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Inverness Caledonian Thistle And Terry Butcher Top Of The Tree.

Saturday 14th September 2013
It is early in the season to start lauding the achievements of Inverness Caledonian Thistle but it is not too early to start appreciating the job that Terry Butcher has done at the club.

The former England defender has steered Thistle to an unbeaten start to the season as they top the Scottish Premier League, completing the process of mediocre Championship side to challenging for the top spot.

After the joining the club in 2009 Butcher has overseen promotion to the SPL and the best finish in the clubs history with fourth place last year. The club only narrowly missed out on a Europa League spot as well.

Thistle are not just a competitive SPL side, they are also filling the void left by Rangers when they found themselves relegated to the lower regions of Scottish football, providing a challenge to current champions Celtic.

It is a refreshing sight to see in Scottish football as a different team challenge the dominance of Celtic.

Last year Celtic swept aside all opposition as they walked towards the title, something that is not a certainty to happen again this year.

The reason behind Celtic's relative woes, very simple they have sold match winning players and not replaced adequately.

The sale of Gary Hooper in particular will be a big blow as he has been top scorer for the hoops since he joined them from Scunthorpe.

The question now for Celtic is where do the goals come from? Giorgio Samaras and Anthony Stokes? Celtic fans should be concerned as they were reduced to long distance shots in their Champions League first tie qualifier with Shakter Karagandy.

Still back to the matter at hand what is the reason behind this rise from Thistle?

Well under Butcher the club had its best away win run stretching through the entire 2010 calendar year but this is not the only reason.

Butcher and Thistle have also proven they are not scared by the bigger clubs as proven by their solid 2-2 draw with Celtic earlier this season, if anything the side embodies Butchers never say die attitude, as the manager just continues to improve his stock amongst fans.

Still the indisputable reason for Thistles good early season form is simple; Butcher went about his business smartly. As strengthening of key areas of the team was completed as 9 players were brought in, whilst 12 went in the opposite direction.

The signings have paid off quickly gelling as Thistle have a won four of their five games, form which has seen captain and midfield maestro Richie Foran pick up the Player of the Month award.

Though new players have helped Thistle strengthen you can't forget the players who were there before, Foran was Butchers first signing and has rewarded his manager with fine early season performances.

Still as easy as it is to concentrate on Celtic's lack of business and Thistle's strengthening, the fact remains that it is early days and the pendulum could swing in the favour of anyone. But as early season form goes the early favourites have to be Celtic and Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

This will surely mean more to Terry Butcher and his team who are not tagged as favourites alongside Celtic every season.
Phill Inman
I'm 23 years old and followed football all my life. Still waiting for my talent and prowess to get spotted on the pitch, until that happens I hope you enjoy reading my articles.

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