Here at Scheidt’s Footballing Miscellany we always have an opinion on pretty much everything. Admittedly, we don’t really go in for the research that it takes to look for players who are anything more than already quite famous. Our 5 players to watch for 2011 probably aren’t anything surprising or new to our Scottish readers but they’re players that we feel that our readers from outside Scotland might not be overly familiar with.
1. Jamie Ness
Ness is a player that won’t be unknown to readers who watched the New Year’s Old Firm derby in which Celtic waltzed through Rangers‘ defence and made David Weir look his age. However, there was one Rangers player that stood out against a shower of mediocrity and that was Jamie Ness who played through the centre of the park with the cool and confidence of a player with 5 years more first team experience than he has.
There are very few players who make the breakthrough into the Rangers first team from the youth ranks and there is evidence to suggest that the emergence of Fleck, Wylde, Ness et al has only come about as a result of Rangers crippling financial problems. In the mid 00s’ there was more of a penchant from both sides of the Old Firm to buy in both their first teams and their youth teams with Rangers & Celtic both buying in the hottest young talent from smaller SPL clubs to warm their bench.
The three players named in the previous paragraph could be seen as very much the future of the Ibrox club as they look to move on from their financial troubles and relative lack of clout in the transfer market*.
There’s very little to say about Chris Maguire that hasn’t already been said. He is undoubtedly one of Aberdeen’s more creatively gifted players and the temptation for him to move under freedom of contract to a Championship club will be huge. Maguire has his problems with regard to ego and motivation but with the right guidance he could easily be a creative force for Scotland in the future.
Is Craig Brown the man to do that? Will we see more moments like this? We hope so.
3. Cammy Bell
Yes, Scheidt fans. It’s the obligatory Kilmarnock player. Still, at 24 years old, Cammy Bell is one of the brightest prospects in Scottish football. Finally given his chance at a run in the first team in the absence of usual first choice ‘keeper Alan Combe; Bell has proven himself worthy of a starting berth at Rugby Park and has shown lightning reflexes and a safe pair of hands on many an occasion during Kilmarnock’s impressive season.
As the second youngest starting goalkeeper in the SPL, Cammy Bell either has a bright future as a Scotland international or risks getting lost in a footballing limbo, lost between Craig Gordon and Allan McGregor. There is a suggestion that Bell will be Rangers’ next goalkeeping target but show us a player who does well for half a season and doesn’t get linked with an Old Firm club and we’ll show you an exception that proves a rule.
4. James Forrest
Ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer retired from playing, we here at Scheidt’s Footballing Miscellany have been desperate to find a new player to refer to as the ‘Baby-Faced Assassin’. Naturally, young James Forrest doesn’t sit atop a skyscraper projecting a targeting dot onto visiting Japanese dignitaries but he has shown incredible potential since his first appearance for Celtic against Motherwell in May of last year.
Two goals in six starts for the young Celtic attacker has placed him at the top of many a list such as this and his constant fan-boy Euan Davidson will state that this Scotland Under-21 international has the potential to be one of Scotland’s brightest new talents. Seriously, if you ever want to hear Euan wax lyrical for 20 minutes using various diagrams and facsimile images, ask him about James Forrest. In truth as well, he’s walked into a void left by Russophile winger Aiden McGeady.
There’s a reason we’ve put Leigh Griffiths in this list. Trust us, there really is. Leigh rose to prominence ‘banging them in’ for Livingston before moving to Dundee where he has been equally prolific. One of those players that, despite being only 20, feels like he’s been around for years. However, the strikers record of (almost) one goal every two games has never been tested outside of the Scottish lower leagues.
Currently at Dundee and with the current plight that they find themselves in, is this the time for Griffiths to move on to keep his career moving in the right direction? Only time will tell but Griffiths has settled well at the club but Dundee manager Barry Smith has already stated that he may be unable to keep the striker in January with a possible move to the Premier League in England seeming to be the preferred option. A worry for us here at Scheidt’s Footballing Miscellany as the EPL might be a step too far, too soon for the young striker. Perhaps consider Kilmarnock…?
*Although, £4million for Jelavic still boggles our minds.