It’s the old man’s League, it’s for footballing pensioners or it’s the wait for, the critics favourite phrase …. The Farmers League. But it’ s about time the SPFL gets taken seriously and here’s why.
Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic
This maybe an obvious observation, but Rangers are fairing a lot better in Europe and in a tough group, which included Lyon and Sparta Prague, they made it through the group. But they got second critics will say, but credit where credit is due, yes they were well beaten at Ibrox, but in France they earned a credible draw, where they even took the lead.
Even last season too, they got to the latter stages of the Europa League. We judge a team on how many players could fit into elite teams, if that makes sense. For example, Paul Pogba on his day can easily fit into that Real Madrid midfield.
On that same merit, we argue that Alfredo Morelos (who nearly left for Lille) and Ryan Kent (who has been heavily linked with Leeds), shows that the Scottish League is helping nurture good players.
A mention to Nathan Patterson as well, he too has been linked to replacing Seamus Coleman as Everton’s right-back. The 24-year old has shown he is very talented when filling in for skipper James Tavernier last season.
Across the Glasgow divide, Celtic too have had clubs interested in their players, but they have managed to sell them for healthy profits. There are many example of this, Virgil Van Dijk, Kristoffer Ajer and Mousa Dembele amongst many others.
The Hoops, who in recent seasons may have not faired quite as well as neighbours Rangers, have been able to help restore the reputation of a talented manager in Brendan Rodgers whose stock was low after a sacking at Liverpool, where to be fair he didn’t do terribly at all.
That very manager (Rodgers), was able to go back to England with his reputation restored and was able to help Leicester City win the FA Cup. We are putting this achievement down to Brendan being able to transfer his skills he gained in Scotland to the Premier League.
The Foxes are regularly in the top six mix and this is thanks to former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ good work in the East Midlands, which was achieved in part to his experience in Scotland, which saw him win many SPFL titles and in one season finish unbeaten in the League.
Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard ,who had been managing Rangers, he too has been rewarded with his fantastic work, and with Rangers he won the SPFL title in an unbeaten season , an achievement which saw Aston Villa turn to the former Anfield legend (without hesitation we must add), when things turned sour for former boss Dean Smith.
Henrik Larsson, Giovani Van Bronckhorst, both have been on the books of Barca and in the case of both players have played their trade and their best years on Scottish shores.
Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Che Adams are just a handful players who are Scottish and still relatively young. In the case of the first three, they’ve all been in the SPFL, produced North of the border,but getting educated South of the border.
Back to Nathan Patterson, he has shown fantastic ability when called upon. How can we forget Billy Gilmour, Gilmour who’s now at Chelsea was once on Rangers’ books and it’s clear to see both Frank Lampard and Thomas Tuchel rate him highly.
Just like Robertson, our next example (Lyndon Dykes) although maybe cheating as he plied for Queen of the South in his earlier year, a team that’s not in the SPFL, but the fact remains an English club poached him from a Scottish one.
We’re not going to say that Rangers and Celtic should be in the Premier League, but we argue there is merit to say that the SPFL is competitive. Do you agree or disagree? We would love to hear from you.