sabato 4 agosto 2012

SPL 2012-2013 preview

The demise of Glasgow Rangers leaves the path for Celtic to dominate Scottish football for the seasons to come. The repercussion for the SPL will be great. The fans are in a state of confusion also because, after telling everyone that a 10-team SPL was the only viable format, chief executive Neil Doncaster plans to reform Scottish football top tier for a 14-team SPL with the chance to take it up to 16 teams. On the pitch, the question is: who can challenge Celtic for the crown? Celtic are superior to the remainder of the league and, without Rangers, they are the heavy favorites to repeat. With the domestic league so weak, interesting will be to see if Celtic can make the Champions League group phase. As to if another team can challenge Celtic, it remains a question. Aberdeen came with a good summer by signing Jonny Hayes from Inverness and North Ireland midfielder Niall McGinn on a free transfer from Celtic Glasgow. Manager Craig Brown's goal is to take the team back into the top six. Motherwell earned a place in the Champions League qualifying stage after 2011-12 campaign but they haven't resources to improve the team. So they signed English defender Simon Ramsden on a free transfer from Bradford but lost Steve Jennings. Hibernians lost Garry O'Connor, 16 goals in the 2011-12 campaign. Manager Pat Fenlon needs of time after the huge turnover he did. Jon Daly, Gary Mackay-Steven and Johnny Russell are still there so Dunde United's Peter Houston has the skills on his team to try to challenge Celtic. For the boss Steve Lomas it has been a summer of coming and going: St. Johnstone signed English forward Rowan Vine on a free transfer from Queens Park Rangers; Irish midfielder Patrick Cregg; defender Gary Miller; French forward Gregory Tade; North Ireland goalkeeper Jonny Tuffey; Dutch forward Nigel Hasselbaink; defender Tam Scobbie. Could be hard to replace Jody Morris and Francisco Sandaza but the team has the talent to go over the mid-table. Kilmarnock and St. Mirren are two teams to take a look to. English forward Rory Boulding is a good addiction for a Kilmarnock scoring line that needs of a healthy Paul Heffernan. They had good youngsters in Matthew Kennedy and Rory McKenzie. About St. Mirren, the Saints hope of improve last season’s 8th place. They signed goalkeeper Grant Adam on a free transfer from Glasgow Rangers; midfielder Jon Robertson; English forward Lewis Guy from MK Dons. All are nice additions to claim a top six place. In the rest of the bunch we have Dundee,  Ross County and Inverness. Dundee suffered a lot of losses on free transfer this summer although they can count on Ryan Conroy. By the way manager Barry Smith will have a ton of work to do. The Staggies have good depth and a scoring threat in Colin McMenamin. At Inverness, Terry Butcher raised doubts about his ability to recruit in the country. They will miss Jonny Hayes and there is much to improve upon. Paulo Sérgio is gone and new Hearts' boss John McGlynn will try to introduce an offensive 4-3-3 formation. Hearts have some good veteran players but the losses of Ian Black, Rudi Skacel, and Craig Beattie could hurt.

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento