Premiership first round review: Ross County

Ross County's Graham Carey (left) having put his side in the lead against St Mirren. Picture: SNS
Ross County's Graham Carey (left) having put his side in the lead against St Mirren. Picture: SNS
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THE best and worst of Ross County’s season thus far following the first round of Premiership fixtures.

Best player

I was underwhelmed on transfer deadline day when I saw the arrival of Jackson Irvine on loan from Celtic. After seeing him turnout for Killmarnock last season, I thought he was a pointless signing. I’ve been forced (not literally) to eat my words. He’s improving every game and for me, he’s one of the first names on the team sheet each week. His stamina in the middle of the park, along with his delicate fancy footwork and pinpoint passing, has led to some very good performances from the big Aussie.

Worst player

I’m convinced Derek Adams somehow knew his time at County was coming to an end as he would never have signed such a dud deliberately. It must’ve been a parting joke. The first time I saw Jim Fenlon live was in the crushing defeat at the hands of Partick Thistle. Never have I seen such a complete disregard for defensive positioning. Without doubt one of the worst defenders I’ve seen come through the doors in Dingwall. Why couldn’t he have formed an emotional attachment with Adams and left together? Sigh.

Biggest surprise

The departure of the Adams family came as quite a shock. We had lost the opening four games but I didn’t think we’d see Derek get the chop for it. I was quite clearly wrong. Four defeats in four games isn’t great by any means, but when you factor in Derek’s history at the club, I was surprised to hear the news.

Biggest disappointment

The fact we’re bottom of the league with only four points from 11 games has to be the biggest disappointment. After finishing seventh last season - albeit not convincingly - I’d expected the team to improve, not decline. The turnover in players since entering the top-flight is staggering, and I feel this has contributed to the team’s early misfortunes this campaign. I mean; 18 new faces is quite ridiculous. My thoughts go out to the people who will buy the 2015 calendar.

Best team performance

There haven’t been many that’s for sure. Our first win of the season at home to Dundee was narrow, but we completely dominated that match. To only win courtesy of a last-minute winner was quite disappointing. I’d have to say though, the best team performance was in the first-half of the Highland Derby. Yoann Arquin had put us a goal up going into the break, but the game should’ve been over by that point. Chance after chance, miss after miss. We played some very nice football and Inverness just couldn’t cope. Unfortunately, Arquin and Quinn decided to waste great chances, and eventually had to fight for a draw.

Worst game

Quite a few nominees for this one sadly. I think I’ll go for the shambolic 5-0 thrashing we received at home to Celtic. The concerning aspect of this game was that the scoreline didn’t flatter the champions. They could’ve and should’ve scored more. The away trips to Partick and Hamilton weren’t much better.

Most worrying contract

The fact that Melvin De Leeuw no longer has one. There had been rumours for a while about his departure, but the confirmation of his exit – for personal reasons – hurts badly. Melvin was arguably the best player at the club and now he’s left for gratis. It’s staggering to think we got six-figures for the chance-missing Kevin Luckassen, but we haven’t received a dime for the best ex-SC Cambur player we’ve ever had. What’s the only positive I can draw from his exit? He won’t be signing for a Scottish side and scoring beautiful goals against us (I’m looking at you here Mr.Vigurs). He is heading back home to the Netherlands. We’ll miss you Melvin. And your hair.

Manager’s performance

Alongside Billy Dodds (I still can’t believe he’s at County) McIntyre has managed the side to five points from a possible 18. I was relatively happy with his appointment at the time and I’m quietly confident we won’t be relegated under him. He’s added his own players now, and a squad exodus in January wouldn’t surprise me. Changes have been made inside the club - we now have a sports scientist, we’re just that fancy - and the players seem to be fitter and more confident than under Adams at the start of the campaign. It was always going to be tough for anyone that replaced Adams, but now the transition into the club has been made, it’s got to be onwards and upwards from now on. And I firmly believe McIntyre is the man to turn things around.

Written by @IDW25 for The Terrace Scottish Football Podcast website.

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