It’s been another great season for St Johnstone, with Europa League football guaranteed for the fourth year in a row (with a little help from our good friends in the Highlands) and finishing as the top team in Tayside in the league with a record points tally. How long can Tommy Wright keep this up? Well, let’s just look to next season and take it from there…
Alan Mannus – 8
Big Al has once again played a vital role in yet another successful season for the Perth Saints. The Northern-Irishman only conceded 2 goals after the split and kept 16 clean sheets in all. Hearing the big shot stopper has been tied down for another season was better than any signing, and hopefully he’ll be able to repeat his Europa League penalty heroics next season.
Stevie Banks – 1
Green Street star Banks never made an appearance this season, but was closely involved in the coaching set up. Out of contract this summer, I think his seat on the bench could be filled by Zander Clark, who has had a wonderful spell out on loan at Queen of the South last season where he kept clean sheets against Rangers and Hibs, among others. Perhaps this will be one of Tommy Wright’s changes in his attempt to “freshen up” his squad?
Dave Mackay – 8
Even at 35, I still dream of a team of Dave MacKays. The skipper has had an outstanding season once again, guiding the Saints to European football for a club record fourth year in a row. Reliable, calm and collected, Dave has epitomised Saints’ style for the past few seasons – solid at the back and steady going forward. Sad to say I expect he won’t feature quite so heavily next season as his lack of pace is slowly getting the better of him, especially with more youthful competition arriving in the form of Brad McKay, whose name alone puts him in good stead, and Joe Shaughnessy. I was delighted to see him score a consolation against Spartak Trnava; no one deserved a goal more than he did.
Fraser Wright – 9
At the start of last season Tommy Wright and Frazer Wright sat down and both parties agreed that Big Fraz would perhaps not play such an active role in the team this season. This was true in the beginning with Frazer not being involved much and on the occasions he was selected, he looked a shadow of the player that had been such an integral part of the St Johnstone defence in the past few season. However in October Big Fraz revealed he had received an injection in his hip to try and relieve problems he was having with pain, and from then on he was back to his usual imperious self. If only the big man was ten years younger.
Tam Scobbie – 7
Tam Scobbie has excelled this season since being moved into the middle of defence. Experienced, reliable and comfortable on the ball, I see Tam replacing Frazer Wright in the heart of the Saints’ defence that so many teams have grown to dread. If you’d told me that our back four would split up a few years ago, I’d have been seriously concerned, but I feel at ease with this transition. On another note, his winning penalty against Luzern will go down in folklore.
Brian Easton – 8
The best ginger haired player in Scottish Football. Like his counterpart on the right side of the defence, you know what you are getting with Brian Easton. A solid player who has a real consistency of performance.
Gary Miller – 4
Much like the rest of his career at Saints, Miller could never quite manage to force his way into the first team, although he was decent enough whenever he was called upon. Has been released by Saints, but will do a job for a team in the lower reaches of the Premiership/top half of the Championship.
Lee Croft – 3
Fat. Balding. Slow. Croft never quite managed to recapture the form that made him such a popular player during his first spell at the club. Much to the disappointment of the owners of Perth’s nightclubs, Croft was quite rightly released at the end of the season.
Simon Lappin – 6
The King of Spain has been a very good signing for us this year, helping slow down high-tempo games and never backing out of a tackle. He initially struggled but eventually found his footing and had a very strong second half to the second. The former Norwich man was a threat going forward, making some great over-Lappin runs and scoring a beauty against Aberdeen. Long live the King.
Chris Millar – 10
Chris Millar has had the season of his life. Since moving from right wing to central midfielder, Chris has added a tenacity and doggedness to the middle that our defence has been renowned for. His Jody Morris-like drive and determination has won countless battles in the middle of the pitch, and, for the first time since that famous 4-1 win over Rangers, Chris scored. No, that wasn’t a typo. Chris Millar scored a belter against Dundee United and even although there is video evidence, I still think it was a dream.
David Wotherspoon – 7
One of the most frustrating players I have ever watched play for Saints. Capable of brilliant pieces of skills one minute, then the next minute looks like he doesn’t have a clue what an actual football is. Always one of the first names on the teamsheet, he cant certainly cant be accused of lack of effort, I just wish he could be slightly more consistent.
Danny Swanson – 7
Danny got off to a somewhat slow start, but soon showed why he had earned a move down to the Championship. His pace, flair and fearlessness added a new dimension to the Saints’ attack after Christmas, and it would be an excellent piece of business if we could bring him back. I also could not talk about Danny’s season without mentioning the greatest goal I have ever seen scored by a Saints player which, had it not been for Stevie Mallan’s individual goal against Dundee, would have swept all of the Goal of the Season awards. Fair play to Mallan though, at least he scored it against Dundee.
Murray Davidson – 7
Muzz improved as the season went on after slowly embedding himself in following his injury hell. In the post-split fixtures especially, In the games post split, Davidson was back to his best, snapping into tackles, winning aerial battles and being a threat attacking wise as well. Brave, strong and always able to chip in with a few goals, Murray signed a new two year deal with the Saints, much to the delight of the fans. He will continue to thrive as long has he doesn’t hurt himself. Easier said than done for a man who goes into 50/50s in the way a pride of lions attacks a wild gazelle.
Liam Caddis – 3
Caddis seems to have been at Saints for an eternity, without actually being able to force himself into the first team. Many fans thought he should have been released at the end of the season, but Tommy Wright thought different and offered him another year. Like Scott Brown, the feeling is that next season will be make or break for Caddis in terms of his future as a St Johnstone player.
Scott Brown – 4
“There’s only one Scott Brown, one Scott Brown…”
Eh? No there’s not. There is three in the Scottish Premiership on the last count, although the slightly shite goalkeeper at Aberdeen doesn’t count and the Celtic midfielder is an arse, which leaves us with the likeable St Johnstone midfielder. Brown started the season off well and featured in our European games, however after a initial spell in the first team, Brown went on to become a bit part player in the side for the rest of the season. Brown has a good range of passing, is capable of getting a few goals and is strong in the tackle. Tommy Wright rates him highly and more is expected of him next season.
Gary McDonald – 2
Gary left at Christmas to join Peterhead after 18 months in Perth, and whilst those months spent with us were successful, it was time for him to move on. After struggling to find the net, McDonald managed a scoring spree in League 1 before being released again.
Chris Kane – 6
Kano made a big impact after coming back from Dumbarton to test himself in the Premiership. Winning the Young Player of the Month award immediately after returning, Chris was destined for big things. A run of impressive performances without goals was ended on the last day of the season, 15 seconds after coming on with that crucial winner against Aberdeen. Saints fans can’t wait to see him next season.
Brian Graham – 7
Brian Graham will be sorely missed next season if we don’t replace him. His goals were responsible for 15 of Saints’ 57 points, and if he hadn’t been so wasteful, could have got us 15 more. Not the most talented player but a knack for being in the right place at the right time with a hunger for goals, Brian can leave Saints on good terms, and I hope he has just as successful season next term in Dingwall. Unless it’s at our expense, though.
Michael O’Halloran – 9
O’Halloran has proved to be one of Tommy Wrights best signings. He is a rarity in our squad in that he has blistering pace and an ability to go by opposition players at ease. He did manage to score 12 goals in all competitions this season, but with a bit more finesse in front of goal he could have doubled that tally. The club are currently in negotiations with O’Halloran to try and extend his contract. If the club were able to get O’Halloran tied down for another couple of years at least, it could be a great piece of business. He definitely has the ability to play at a higher level.
Steven MacLean – 5
Started off the season the way he finished off the last, by netting in our first European game against FC Luzern in Switzerland. Unfortunately Maccas season was interrupted by a knee injury in September which seen him ruled out for a number of months. Unfortunately, on his return to the team Macca never looked the same player as before his injury. Hopefully the pre season break will allow him to gain some much needed rest and we will see a return of the 2013/14 season Macca next season.
James McFadden – 3
Oh Faddy, it could have gone oh so well, but, no. Despite two goals in seven days against Ross County, Faddy didn’t quite manage for us what he did for Motherwell last season, which was disappointing. Our only big name signing after the departure of Stevie May, McFadden didn’t manage to replace his predecessor in the #17 shirt. Wherever he goes next season though, everyone at Saints will wish him the best of luck.
Adam Morgan – 0
Absolutely fucking shite
WRITTEN BY GREGG AITCHISON AND ROSS GARDINER
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