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Scottish Football Is Exciting And It’s Not Just Down To Steven Gerrard

Date: 29th October 2018

I‘ve been very impressed by Steven Gerrard at Rangers. His team look very dominant when playing at Ibrox and they’ve done a fantastic job in the Europa League. 

It’s probably true that more eyes have glanced at the Scottish footballing product just to see Steven Gerrard the manager. 

Yet our game has so much going for it and a lot of it isn’t down to a Liverpool legend nor is it down to Rangers’ Glasgow rivals Celtic. 

Again don’t get me wrong, the double treble winners are once again looking strong but both Rangers and Celtic have suffered from bloody noses this season in the domestic game and it’s great to see the likes of Hearts, Kilmarnock and Livingston going toe to toe with the perceived giants.

Hearts may have lost to Celtic in their League Cup semi-final encounter this past weekend but that’s one of very few blips that the Jambos have suffered from so far this term.  

Craig Levein is an experienced coach and he’s getting the most out of his team. As well as winding up fellow managers, Levein has also worked wonders in the transfer market and his side lead the Scottish Premiership with a five point cushion. They’ve won eight in their first ten league games (including a win over champions Celtic) and they’ve only lost once. 

No team has scored more so this term and while Hearts can be aggressive they can also be a fine footballing side too. 

The Gorgie club brought between 20,000 and 30,000 supporters to Murrayfield for the semi-final, showing they are well backed and that the fans believe in the football club.  

Under Steve Clarke, Kilmarnock are once again looking bright. Clarke has managed to get the most out of his players and that’s seen Killie pick up plenty of points. The Ayrshire club are regularly getting over 5,000 fans into Rugby Park. 

It’s also refreshing to see Kilmarnock giving Cathy Jamieson a seat on the board, she’s there representing The Killie Trust after they reached their £100,000 funding target. The more we get fans involved with the day to day running of our football clubs the better. 

Livingston have come into to the top flight with a bang and are currently third in the league table, ahead of Rangers. In fact they deservedly beat Gerrard’s Gers side back in September. 

Livi’s outstanding achievement has been even more unbelievable when you think that current boss Gary Holt is their third head coach of 2018. Yet they’ve been fearless and the squad have remained professional as they grind out big results. 

Aberdeen might not have hit their usual high standards this season but they beat Rangers on Sunday to reach the League Cup final. That result could be the catalyst the Dons need to kick start their Premiership campaign. 

Only four points separate bottom spot and ninth position. This should mean that we’’ll see a lively relegation and play-off fight on our hands. 

I can’t remember our top flight being this competitive and involving so many teams and not just those from Glasgow. 

Our women’s game is also on the up. The greatest achievement of any of our national sides has come from our women’s team qualifying for next year’s World Cup. It’s a superb accomplishment and has brought so much excitement to our game. 

Glasgow City are probably are best club when it comes to representing Scottish football in the continent. 

In the Scottish Championship it’s nice to see Ross County leading the way and an unfamiliar side like Ayr United challenging them. I’m also happy that Dundee United have returned to form, now that they’ve got a young Scottish boss managing The Tangerines. 

Once again it looks like it will be a lively race to see which sides finish in the top four positions and take their place in next summer’s play-off places. 

Arbroath remain unbeaten in League One, with wily veteran boss Dick Campbell showing that experience can be a big factor in any league. At the moment it looks to be a straight fight between Edinburgh City and Peterhead to see who’ll be crowned League Two champs but don’t discount a dark horse putting a run together and joining the title race. 

Scotland have also got players excelling away from our leagues. James McArthur, Ryan Fraser, Andrew Robertson and Callum Paterson are all performing well in England’s Premier League. Liam Henderson is holding is own at Serie B high flyers Hellas Verona and forward Johnny Russell has scored ten MLS goals for Sporting Kansas City. 

It’s not just on the park either, Scottish football is exciting off of it too. 

Fan owned or part owned clubs seem to be the way forward with Motherwell, Hearts and St Mirren all having a feel good factor surrounding them. 

Club’s have also started to understand that supporters really matter. Sides are now engaging with their fanbase more whether that be through the great jobs that SLOs (Supporters Liaison Officer) and DAOs (Disabled Access Officer) do or by offering more and more superb online content, which allows fans to get a better feel for their clubs. 

It’s also encouraging to see our teams and the fans supporting their local communities. The SPFL Trust and the majority of the clubs have tremendous charity projects on the go and supporters are buying into it and taking part!

It’s great for Scottish football if we’ve got a strong Rangers and Celtic but it’s vitally important that other teams continue to step up and show that they too can compete. It’s also fantastic to see our media big up the game and clubs appreciating their support. 

Long may this positivity continue!

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