Wednesday, 2 April 2014

How Scottish stars have played a key role south of the border

A look at the squad lists of every club in the English Premier League will show that only a handful of players from Scotland ply their trade in the top flight, with fewer still getting regular games. Aside from Cardiff’s David Marshall, Allan McGregor at Hull, Steven Fletcher at Sunderland and Robert Snodgrass from Norwich, few other players come to mind.
However, delving into the archives, Scottish stars have been seen as club legends at some of the biggest and most successful teams in England. They have broken records, taken on the best players in the world and, in a handful of cases, been remembered as among the best players to ever play the game. But who are they and how important have they been to their former clubs?
Image Credit: Paul Hawkridge
Northern invasion
One of the most obvious examples is legendary forward Denis Law, who performed at the highest level for both Manchester City and, more notably, Manchester United. Law’s goalscoring exploits feature in a quiz called How Well Do You Know Your Team? by Ladbrokes, which tests fans’ knowledge of their favourite side in the Premier League, particularly United in this case.
Further west near the banks of the River Mersey, at Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish saw his reputation, which was already blossoming having moved down from Celtic at a tender age, grow further. He was among their all-time top scorers, even though he was soon eclipsed by Welsh striker Ian Rush in the scoring charts.
In the hot-seat
Scotsmen have been integral in the dugouts of top-flight English clubs, perhaps more so than on the pitch in recent years. United fans only have to look at the achievements of Sir Alex Ferguson to realise this. Prior to his disastrous tenure as Sir Alex’s successor, David Moyes features in the Everton quiz, while current Scotland boss Gordon Strachan was a hit with Southampton.
In the future, expect current Aston Villa and former Norwich City gaffer Paul Lambert to figure highly, whether or not he succeeds at Villa Park. His achievements at Norwich were greater, leading the Canaries to two successive promotions, making stars out of Fraser Forster and Grant Holt in the process.