Posts Tagged ‘James McFadden Kris Boyd Motherwell Kilmarnock Scotland’

How greatly will already-flourishing Killie and Well benefit from the return of fans’ favourites?

February 23, 2013


This week has ended in the same way as it began, with the return of the prodigal son a dominant feature in Scottish football.

Two mainstays of the most successful Scotland national team in over a decade have returned to the clubs that brought them their first opportunity in football.

However, given both James McFadden and Kris Boyd have done so while still on the ripe side of 30 having previously left to pursue careers at more illustrious clubs, is there a feeling they have come back as damaged goods?

With both players signing deals at Motherwell and Kilmarnock respectively until the end of the season, the rewards for each party are conflicting; if the players can impress as they initially did in their careers then they could force the attention of a bigger club to take one last gamble on them. If they don’t light up the SPL as they once did, the chances are they will remain there next season, which would give their teams longer to revive the potential that clearly exists.

It is worth noting that neither player has played for the national side since they were both hastily substituted by Craig Levein from the 2010 Hampden Qualifier against Lichtenstein – a night unkindly remembered for being Levein’s big escape as Scotland boss.

In assessing the potential roles McFadden and Boyd can play in their respective “new” sides though, there is not as much certainty each will flourish as you would normally expect from players of such calibre.

They are both re-joining clubs who appear well-served in their positions: Boyd will be competing with Paul Heffernan and Cillian Sheridan for a striking berth, both of whom have already struck double figures for Killie in all competitions this season.

Meanwhile McFadden joins a side which has also been in fine attacking form, with Michael Higdon spearheading a potent attacking threat stemming from midfielders Henrik Ojamaa, Nicky Law and Chris Humphrey.

If McFadden and Boyd reach the performance levels they were turning out before leaving, there should be no holding them back from the starting line-up.

However, Kilmarnock nor Motherwell have taken their old hero back as an act of desperation. Both have done so while in a position of relative luxury, which could have the effect of alleviating the pressure on McFadden and Boyd given obvious concerns over their match fitness.

The key question remains over who has taken the bigger risk – club or player?