After a recent article focused on Roy Hodgson’s call-up of Fraser Forster to the England side for the forthcoming fixtures with San Marino and Poland the lack of distinguished England internationals to have played for the Glasgow club was documented. Alan Thompson remains the only one in 2004, and after a rather average debut it seems that stigma has stuck for English players in the SPL.
But one fan made a very staunch defence of, presumably, his league in the comments section.
‘’Its no surprise to followers of Scottish football that Jelavic, Ruddy, Maloney, Petrov, Arteta, Fletcher and McCarthy have done well in the EPL. Some ignorant EPL media have claimed they are surprised at some of these "bargains" compared to the prices paid for similar EPL players. They are only bargains because of the league they play in.’’
He has a point. The SPL does get a bad rep for its perceived lack of quality but there has been no shortage of players who have made the transition into the Premier League over the years.
People remember the disappointing players such as Kris Boyd, Kevin Thomson and to a certain degree Barry Ferguson for the minimal impact they had when crossing the border being quick to forget the likes of Jelavic, Ruddy and Steven Fletcher who have been magnificent in the Premier League since crossing the divide.
The Celtic team of a few years ago was awash with players any Premier League side would absolutely relish having at their disposal in the form of Shunsuke Nakamura, Johann Mjallby or Joos Valgaeren. At the moment they have talents such as Victor Wanyama, Beram Kayal and Gary Hooper; who is being tipped for an England call-up after his recent goalscoring form.
Celtic's recent form in Europe has also been impressive; after holding Benfica to a draw they then topple Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital.
Hearts troubled Liverpool earlier in the season and some of their players are incredibly talented especially Ryan McGowan, Marius Zaliukas and David Templeton; the latter of which made a shock switch to Rangers on transfer deadline day.
Then you have Kenny McLean at St Mirren, Chris Millar at St Johnstone and Johnny Russell of Dundee United who are all talented Scottish players, perhaps under-rated for that simple reason.
Not just the players but exciting young managers such as Neil Lennon, Steve Lomas and Stuart McCall.
So are we giving the Scottish Premier League a raw deal?
image: © Tom Brogan