We're now quickly approaching the Scottish Premiership's conclusion with just over a month left of…
The Scottish Premiership title race may finally be over but there’s still plenty to play for as teams fight off relegation, battle for second place and squeeze every last drop of honour out of the remaining fixtures.
But before we turn our attention to the remaining fixtures of the Scottish football calendar let’s take a moment to appreciate the football that was on show throughout April. These are the very best players through April in every position – all decided through data.
Every month TheTwoPointOne chooses the Scottish Premiership players of the month for the Sunday Herald. This article initially appeared in the paper on Sunday, May 6.
The Premiership is blessed with a number of solid shot-stoppers and at this point in the season they can often prove to be the difference between a point gained or all three lost. Indeed, the odd save at any point in a game may be instantly forgotten, but an accumulation of them can often directly contribute to the final result of a match.
When we look at each goalkeeper’s average saves per game and compare it to his team’s goals conceded per game we can see that over the course of April it was Jon McLaughlin of Hearts that had the largest contrast between both metrics. Or to put it another way, no goalkeeper saved as many shots and kept as many goals out of his own net over the course of the month than the Tynecastle keeper.
Although he may have missed out on the player of the year shortlist, Hearts’ Christophe Berra has still had a superb season and over the course of April he once again showed just how important he is to his team.
Berra has been the rock upon which Craig Levein has rebuilt his Tynecastle side this season, and as we can see no defender made on average more defensive actions per game over the course of April than the 33-year-old.
Neil Lennon’s Hibs side maintained their unbeaten run throughout the month of April and picked up some huge results in their hunt for second place. Although John McGinn may be the name on everyone’s lips at the moment, it has actually been on-loan playmaker Scott Allan that has kept the Easter Road side at their very best.
Throughout April the 26-year-old attacking midfielder was at the heart of wins over Kilmarnock, Hamilton and Ross County. And over that period of time, no midfielder in the Scottish Premiership averaged more through balls per 90 minutes than the Celtic talent as his impressive 2018 continues to rumble on.
As April drew to a close the Premiership took hold and very quickly certain clubs throughout the top divisions found themselves thrust into the business end of their league campaigns. None more so than Hamilton Accies.
Although Martin Canning’s side only managed one win in April it was done so through a goal from David Templeton, who scored no less than three goals in as many games for the Accies. Making him the most proficient goalscorer in the league last month and a vital member of his squad.
Although he may not have been able to play in the blockbuster win over Celtic, no player has perhaps personified his team’s good fortune over the past month quite as well as Allan at Hibs.
With two assists, a goal and nine points from three games the on-loan talent has continued to dumbfound his critics. While not only suggesting to Hibs fans that their future beyond Dylan McGeouch or McGinn may not be as bad as previously feared, Allan has also gone some way to suggesting that Celtic may have to find a spot in next season’s midfield for him. Especially if he keeps this run of form going until the end of the league campaign.