At the halfway point of the SPL season we have a review of the action so far from ThirdRateHero
So, we’re at about the halfway point in the January transfer window, which means we’re around halfway through the season(give or take a game or two after, but meh)
As it stands, Celtic are top, Rangers second, and the also-rans galloping after, so toss an Old Firm coin for the league.
We’ll leave the Ugly Sisters of Scottish football out of it, as they’re likely to end up in 1st and 2nd, so they’re an irrelevance(although, personally, I’m hoping for a green title this year, as I do every year) and I’m going to look at 3rd through to 12th.
Currently flying high on borrowed cash are Hearts. Several times this season the players have been paid late, and most recently were paid one day late. Doesn’t sound like too much time if you’re on a decent £5-6k per week, so why do they complain? Presumably because nobody wants to work for free. The Jambo’s recent form could be down to having half-decent players in what is an admittedly mediocre league, or a more cynical point of view could be that all of them are trying to get themselves in the shop window before it shuts at the end of the month.
Occupying the other UEFA cup spot are a thoroughly over achieving Motherwell side led by Stuart McCall. Quite frankly, I don’t think ‘Well have the stones to carry on their current form and will slide back down to 7th before the split and then proceed to finish the season in 7th, with more points than whichever team ends up getting humped every week in 6th.
5,6 and 7 are St. Johnstone, Kilmarnock and Dundee Utd.. Nothing much to write home about with these three, just that they’ll all improve by the split that they end up pushing Motherwell into 7th and complete the top half. I suspect Killie will stay 6th, and Dundee Utd will surge through the second half of the season and finish 4th, with St. Johnstone in 5th.
Neither St. Mirren nor Aberdeen are playing especially well this year, but neither are they lighting up the table. Keeping up with Killie and Dundee Utd, they’ll drop off and end up in 8th and 9th, but they’ll remain completely interchangeable right until the end, when the Buddies will pip the Dons into the 8th spot.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle will stick with 10th. They don’t have enough about them to improve far enough and make a climb up the table beyond the double digit. Think of them as a Scottish Wolves. Always at the bottom, but generally escaping the drop. Next year they should be Scotland’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle and sink back into the First Division.
Hibs are having an atrocious time, on and off the field, and are languishing just 4 points above the relegation post. Having rattled through a number of managers this season, the players will be crying out for stability in the dugout, and that has obviously been affecting the on-field performances. Hibs being the nearest SPL team to my house, I’m tempted to shuffle down there to watch a game, but at the same time, I cant bear to part with the money required to see them get a beating. Edinburgh City are closer, cheaper and would probably give them a hammering at Meadowbank Stadium.
Dunfermline. What to say? The West Brom of the north. Constantly dropping and bouncing back. I’m not sure if they can claw back the 4 points Hibs have on them, and if they do it will be nothing short of a miracle. Jesus watches the SPL, right?
There isn’t a whole lot of money outside of the Gruesome Twosome, and relegation for any team would be a financial disaster. Motherwell have been in and out of administration, Hearts haven’t got two beans to rub together, Hibs aren’t much better, Dundee Utd, Kilmarnock and St. Mirren have all recently been seen to be flirting with financial problems.
It doesn’t look good for the SPL, but thats a story for another post.