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St. Johnstone, the fake Saints. With a potential fan base of loads, as they play in Perth with the Old Firm miles away, it is amazing that their stadium usually remains three quarters empty. But one reason for this is some of the players they have. In Paul Hartley they have a total ned who is a Hibs reject (aye so was Barry Lavety but he had talent) who seems to enjoy getting sent off and annoying the St. Mirren fans. And in Alain Main they have a naff goalkeeper who is worse than David James and Derek Scrimgour put together, as he tries hopelessly to keep the ball out the net. Mind you, he did say he’d rather see Dundee Utd stay up rather than us, St. Mirren, the real Saints, so its a bit dodgy. The only thing they seem to have going for them is Momo Sylla, an impressive player who should soon be snapped up by a bigger club. As for Keigan Parker, his dives are better than Main’s....... They’re going down.
After the comings and goings at this Perth club manager Sandy Clark finally has the chance to mould the team in his own image. Until this year he has been content to merely tweak the side he inherited from Paul Sturrock but with Bosman beginning to bite now is the ideal time to change the style of play. With the signing of winger Paul Hartley from Hibs and Danish wide man Tommy Lovenkrands ( brother of Rangers' new signing Peter ) it would appear that Clark intends to go for a much more attacking format. This can only be good news for Scottish football – a side that attempts to play attacking football will always be better to watch than one that puts the emphasis on defence. Hopefully the Perth side’s fans respond to this – there has been some disquiet regarding the loss of many of the players who impressed last season – particularly John O’Neil who has left for Hibernian. Saint Johnstone continue to suffer due to a wage structure that looks outdated compared to similar clubs in the division. Saint Johnstone remains a selling club and this was shown by the £600,000 that was paid for Danny Griffin. However I believe that the Saints have enough quality at the back to cover this loss. Darren Dods and Alan Kernaghan ( when fit ) worked well last season and with Alan Main in goal Saint Johnstone can be confident that they will not leak goals like some in the Scottish Premier League. If the incoming attacking players find form and if they can negotiate a tricky opening spell – the old firm and Hearts will meet Saint Johnstone within the first four games of the season – then there is every chance that they can reach the top half of the table. Player to watch: Alan Main – the best Scottish keeper in the country. Prediction: 5th.