* Soccer prospects rankings by leagues *
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08-01-2004, 03:00 PM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Ottawa <-> Scotland
I know I'm not down on any list, but I'll throw this out there to expand your knowledge of the Scottish game.
Its fairly comprehensive. I've also included the upside and downside of each player. I've mainly picked English comparissons as they're more likely to be understood, but sometimes I've not quite been able to do it.
Hope its useful
1. James McFadden (14.04.83), Attacking Midfield/Forward, Motherwell, Everton (SCO - 14 caps)
McFadden is a real game breaker, now plying his trade with Everton under the shadow of England phenom Wayne Rooney. He has magnificant control, good range of passing and an excellent shot. Underated physical strength.
He's firmly established himself in the national side and is quite a talismanic and influential figure. He will feature largely in the success Scotland have in the future (he has quite the chemistry with Darren Fletcher). His goal scoring record at the international level is very impressive.
McFadden has a reputation for having a bit of a temper, but this is a by product of the edge he brings to his game.
His move to Everton came as quite a shock last year, it was widley believed he would move to boyhood heroes Celtic. McFadden opted to take the move down to Merseyside rather than wait until the end of the season and opt for a Bosman move.
UPSIDE: Gazza without the baggage, Craig Bellamy
DOWNSIDE: Gazza with the baggage and without the glory.
2. Shaun Maloney (24.1.83), Attacking Midfielder, Forward, Celtic (SCO)
Shaun Maloney is very similar in stature, build and skillset to McFadden. He thrives in the hole or as an out an out striker. Lacks the physical pressense of his Celtic colleagues, but has good footballing smarts. Very pacey player.
Maloney is an expert at set pieces, he makes the ball move like a magic bullet sometimes.
Maloney is currently recovering from a broken leg.
UPSIDE: A more attractive Peter Beardsley, Lubo Moravcik, Del Pierro
DOWNSIDE: Simon Donnely,
3. Andy Webster (23.04.82), Defence, Hearts (SCO - 8 caps)
Webster is a comanding presense at the back for Hearts. Earned International recognition with 8 caps. Still a little raw.
UPSIDE: Sol Campbell
DOWNSIDE: Des Walker after his spell in Italy (you know when he became useless?)
4. Gary Caldwell (12.04.82), Defence, Midfield Hibs (SCO - 8 caps)
Caldwell can play either centre half or as a holding player in midfield. Good distributor of the ball. Strong in the air.
UPSIDE: John Terry
DOWNSIDE: can't think of onw
5. Stephen Pearson (02.10.82), Midfield, Celtic (SCO - 2 caps)
Another product of the Motherwell youth system, Pearson's main asset is his fantastic engine and pace, yet he has the natural ability to finish. Pearson has mainly been deployed on the left side of midfield. But I think he has the ability to be a "box to box" midfielder, supporting the attack with late runs into the box.
Pearson has been rewarded with a taste of International football.
Pearson was signed by Celtic in January.
UPSIDE: Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes (a Scottish comparisson would be Craig Burley)
DOWNSIDE: A burnt out Phil O'Donnel, a Paul Scholes who can't score
6. Craig Gordon (31.12.82), Goalie, Hearts (SCO - 1 cap)
Gordon is rated above Marshall as he's been the 1st choice goalie at Hearts for the entire season and has also gained his first international cap.
UPSIDE: Jim Leighton
DOWNSIDE: Jim Leighton
(I don't think anyone will get that joke - ed)
7. David Marshall (05.03.85), Goalie, Celtic (SCO - 2 u21 caps)
Marshall came to prominence this season in the UEFA cup. Celtic goalie Rob Douglas became involved in an altercation with Javier Saviola in the tunnel at half time, both players were shown a red card. Marshall saw his team to safety for the remaining 45 minutes where he was rarely tested. However, it was in the pressure of the Nou Camp that Marshall showed that he is a goalie of real potential with a string of magnificant saves that any Goalie would be proud of.
Marshall is strong on crosses, he doesn't flap at the ball (with the notable exception of a controversial cup final goal).
Marshall should continue to improve as he matures.
UPSIDE: A Scottish Peter Shilton/Dino Zoff
DOWNSIDE: A more error prone Fabian Barthez
(Jim Leighton joke might have been more apt here)
8. Mark Kerr (02.03.82), Midfielder, Dundee United (SCO)
Forgotten player who adjusted well to his first season in the Premier League. Kerr burst onto the scene with Falkirk last year. Good passer and playmaker, looking to take the next step this season and become a goto player in the league.
Kerr started his career with Falkirk as a 17 year old, Falkirk were controversially denied entry to the SPL on the basis of there ground being a dump. Kerr should have made the move sooner IMHO.
UPSIDE: Mark Wilmots
DOWNSIDE: Can't think of one
9. Chris Burke (02.12.83), Midfielder, Rangers (SCO - 2 u21 caps)
Rangers Midfielder has given the side renewed hope. Good all round footballer.
UPSIDE: Hate to reuse but Gazza
DOWNSIDE: Charlie Miller
10. Craig Beattie (16.01.84), Forward, Celtic (SCO - 4 u21 caps)
Beattie's is an excellent all round player. He's a strong powerful player in the air, he has excellent pace and acceleration and is a very good finisher. Beattie hasn't had much exposure to the first team, but will look to try and fill the void left by Henrik Larsson and the injured Maloney.
His opportunities this year may lessen due to the recent arrival of Henri cammara.
Beattie has already attracted the attention of Tottenham, an offer that was politely declined.
Should grow this season as he becomes a key part of the Scotland under 21s.
UPSIDE: Alan Shearer, Henrik Larsson, Ally McCoist
DOWNSIDE: Paul Dickov (good workrate, not quite the number of goals as expected)
9. Aiden McGeady (18 y/o can't find birthdate), Dominating Midfielder, Celtic (IRE - 1 cap)
Much heralded Celtic player, controversialy opted to play for Ireland instead of his native Scotland. McGeady has a lot of promise and will look to establish himself in the Celtic first team this season. He gained his first cap for Brian Kerr's Ireland in the summer.
Scored a fantastic goal on his debut against Hearts, has good range of passing, good crosser and dribbler of the ball. Likes to take men on, will get the chance to progress at Celtic.
UPSIDE: A right sided Ryan Giggs, Ronaldinho (with baggage)
DOWNSIDE: Ronaldinho's Baggage who doesn't pan out
10. Mark Wilson (05.06.84) - Defender, Midfielder Dundee United (SCO - 4 u21 caps)
Fixture in the Dundee United side, very tidy player, good control and dribbling skills, likes to take on his man, good crosser of the ball. Can play either centre half, right back or in midfield
Will feature in the u-21s drive for success.
UPSIDE: David Robertson, A Didier Agathe who can cross.
DOWNSIDE: Lee Sharpe
11. Ross Wallace (23.05.85), Winger, Celtic - (SCO)
Left sided player is hoping to make an impact with Celtic this season. Wallace has good pace, different style to Celtic colleague McGeady, he doesn't rely on it much to beat players as he can squeeze his excellent deliveries in with very little room.
UPSIDE: A left sided David Beckham with a little less glamour, tabloid exposure and no spice girl, John Collins for you French League followers.
DOWNSIDE: Steve Guppy (although I always liked him!)
12. Gary O'Conner (07.05.83), Pacey Striker, Hibernian - (SCO)
Good pace and good finishing. Not the best in the air.
UPSIDE: Andy Cole
DOWNSIDE: Mark Burchill
13. John Kennedy (18.8.83), Centre Half, Celtic (SCO - 1 cap)
Kennedy is a rock at the back. Excellent header and tackler, good pace.
Kennedy was Seriously injured in his scotland debut against Romania, not expected to feature before the end of the year, possibly next season.
UPSIDE: Paul Elliot
DOWNSIDE: Paul Elliot
(Note: Elliot had his carrer ruined by a reckless challenge, hence the comparrison)
14. Mark Fotheringham (22.10.83), Midfield, (SCO)
Left Celtic youth team to sign with Dundee as he wanted the chance to play first team football.
UPSIDE: Can't think of one
DOWNSIDE: Can't think of one
Kris Boyd (18.08.83) - Killmarnock (SCO)
David Clarkson (10.09.85) - Motherwell (SCO)
Notable young Scots playing Abroad
Paul Gallacher - Blackburn - Pacey striker called up from U21s to gain his first cap this year.
Darren Fletcher - Man Utd - Captained Scotland
Out due to age:
Liam Miller - Celtic, Man Utd (IRE)
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