Former Morton midfielder Andy Ritchie believes Scottish football is suffering from a lack of football ‘mavericks’ who once graced the game.
In fact, he feels they are “almost extinct” due to players being forced to play in a system rather than having a free role to produce moments of inspiration which he became famous for.
Willie Johnston, Jim Baxter, Gerry McCabe, Charlie Nicholas and Chic Charnley have all long since hung up their boots and Ritchie says there are not many around in Scotland these days who have the ability and swagger that these players did.
“I would think we were almost extinct,” he told Peter and Roughie’s Football Show.
“I don’t see very many play that way now. The system and the way the game is played dictates that it’s more important to be part of the system than to be a little bit out of left field. We need more young players to come through.
“James McFadden was probably the last one I would put that tag on.
“He was a bit of a maverick and played the way he thought the game should be played similar to myself and many others such as Chic Charnley. But there was a place in the game for them but I don’t think there is now.”
Ritchie has been impressed by his former side Morton who sit sixth in the Championship and he believes the newly promoted side could even be in the hunt for the play-offs come the end of the season.
“They’ve got an outside chance of making the play-offs.
“Jim Duffy is an old team-mate of mine and I saw them coming out of the second division last season. They’ve raised their game and produced some spanking results.
“I thought they would be looking to consolidate their position this season but they’ve went beyond that.”