In issue 2 of the Scotland Epistles magazine I wrote an article about the wealth of Scottish talent in the English First Division as it was known in old money, just after Argentina ’78. Nowadays, there are very few Scots around in the EPL and even less as you get up to the rarefied air of the Top Four and Champions League qualification. I have divided the article into two parts, the first looking at the teams that made up the bottom half of the table this season and then in part two the Top Ten.With Watford, Bournemouth and Norwich all making it into the English Premiership, there are now five current Scotland in their squads. Watford have of course Anya Ikechi, Bournemouth Matt Ritchie and Norwich have Steven Whittaker, Russell Martin and recently added Graham Dorrans on a permanent move. It will be interesting to see how they get on.
Moving in the opposite direction are Queens Park Rangers, who had no Scots in their line up this year and you would have to go back to James Mackie in the Craig Levein lean years. Also going down was Burnley and although George Boyd and Scott Arfield were prominent players in their team neither has been capped while playing for Burnley. The last Burnley player capped was Chris ‘the miss’ Iwelumo. Stevens Fletcher and Caldwell recently were capped as Burnley plyers as was Graham Alexander.
Next up or rather down was Hull City, which sees three Scots be relegated Andrew Robertson, Allan McGregor and maybe the unluckiest of them all Robert Snodgrass. Sadly for Hull and Robert he only started one league game for Hull City dislocating his knee cap in the process which has kept him out for the full season and possibly into the next. Who knows how Hull would have done had he been fit. Prior to Robertson and McGregor you would have to go back to 1922 and Michael Gilhooley to find a Hull player capped for Scotland. Moving up the table, we come to Aston Villa and of course with Alan Hutton and previously Barry Bannan, there has been Scots representation at Villa Park recently. Current player Shaun Maloney also played at Villa in 2007-08.
Sunderland have of course Steven Fletcher and also recently Phil Bardsley. It’s a sad fact that if you google Phil Bardsley his wife may well be linked to first. Current players Craig Gordon and Alan Hutton also played there too as did Steven Caldwell.
And Steven Caldwell (again) is the name bandied about when it comes to Newcastle last Scotland player. Incidentally Steven has twelve caps in total whilst playing for 5 different clubs, Leeds and Wigan being the two we haven’t mention. Also capped at the same time as a Newcastle player was Brian Kerr. Leicester’s last capped Scot was Rab Douglas when he picked up a cap in 2005. Before that it was another one of the players haunted by the Curse of Berti Vogts (copyright Scotland Epistles, Bullshit & Thistles #2), one cap wonder Peter Canero. Paul Dickov was also capped as a Leicester player too, he was playing for Foxes at the time of the accompanying photo. (Is it possible in the photo he’s saying “I know you’re winning 4 nil Savage, but you’re still a fud.”?)
Above Leicester were West Brom, who in recent years have had a smattering of Scots with James Morrison, Graham Dorrans and now Darren Fletcher playing at the Hawthorns. West Ham haven’t had a Scots player since Christian Dailly in 2008, although he did earn 40 caps in his time with the Hammers. Don Hutchison was also capped as a West Ham player too. Everton rather surprisingly completed the bottom ten teams and of course, currently they have Steven Naismith playing for them, ironically they also have Aiden McGeady and James McCarthy with them too. That completes the bottom ten clubs and the picture gets worse as we go towards the top with one of the clubs has never had a player capped for Scotland!
First posted on Facebook June 10th, 2015