club will need a new manager a few weeks before their first Europa League qualifier – weren’t addressed back in January.
This season’s Premiership has been blessed with a whole chorus of exciting, young players for us all to enjoy, yet one that hasn’t perhaps enjoyed as much of the spotlight is Motherwell’s Allan Campbell.
Despite his young age, the defensive midfielder has not only carved out his own spot in Stephen Robinson’s side but is performing at a level comparable, if not better than, many of the league’s top midfielders.
Few players have turned their career around in such a short period of time quite like Scott Allan. Utterly disregarded at Celtic, the attacking midfielder regained his composure at Dundee in the first half of the season and is now leading Hibernian’s charge for second place.
This week Niall Murray dug in to the data behind the Premiership’s most exciting No.10 and highlighted just how well the returning star is doing at Easter Road despite only joining in January.
While still on the topic of Hibs, now seems like a good time to plug this week’s podcast! Having looked at Dundee, Rangers, the relegation race and Hearts in the last few episodes, we figured now would be a good time to catalogue Lennon’s impressive team and specifically dig in to what makes them tick.
Are Hibs going to finish second? Can they beat both Aberdeen and Rangers to the punch? Nobody knows for certain but we gave it a good try by pulling up every data metric known to man.
There’s plenty to be said for which team scores the most goals or which side has the most stubborn defence, but has anyone considered which Premiership side performs best when they’re a goal down and things aren’t going their way?
Well, now we have. By looking at the points each Premiership team have won from losing positions and dropped from winning positions, we were able to clearly identify which sides held an iron desire to win and which ones were a little flaky when their form took a hit.
Every team has one. That specific player that always seems to be at the right place at the right time after coming on for the last eight minutes of a tense 1-1 draw with your local rivals.
But if every team has one, which one is the best in the league? As you’ve probably guessed by now, we looked in to the data of every substituted player this season and figured out which one was the most effective.
Things are looking pretty grim at Partick Thistle. Dead last in the league table after a 4-0 defeat to Ross County doesn’t offer much hope for the Jags yet this week James Cairney decided to throw a positive spin on the current situation.
Looking back through Alan Archibald’s record at the club before they were promoted to the top division, Cairney argued that losing their long-term coach would be just as harmful, if not more so, than relegation itself. And keeping him on board would make a return to the Premiership a lot easier.
To round up another fantastic week of Scottish football we decided to take a look at Derek McInnes’ current situation at Aberdeen and their continued efforts to finish second in the Premiership.
Much has been made about the Pittodrie boss and the legacy he may one day leave at the club but to finish ahead of this Rangers and Hibs side would be an achievement to rival anything he’s done so far at Aberdeen. At least that’s what Stefan Bienkowski thinks…