The Football Critic

Our wayward curmudgeon observes SPFL matches and reviews the individual performance of one select player, before giving a score out of five.


James Vincent opens the scoring v Hearts

Football Critic: How Danny Swanson’s selection weakened Hearts

The latest piece from the Football Critic analyses the performance of new signing Danny Swanson in the centre of the Hearts midfeild.

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Teammates Jamie Hamill and Josh Magennis argue during Kilmarnock's 4-1 victory over Partick Thistle

The Football Critic: Josh Magennis

Back again, our resident critic has shaken off early season rustiness and is ready once more to give some individual player insight. Josh Magennis Partick Thistle v Kilmarnock Lone striker 25-years-old *** After his goal versus Celtic, I could no longer pass over Josh Magennis without closer inspection. Over the past five years, he has evolved from […]

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rangers jason holt

The Football Critic: Jason Holt

HE’S BACK! Our resident critic has shaken off the summer cobwebs and is ready once more to give some individual player insight. Jason Holt Rangers v St Mirren Centre midfield 22-years-old **** Respected by other teams, players and the media, and yet stayed a free agent for most of this summer. Plays the number 10 position, always […]

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Season 2014/15 player ratings: Falkirk

GOALKEEPER Jamie MacDonald – 6 Arrived with a big reputation from Hearts and had big gloves to fill as Michael McGovern’s replacement. These factors resulted in high expectations from the Falkirk support. He can be hesitant when dealing with crosses and a failure to command his area has cost us a few goals throughout the season. […]

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Season 2014/15 player ratings: Rangers

In the pantheon of things that cost a lot of money to assemble and just weren’t worth it, you immediately think of the classics: the Millennium Dome, Heaven’s Gate, the Segway… to that exalted list must be added ‘Rangers first team 2014-15’. Yes, from the people who brought you Fran Sandaza on 5k a week […]

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The Football Critic: Lionel Ainsworth v Hamilton Accies (24.04.15)

I have to admit, picking Lionel Ainsworth felt like a bit of a cheat. These reviews that I do for The Terrace Podcast guys are supposed to look at players the Scottish football community knows very little about. And if they’re not an unfamiliar name then they should be, at the very least, a new […]

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The Football Critic: Derek Riordan v Elgin City (02.05.15)

Derek Riordan 32-years old Striker v Elgin City (02/05/15) Rating: *** Watching Derek Riordan move around Bayview on Saturday must have been how Hibs’ fans in 1980 felt when George Best turned up at Easter Road – yes it’s nice to watch but surely there’s that nagging thought: how did we get here? Playing off main […]

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The Football Critic: Scott Pittman v Raith Rovers (25.04.15)

Scott Pittman 22-years old Central midfielder v Raith Rovers (25/04/15) Rating: **** There were some expectations at Stark’s Park on Saturday that the match between Raith Rovers and Livingston was an opportunity to say a fond farewell to the West Lothian club from the Championship. They’d been teetering on the precipice of relegation for months, […]

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The Football Critic: Farid El Alagui v Falkirk (18.04.15)

Farid El Alagui 30-years old Striker v Falkirk ** Why didn’t I pick Scott Allan? After dishing out my first 5* performance to Rado Cierzniak I could have been on a roll after some of the dross I’ve witnessed this season. I didn’t even need to be keeping a close eye on the midfielder to […]

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The Football Critic: Radoslaw Cierzniak v Hamilton Accies (11.04.15)

Radoslaw Cierzniak 31-years old Goalkeeper v Hamilton Accies ***** I’m a cynical man by nature. You’ve probably noticed. It’s what two ex-wives and a lifetime of poor choices crammed into 30-odd years will do to you. Sometimes (ok, often) this cynicism comes out in my work. It’s just so easy most of the time, especially […]

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The Football Critic: Martin Canning v St Johnstone (04.04.15)

Martin Canning 33-years old Centre back/beleaguered boss v St Johnstone * Let’s say I went to a gig and two-thirds of the way through the show the guitarist decided to put down his guitar, get his tadger out and start pissing on the amp. And let’s say that he continued pissing until the amp blew […]

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The Football Critic: Kieran Sadlier v Celtic (03.04.15)

Kieran Sadlier 20 years old Winger v Celtic (03/04/15) Rating: ** Thursday, rather than Friday, was my night of choice this week to get absolutely blootered. Hey, it was a bank holiday after all. After much paranoid retching I managed to pull myself onto the couch and tune into St Mirren v Celtic on BT Sport. I […]

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The Football Critic: James Forrest v St Mirren (03.04.15)

James Forrest 23 years old Winger v St Mirren (03/04/15) Rating: *** Philosophy and football don’t tend to share a great deal of common ground (apart from an iconic Monty Python sketch of course), but my latest assignment left me pondering one of the sport’s biggest questions. How do you define a good performance? For […]

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The Football Critic: Matt Ritchie v Northern Ireland (25.03.15)

Matt Ritchie 25-years-old Right winger v. Northern Ireland (25/03/15) Rating: ** You know as well as I do that international squad selections exist as much for the angsty frothing-at-the-mouth reaction they provoke from supporters as they do for winning football matches, and Scotland this week have not disappointed. While perhaps not drawing the same incredulity […]

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The Football Critic: Phil Roberts v Raith Rovers (21.03.15)

Phil Roberts 20-years old Striker (playing wide right) v Raith Rovers (21.03.15) Rating: * It appeared that the fates were conspiring against me as I took my seat inside Stark’s Park for Saturday evening’s Championship fixture between Raith Rovers and Alloa Athletic. It’s hard enough to understand what a Fifer is saying at the best […]

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The Football Critic: Craig Curran v Hamilton (14.03.15)

Craig Curran 25-years old Striker v Hamilton Academical (14/03/15) Rating: **** Shortly after depositing my backside on the plastic chair in the wide-open space Hamilton call a football stadium, I began to notice an unwelcome, and unseasonal, chill in the air. After a few brief seconds of cursing myself for forgetting my gloves, or leaving them in […]

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The Football Critic: Conor Grant v Aberdeen 13.03.2015

Conor Grant 19-years old Centre midfielder (playing on the right) v Aberdeen (13/03/15) Rating: *** Settling down into my sofa for BT Sport’s latest instalment of Friday night football (well I wasn’t going to make it up to Aberdeen for quarter to eight on a working day), I was torn on which player to focus […]

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Player Performance: St Mirren 2013/14

A hugely forgettable season saw holders St Mirren crash out of the Scottish Communities League Cup at the first hurdle, ejected from the William Hill Scottish Cup at the Quarter Final stage and lurch from crisis to insignificance and everything in between. SPFL Premiership survival looked a tall order with six games remaining, but an […]

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Player Performance: Dundee United 2013/14

In January 2013, Peter Houston left Dundee United under a bit of a cloud. In a press conference he called shortly before his departure, he stated that with budget cuts on the horizon, he didn’t want to be the man responsible for taking Dundee United back to the bottom six. Now most fans knew that this […]

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