GLF 56:Kenny looks back a decade and discovers that it was a good season in 94/95.
It was a very good year
Rangers and Celtic have occupied the top two spots for almost ten years running now and it’s unlikely that we’ll see them split again for the foreseeable future.Along with Hibs,the mighty ‘Well were the last club to split the old firm finishing runners - up behind Rangers in season 1994 - 95 with Hibs finishing third and Celtic fourth.
That season was McLeish’s first in charge and whilst it's probably agreed by most that the side was carrying on the momentum from the previous season when they finished third with the same number of points behind Aberdeen and Rangers,it’s still a landmark season in the recent history of Scottish football.To give an idea of exactly how much times have changed since then,the following is an extract from a Sunday Mail match report the day after we beat Killie 3-2 ;
‘ MOTHERWELL striker Tommy Coyne capped a superb performance with a double strike as title - chasing ‘Well got the better of Kilmarnock in a Fir Park thriller .’
The beginning of the season saw the ‘Well in Europe for the second time in their history drawn against Faroe Islands side Hanver Boltfleg in the UEFA Cup.They ran out comfortable 3 - 0 winners in the first leg thanks to goals from Coyne, McGrillen and Kirk.The second leg was a similar affair with goals from Davies,Burns and two from Kirk ensuring a 4 - 1 victory,7 - 1 on aggregate.
The second leg paired us with Borussia Dortmund and a side containing the likes of Moeller,Riedle,Sammer and Chapuisat.The ‘Well fought bravely and I can still remember watching the game at home on German television leaping up thinking we’d scored when Coyne clipped the post after sliding in on a cross,in the end Moeller netted for the Germans securing a 1 - 0 win.
The second leg was switched to a Wednesday afternoon and I developed a sudden bout of toothache and had to be excused from school for the afternoon - interestingly enough so did one of my maths teachers.
It was to prove a disappointing affair as Dortmund won two - nil,but the game sticks in my mind much more because it was the first time that I had seen such blatant diving and play - acting,something which wasn’t quite so prevalent in Scottish football at the time.
The league campaign began with a 2 - 1 defeat away to Rangers,however I was becoming increasingly accustomed to sharing the bragging rights with my contemporaries as we managed to continue on from the previous season,winning two out of the four encounters ;a 2 - 1 victory at Fir Park in October when Dougie Arnott gave Basil Boli a torrid time,bagging a double against the ‘Gers for the third time in his career.This was followed by a memorable 2 - 0 victory at Ibrox in April which brought to an end Rangers 14 - game unbeaten home record,Arnott was again on the score - sheet netting the first,he was joined by Shaun McSkimming who scored in spectacular fashion from all of 25 yards.
Other than the opening day defeat to Rangers,the UEFA cup defeat and a disappointing League Cup exit at the hands of Airdrie,the ‘Well were undefeated in the league from August right up until mid - December when we lost 1 - 0 to Aberdeen.
However it was inconsistency that marked the remainder of the season as we failed to mount a serious title challenge and Rangers pulled away at the top.The run of seven games with only one win which followed was a critical blow to our title aspirations, the worst moment coming via a 6 - 1 drubbing at Tannadice.
McLeish had money to spend after the sale of Uncle Phil to Celtic for £ 1.75m,and he brought in Andy Roddie from Aberdeen and Shaun McSkimming from Kilmarnock as he looked to freshen up things.He then secured the services of Eddie May for £ 100,000 with McGrillen and fans favourite Steve Kirk thrown in.At Falkirk May had been a goal - scoring midfielder,but McLeish decided that he was better served at right - back.
Looking back now this proved to be an indicator of where the side was headed under McLeish’s reign,and we are left to wonder at what could have been had McLean not resigned.
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