My Perfect Player #7

For the seventh instalment of My Perfect Player, we welcome Simon Furnivall back to CoA after his excellent guest piece “Michael Thomas broke my heart“. You may see Simon popping up as a guest every now and then, but if that’s not enough, check out his excellent site Lovely Left Foot. This edition of the series is slightly different – Simon chose to pick his perfect Scottish player. Enjoy – I certainly did.

Am I allowed to just say “Kenny Dalglish”?

Brain – Kenny Dalglish

Without a shadow of a doubt the best brain in the Scottish game has been that of ‘King’ Kenny. I truly believe he was one of the greatest players ever, regardless of nationality, but what made him so great was the fact that he was always several steps ahead of anyone else on the pitch.

Head – Duncan Ferguson

The glib answer would be to say ‘Big Bad’ Duncan Ferguson, though I’m not sure John McStay would agree. To be honest, however, Duncan Disorderly was a beast in the air and there are few better headers of the ball that I have seen. I may think he’s a horrible Evertonian, but he his head would come in useful.

Eyes – Kenny Dalglish

I make no excuses for picking two parts of Kenny Dalglish, whether that’s against the rules or not. The modern Scottish game lacks players of real vision – Charlie Adam is about the best we get these days – but there was a time when we produced players on undeniable quality and vision, and Dalglish was highest amongst them. Able to spot the right pass at the right time, just ask Ian Rush how good he was.

Mouth – Graeme Souness

Another Scottish Scouser, I would undoubtedly take Graeme Souness’ gob. A true leader on the field, in his three seasons as captain at Liverpool he won three league titles, three league cups and the European Cup in Rome. Not bad.

Lungs – Jimmy Johnstone

The ‘Lord of the Wing’, Jimmy ‘Jinky’ Johnstone. A star of the Lisbon Lions side of 1967, Johnstone was a precociously talented, flame haired winger who would run at full backs all day long. Another from the golden era of Scottish football when we were producing genuinely world class talent, Johnstone was among the very best.

Left Foot – Jim Baxter

He may have drunk himself into early retirement (he gave up the game aged just 31) but during his time at Rangers he established himself as one of the finest passers of a football the Scottish game has ever produced. Elegance personified on the pitch, Baxter’s passing range was awe-inspiring and there are many top players around today who would kill for a left foot as elegant as Slim Jim’s.

Right Foot – Alan Hansen

Unlike some, I want my perfect player to have some defensive quality too, so I’m going to pick Alan Hansen’s right foot. A ball playing centre back of real class, Hansen would set up attacks just as easily as he stopped the opposition. His right may not be that of Zidane’s or Pele’s, but alongside Baxter’s left would create the perfect balance.

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