Scottish football's new cult hero, the best kind of debut at Celtic Park, former Parkhead ace already running out of time - Scottish football weekend winners and losers

A recap of the weekend’s football in the SPFL.

Cameron Carter-Vickers had an exceptional debut for Celtic at the weekend. Picture: SNS

WINNERS

Chris Cadden (Hibs)

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Goalkeepers stole the show and earned the headlines in Sunday’s Edinburgh derby, but a special mention should be made to the man who started on the right of Hibs’ 3-4-3. Cadden has been plagued by injury since making the move to Easter Road in January and was something of an afterthought coming into this season. However, it proved Jack Ross still sees a big future for him at the club after deciding to throw Cadden into the starting XI for such an important game. The ex-Motherwell star repaid that faith with a solid showing in the 0-0 draw.

Kevin van Veen (Motherwell)

Scottish football appears to have its next big cult hero in the form of the endearingly nicknamed ‘the Budget Bergkamp’. Van Veen netted the opener in Motherwell’s 2-0 win over Aberdeen and continued to dazzle with some exceptional touches. It’s still early days, but he already looks like a player who is going to be revered and remembered by Motherwell supporters for a long, long time.

Billy Dodds (Inverness CT)

The last 100 per cent record in the SPFL this season belongs to the man who, at the age of 52, became the surprising successor to John Robertson in his first permanent role as a football boss. Kilmarnock we’re heavily fancied to win the Championship this campaign, and may very well do that, but they’re going to have their work cut out of them if they want to topple the Highland outfit. The Caley Jags made it five wins out of five to begin the campaign with a 3-1 home win over Partick Thistle in the prickly-plant derby. Dodds’ side were a goal down at the break but produced a tremendous second-half performance to take all three points.

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic)

You can’t ask for much more on a debut that a unanimous man-of-the-match performance and a crucial goal, albeit with a stroke of good fortune, which sends your new club on the path to victory. Celtic fans are already enquiring as to how much it would cost to make the centre-back’s switch from Tottenham Hotspur a permanent one.

James Tavernier (Rangers)

The reigning champions needed a moment of magic to overcome a stubborn St Johnstone side early on Saturday afternoon and it was their captain, not for the first or last time, who managed to provide it. His 79th-minute winner had an incredible combination of dip and power, giving Zander Clark no chance and ensuring Rangers were once again able to take maximum points from a game in which they didn’t look anywhere near their best.

LOSERS

Peter Grant (Dunfermline Athletic)

The former Celtic star was a universally unpopular hire with the Dunfermline support, who queried why their club were bringing in a manager who had been relegated from the same division the previous season. Grant’s odd quotes about his CV (which he didn’t submit) blowing every other candidate out of the water didn’t help matters. But even then the fanbase would have had a hard time envisioning a reality of one point from four matches and a spot at the bottom of the cinch Championship table. Saturday’s 3-1 away defeat to managerless Ayr United was the latest ignominy suffered as Grant already appears to be running out of time.

Greg Taylor (Celtic)

It’s not a particularly nice feeling for any footballer to suffer an injury and spend any length of time on the sidelines. It’s even worse when your understudy comes on in your place and has a cracker. Youngster Adam Montgomery replaced Taylor in the 48th minute on Saturday and looked more suited to the inverted full-back role compared with the Scottish international. Celtic fans have never really taken to Taylor en masse and some were already calling for him to be dropped out of the starting XI prior to Saturday’s 3-0 win over Ross County. The 23-year-old now faces an anxious wait to see if manager Ange Postecoglou ultimately agrees with that sentiment.

Matt Millar (St Mirren)

The Australian midfielder will probably be delighted that his new manager had enough faith to pitch him in from the start against Dundee United just a few days after joining the club. However, it couldn’t have been the most enjoyable 65 minutes for a player who, by his own admission, hasn’t trained with a club in several months and is still suffering severe jet lag following his trip from down under. It was clear he was struggling big time for fitness and looked knackered after 30 minutes. He’s been hailed as a speedy player, something St Mirren badly need, so you can perhaps see Jim Goodwin’s thinking here, but it was still an odd one and didn’t allow the player to make a positive first impression.

Paul Sheerin (Falkirk)

The Bairns’ impressive start to the new campaign under the ex-Aberdeen midfielder has already hit the skids with Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Alloa Athleic their third loss on the bounce. One of those was in the Premier Sports Cup to Kilmarnock, a team a level above in the SPFL food chain, but it’s still enough to worry a support that’s been the victim of constant incompetence in both the boardroom and dugout these past few years. Sheerin looked like bucking the trend in his first few games with the only points dropped being an impressive draw at Cove Rangers despite horrendous squad issues due to Covid-19, as his side took on opponents with an attractive brand of football. But at present they sit fourth as one of only two full-time teams in a part-time league. Fans are praying this is only just a blip as they can’t bare the thought of a fourth successive season in the third tier.

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