Anyone who had missed the opening games would have had difficulty recognising the team. The reassuring sight of the new claret and amber strip would confirm that Motherwell were playing but just compare the teams:
starting eleven v Kilmarnock in May: Krysiak, Craigan, McLean, Klimpl, Hammell, Hughes, Quinn, Sutton, Clarkson, O'Brien and Sheridan,
starting eleven v Aberdeen in August: Ruddy, Craigan, Saunders, Hammell, Reynolds, Hateley, Coke, Jutkiewicz, Forbes, Murphy and O'Brien.
One of the fundamentals of the relationship between a fan and the club is the bond which supporters have with the players. We enjoy seeing youngsters break into the team and develop over a number of years. We respect those who show loyalty to the club and stay for a lengthy spell. Fans can recite by rote the line up of teams which achieved prominence in the league or were successful in cup competitions. A high turnover, such as taken place in Motherwell in the last few months, disrupts the rapport.
Out - Smith, Clarkson, Sheridan, Hughes, Malcolm, Quinn and McLean
The team in Albania
In - Ruddy, Jennings, Coke, Humphrey, Jutkiewicz, Hateley and Moutaouakil.
But fans need heroes and we have to look to the current squad to choose the next batch. Forbes, Slane, Murphy and Saunders are contenders from our developing youngsters while Ruddy and Coke seem to be stand-outs from the latest batch of imports but they will have to serve more than six months or a year to receive long term recognition.