We’re two weeks into the league season now and it already feels like we were…
We didn’t have any Premiership action this weekend but there’s still been plenty of football over the last week for Scottish fans. Celtic, Rangers and Hibs all competed in Europe, with mixed fortunes, before returning for this weekend’s round of League Cup fixtures. And, as always, there were a few surprises along the way.
Dundee put in a disastrous showing at home to Ayr United and were beaten 3-0, Celtic travelled to Firhill and got a much-needed win against Partick Thistle and on Sunday, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers passed their latest test with flying colours, winning 3-1 at Rugby Park thanks to Alfredo Morelos’ hat trick.
Obviously, there’s been no update to our Premiership manager power rankings since last week so we’ll just focus on our table tracking manager’s results across all competitions for the time being. Have a look below to see how your team’s coach is getting on.
Hearts faced a tricky trip to East End Park on Saturday to face a Dunfermline side who have one Premiership scalp already this season, and who were more than capable of gaining another. In an exciting, end-to-end match, Olly Lee’s goal around ten minutes from time proved to be the decisive moment and it was Hearts that progressed into the quarter finals. Hearts fans will be especially pleased with the performance of Zdenek Zlamal, who looks to have filled the void created by Jon McLaughlin’s departure in goal.
Craig Levein gained a point for the win, maintaining his side’s unbeaten record this season so far. It’s been the perfect start to the campaign for Hearts and Levein deserves an enormous amount of credit for bringing in so many players and getting them well-drilled in such a short space of time. The ex-Scotland boss now has a score of +7 overall and is the clear leader in our power rankings for the first time this season.
In the weekend’s early kick off, Celtic made the short journey to Maryhill to face recently relegated Partick Thistle. Leigh Griffiths opened the scoring to give Brendan Rodgers’ side an early lead but Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo gave the visitors a fright by equalising with around 20 minutes to go, before Moussa Dembele and Tom Rogic scored twice in quick succession to put the result beyond doubt.
Rodgers gained a point for the result, as Celtic were the favourites to win, cancelling out the point dropped earlier in the week for losing to AEK Athens. The Greek side were the bookies’ favourites before the match so Rodgers only lost a single point on this occasion. The Celtic boss is as he was on -1 overall, tied with Stephen Robinson in 10th place. It’s been a difficult start to the season for Rodgers and the Northern Irishman will be keen to get Celtic’s season back on track with a win over Suduva on Thursday evening.
Kilmarnock hosted Rangers on Sunday afternoon hoping to repeat last season’s achievements by beating the Ibrox club, but instead the Gers knocked Killie out of the cup. Morelos kept up his impressive start to the season, scoring all three of the visitors’ goals, while Borna Barisic’s own goal gave Steve Clarke’s side a flicker of hope.
The result means that Steven Gerrard gained a point in our table while his opposite number Clarke was docked a point. The Rangers boss now has a score of +5 overall, leaving the Liverpool legend tied with Alan Stubbs and Tommy Wright in second place.
It’s been a difficult start to the season for Kilmarnock and, so far at least, they’ve failed to discover last season’s formidable form. It’s still far too early for cries of alarm bells coming from Rugby Park, but fans should be a little concerned that Killie haven’t really got going yet. Clarke’s score of +1 reflects this; the former West Brom manager isn’t performing poorly, but he isn’t really pulling up any trees either.
Aberdeen will be disappointed to have been eliminated from the Europa League but can take heart from their performances against Burnley. With just domestic matters left to focus on, McInnes has enjoyed a decent start to the season and on Saturday his team ran out comfortable 4-0 winners. Stevie May and Graeme Shinnie got on the scoresheet, while Gary Mackay-Steven bagged a brace.
The result leaves McInnes trailing behind Gerrard by a single point, with his score of +4 enough to secure fifth place in our rankings. Should McInnes guide Aberdeen to a win over Hibs in their next fixture – and other results go the 47-year-old’s way – then McInnes could end next week in second place or possibly even top of the rankings.
Stubbs, meanwhile, will be very disappointed in the Buddies’ display after a relatively strong start to the season. After leading the rankings from an early stage this season, Stubbs’ St Mirren have gone a little off the boil in recent weeks. The ex-Hibs boss is still in a good position in second place with +5, but could soon plummet down the table if performances don’t improve.
Hibernian’s European adventure came to an end last week when Molde picked off Neil Lennon’s side in Sweden, finishing the match as 3-0 winners. The League Cup provided Hibs with a chance to rediscover the feelgood factor that’s been emanating from Easter Road this season and in typically entertaining fashion, overcame Ross County 3-2. The Staggies took the lead twice but were pegged back before Daryl Horgan score his first Hibs goal in second half stoppage time.
The win for Lennon’s side was far from routine but the Northern Irishman will undoubtedly be delighted to have progressed to the quarter finals, where Hibs will host Aberdeen in what will be an eagerly-anticipated tie. Lennon picked up a point for the win, as Hibs were the pre-match favourites, giving him a score of +3 overall. The 47-year-old lost a point for being knocked out of Europe and, like Rodgers, finishes the week in pretty much the same position as he started it.
After a patchy start to the season, a cup run would have done Neil McCann the world of good but instead the Dundee boss suffered his second defeat to lower league opposition this season; this time, at the hands of Ayr United. In an afternoon where nothing seemed to go right for the Dark Blues, Dundee finished the match with nine players and were battered 3-0. Lawrence Shankland kept up his wonderful scoring record and got a double before Michael Moffat wrapped up the win in the game’s dying moments.
The result cost McCann three points in our power rankings and for the time being, it looks like that’s where he’ll stay. A four point gap has opened between the 44-year-old and his nearest rivals Brendan Rodgers and Stephen Robinson – a win over St Johnstone this weekend could help Dundee get their season back on track.