A quarter of the season has already passed, and where the first division trophy is headed, is anybody’s guess. In past years there was usually a leading pack by this stage, with Hamilton and Dundee breaking away at the start of last season, and Thistle somehow leading the table 2 seasons ago, with St Johnstone and Gretna trailing just behind. I blanked out the rest of that season for some reason.
Now if this article’s still kicking about in a few years time, a young child might read it and wonder “Daddy, what’s a Gretna?” Well young lad, they were a tin pot club, with a roof in their away stand no sturdier than tracing paper, owned by a llama-loving chain smoker. On the popularity scale, they were somewhere between Gonorrhea and Nacho Novo.
So with 9 games down, there is only 6 points separating the league leaders Queens, with 6th placed Dundee. 9th placed Airdrie are a further 3 points behind Dundee, and Morton lie languished at the bottom with a depressingly low 4 points. Davie Irons deranged runs down the touchline clearly aren’t achieving what he hopes.
Here’s a run down of the 10 clubs appearances, and performances to date:
Airdrie: The Diamonds’ impressive start to the season has started to fade, and real life midget goalkeeper Stephen Robertson’s purple patch in August, has subsided somewhat. He incredibly conceded only 2 goals in their first 6 league games, and this was despite Mark Smyth being in their defence. Paul Di Giacomo’s form in front of goals has been equally as uninspiring as Stevie Lennon at Thistle or emm, Paul Di Giacomo’s form at Firhill last season. Airdrie will do well to stay up
Clyde: Playing at a stadium even more soulless than Almondvale can’t be easy for the Bully Wee, and this is reflected by their position of 9th. John Brown’s tactic of getting anyone in with a quaint Rangers connection is quite sweet, and probably makes him feel more at home. He even signed the terribly rubbish Paul Elmslie, along with slightly more promising right back, Alan Lowing, to add to that Murray Park vibe? Lowing just edges out his Broadwood team-mate Scott Gemmill(no not the rubbish Scottish bench man) who is blessed with both an egghead and ginger hair. Better than Morton, but that’s not much of a compliment
Dundee: The Dundee side bizarrely have a great home support, yet a terrible away support. Is Dundee really that good? Alex Rae is almost as unpopular with Dundee fans, as with the Thistle support, and he must have loved the Firhill gauntlet of hate. A weaker man would have hit the bottle. John Bennett is hoping to takeover the club, and I was ecstatic to hear Billy Dodds was linked with the job. Sportscene might have returned to former glory, with his cliché ridden spiel off the airwaves. Unfortunately Gordon Chisholm appears to be the new favourite and could help push them back into the reckoning.
Dunfermline: The East End Park bridie is the stuff of legend, and appears to have propelled the club to new heights this season. The old fashioned Little and Large strike force of Andy Kirk as Graham Bayne is proving very dangerous so far, and the club might just manage to challenge for gold. Actually considering they managed to get rid of Sol Bamba, a bombscare to rival Willie Kinniburgh, I’d say they have a massive chance of doing it
Livingston: Roberto Landi’s dreams of Champions League might be a bit off, but he’s done very well with Livi this season. The decision to make the club’s players stay together over pre-season is looking a masterstroke, and they have really hit the ground running. It’s quite depressing that Calum Elliot, who was woefully out of his depth in the Premier and more known for his incredible dance moves, has taken like a duck to water to the kick and chase style of the first division. The Livi Away Crew(Look into them. It’s funny) will be hoping to samba dance them to glory, and if they keep James McPake fit, a top 5 finish looks on
Morton: Poor old Morton. The weekend their Renfrewshire neighbours St Mirren beat Rangers, they were haplessly beaten 3-0 away at Dingwall. That journey home must have been nice. The most impressive aspect of their team is the incredible condition Eric Partalu and Brian Wake keep their hair in. If only the club could maintain these high standards in other areas. With the uninspiring Davie Irons in charge, a win looks miles away, and without changes look a definite for the dreaded bottom spot.
Partick Thistle: A typically positive start to the season, has almost been forgotten around Firhill, after a turgid September. I have done some interesting research, all by myself, into how toothless the club’s attack is. This is how long the 4 “strikers”, have gone without a goal:
Damon Gray 7 hours 54 minutes
Steven Lennon 5 hours 39 minutes
Simon Donnelly 12 hours 18 minutes
Mark Roberts 7 hours 34 minutes
A truly astounding achievement from the 4 men, and one can only dream that Liam “two weeks away” Buchanan, will be back within the fortnight. A title challenge looks unlikely otherwise but it will be interesting to see where Stevie “The Championship” Lennon ends up. Maybe he could rent out Alan Gow’s seat in Ibrox for the second half of the season.
Queen of the South: Kept up the proud Scottish tradition of exiting European competition as quickly as possible, and despite that, sit top of the table. Chairman David Rae’s snowy white quiff will struggle to withstand the excitement of a title challenge, but the club stand on the verge of greatness. They perhaps have a spine to their team, stronger than any other, and a left back with more first names than any footballer in history. Robert/Bob/Boab/Robby/Boaby Harris is an exciting prospect but surely must decide his first name soon. I was in his year at school, and I still don’t know his name.
Ross County: Pass, pass, pass, pass, then pass again appears to be the motto at Ross County. Even when it’s easier to score they prefer to pass. They have the deadly duo of Scott Boyd and Andy Dowie at the back, so you would wonder why they don’t look to score, when they know that one of those two will make a clanger at one stage. Richie Hart has the ability to sniff out opportunities for his shot shy strikers, and maybe Adam Strachan will one day get that cross past the first man. I’d imagine 7th would be a decent finish for the club.
St Johnstone: Derek McInnes’ transfer policy in the summer window was to sign lots of attacking options, and basically cover any position that isn’t left back, despite having no left backs. Desperate Dan Smith was drifted in at full back on trial, and unsurprisingly the club struggled with him in the side, with successive maulings by Dunfermline and Thistle under their belt. With Dan Smith released, the club has thrived and could be a really dangerous side, if their defence shores up.