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The seventeenth annual Narey's Toepoker Team of the Year (part 2)


hislopsoffsideagain

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The defence and goalkeeper can be found here.


CENTRAL MIDFIELD: MATT O'RILEY (CELTIC), CALLUM MCGREGOR (CELTIC)

Honourable mentions: Lyall Cameron (Dundee), Beni Baningime (Heart of Midlothian), Connor Barron (Aberdeen), Mark O'Hara (St. Mirren)

I'm cheating a bit here as O'Riley could - should? - be better placed as an attacking midfielder. Anyway, he was damn good and possibly should have won Player Of The Year? McGregor is McGregor, a class above any other deep-lying midfielder in the league. This is the fifth year in the last six that I've picked him.


Reo Hatate and Mohamed Diomande would be in the honourable mentions list had they played enough league matches. Cameron has quietly developed into a fine player at Dundee and kept a never-ending list of loan signings out of the team all season. I've always liked Baningime, who seems to have finally got over the knee injury that kept him out for a year and led to a slow start to 2023/24. Barron's finish to the campaign was impressive enough that he was thought to have a chance of making Scotland's squad for the Euros; it'll be interesting to see where he goes now his contract is up. O'Hara missed some action due to injuries and St. Mirren were significantly worse off when he wasn't on the pitch.


ATTACKING MIDFIELD: DAN ARMSTRONG (KILMARNOCK), ABDALLAH SIMA (RANGERS)

Honourable mentions: Blair Spittal (Motherwell), Matthew Kennedy (Kilmarnock), Greg Kiltie (St. Mirren), Yan Dhanda (Ross County)

Armstrong was an assists machine for Killie as well as a diligent worker down the flank. Could Rangers have won the title had they not lost Sima for much of the Spring? He was their best attacking player by miles.


Spittal had a career year and has earned himself a move to Hearts, as has cultured playmaker Dhanda. Armstrong's teammate Kennedy was excellent on the opposite wing. Kiltie has established himself as an important creative presence for St. Mirren.


STRIKERS: LAWRENCE SHANKLAND (HEART OF MIDLOTHIAN), BOJAN MIOVSKI (ABERDEEN)

Honourable mentions: Cyriel Dessers (Rangers), Simon Murray (Ross County), Theo Bair (Motherwell), Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic)

Hard to argue with these two picks, even if neither plays for Celtic or Rangers. Shankland has become so much more than a poacher and may yet be Scotland's starting striker at the Euros. One shudders to think how far Aberdeen could have fallen but for their North Macedonian talisman, who will surely earn them millions this summer.


Dessers got better and better over time after a rough start, though Rangers might still feel they need even more quality leading the line. Murray was the main reason County stayed up, while Bair was the most surprising success story of the season, going from being a joke at St. Johnstone to a goalscoring machine at Motherwell. Kyogo deserves at least a passing mention in dispatches, though his all-round contribution isn't what it was when Ange was in charge at Celtic.


Lawrie Spence has whinged about Scottish football on Narey's Toepoker since September 2007. He has a life outside this blog. Honestly.

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