What WSC contributors got right and wrong
29 June ~ Somewhat predictably, Celtic were unanimously voted by our contributors to finish top of the SPL for 2014-15, and so it proved, the Glasgow side wrapping up their fourth title in a row by 17 points. The absence of real competition was noted by Celtic supporter Graham McCall: "The League title was wrapped up in the summer of 2012, when Rangers were demoted to Scottish football's nether regions." Nevertheless, under Ronny Deila Celtic enjoyed a strong season, missing out on Champions League qualification to Maribor but beating Dundee United to claim the League Cup.
Our readers' prediction of Aberdeen to take second place was also spot on, as the Reds went unbeaten from December to March to propel themselves into European contention. Inverness Caledonian Thistle finished ten points behind them in third, three places above our contributors' prediction. Andrew Sutherland's hopes of "a cup run to go one better than last season's League Cup final defeat to Aberdeen and secure a first major trophy" were also satisfied, as two goals from Marley Watkins and James Vincent made sure of a 2-1 Scottish Cup final win over Falkirk.
Supporter Ken Gall was not far off in his prediction that "if our top youngsters continue to develop, top three" for Dundee United. However, a great blow for the side did come in the loss of good young players, as Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven were signed by Celtic in January, leaving them shorn of two of their brightest attacking talents.
Alan Pattullo had no reason to fear the "dangerous level of optimism" surging through the supporters of Dundee before the season kicked off. He reiterated the club's target of tenth, but would have been pleasantly surprised to see Dundee climb beyond even the target set by "some crazy fools" of the "top end of the bottom six”, reaching sixth in their first season back in the Scottish top division.
In the battle to remain in the Premiership Kilmarnock fulfilled their predicted finish, surviving another relegation scrap to secure tenth. "Without the goals of Kris Boyd, I suspect another relegation battle beckons, " said Killie fan Andy Wilson, and though goals proved hard to come by, a total of 44 scored was enough to keep them up.
"I would expect that we will finish comfortably in the top six and hopefully be fighting for yet another European qualification,” said David Innes. The reality for Motherwell in 2014-15 proved a far cry from his hopeful prognosis, conceding 63 goals in 38 games, while their play-off against Rangers secured their top-flight status but ended in ignominy as players from both sides brawled at Fir Park.
The confidence of St Mirren fan Fraser Kirkwood also proved misplaced: "Finishing above Hamilton Accies will mean that top-flight status has been assured.” His frustration with St Mirren's cost-cutting was also in evidence, adding that "by 2018, I expect that the groundsman will be director of football". Unfortunately, that will have been the least of his concerns as his team slipped into the Scottish Championship for the first time since 2006, conceding the division's most goals and registering its worst scoring record in the process. Tom Lewis
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