Monday, 27 April 2015

Fraser Aird...remember him?


One change under Stuart McCall has stuck out like a sore thumb. No, not Ian Black, he was ditched under McDowall.

No, the most notable dismissal from the first team since McCall took the helm has been that of Fraser Aird.

The young Canadian was a first-team regular under McCoist then McDowall, and if not a starter a certain sub. He was pretty much cast-iron match-day squad fodder, and his consequent demotion to the unders has gone bizarrely under the radar.

I say under the radar as he was extremely prominent in recent months for mouthing off to the media with rather embarrassing comments and showing his youthful naiveté by making certain diatribes in public he might have been well advised to keep a lid on.

Indeed, his stark departure to the youth team has been remarkable, with just one appearance on the senior subs’ bench (v Cowdenbeath) since the regime change.

Where did it all go wrong for him?

Let us not kid ourselves on; he had promise. When he burst onto the scene in 2012/2013 he looked very promising indeed. The winner at Hampden v Queens’ Park indicated this young lad had real potential, with pace and a keen eye for goal.

Unfortunately, as so many under McCoist did, he went dreadfully backwards, and after initially looking skilful, quick, and dangerous, he quickly became a one-trick pony with no guile at all; his entire repertoire became to tap the ball past the defender and try to outrun him. He could not beat anyone with skill any more, his crossing went from woeful to embarrassing, and he simply continued to regress, yet, bizarrely, remained in the team.

It was not till the Old Firm game that we saw the end of Aird. After having had as disastrous a first half as anyone else in the team, Aird was hooked off by then-manager Kenny McDowall.

He has not played in any capacity for the first team since.

McCall seems to have keenly observed that Aird was never properly ready for the first team, and certainly was not being coached correctly. He is now back under the watchful eye of Ian Durrant in the unders, a guy who, let us face it, has put through some remarkably talented players. As far as youth coaches go, Durrant is actually pretty good.

Aird is clearly better off in the unders for now – the team is doing not badly, and recently beat Celtic at Lennoxtown.

But his rise to first teamer followed by sudden dumping into the unders really has been stark, and one has to blame McCoist for both failing to coach him properly, and continuing to select him when he was clearly struggling.

Here is hoping Aird has not been permanently ruined.

2 comments:

  1. Aird has shown little to no ability that convinces me he's a player worthy of the jersey. All energy and no ability as far as I can tell so far.

    That said, the last playing regime(s) have been guilty of turning out utter dross. I'm prepared, due to his age and potential marketability, to put him in the last chance saloon. If he does progress then great, if not he's jettisoned with the rest as a mortal not worthy.

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  2. I also thought he looked very promising. He played some decent games and scored goals, but like so many players of the last few years under McCoist and McDowell, he seemed to go backwards rather than make any progress. Hopefully, McCall and Durrant or whoever else comes in, will be able to get him back on track again.

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