Scottish goal machine Kris Boyd has become a free agent after ripping up his contract with Turkish side Eskisehirspor following a dispute over unpaid wages. You would have thought the news of the SPL’s leading all-time scorer becoming available on a free would have teams jostling to the front of the queue for his signature, but they aren’t.
Former club Rangers have put his name on their Christmas wish list although financially the striker’s wages may be out of the club’s reach at this time. Rivals Celtic have also considered the possibility of a bid, although I would be surprised if that was little more than an attempt by Neil Lennon to stoke the fires before the Old Firm game. Mind games some would say. That two clubs are about as good as it will get for Boyd. English Premier League outfits wouldn’t have even batted an eyelid at the news of Boyd’s availability. The reason being Boyd is an enigma. He scores goals but contributes little else to a team.
During his time at Rangers life was full of guarantees for Boyd. He would run in continuous singles, doubles and hat-tricks against cannon fodder such as Hamilton Academicals and St Mirren then be dropped when it came to an Old Firm game or European encounter. Unfortunately for Boyd, since leaving Rangers he has failed to silence his critics who claimed he was a flat-track bully capable of scoring prodigiously in an inferior league but not at a higher level.
His Middlesbrough career never took off and Gordon Strachan paid the penalty with his job. Furthermore he faced a similar situation in Turkey where the manager who put faith in him to sign him was soon replaced by another who had an entirely different opinion. Boyd signed a three-year deal in July. Within days his manager, Bulent Uygun, was arrested as part of a Turkish match-fixing investigation and replaced by Michael Skibbe. The German was not a fan of Boyd’s lethargic style of play. Boyd played 76 minutes during his 6 months in Turkey and chucked it due to the club failing to pay his wages.
Nevertheless despite the setbacks his CV must remain enticing to clubs. 127 goals in four and a half years at Ibrox shows he knows where the goal is. Teams do have to carry him though as frankly he offers little else. Still, in my opinion he’s worth that extra baggage as goals win games and win titles. Having that knack of being in the right place at the right time is rare and priceless commodity in today’s game.
The former Scottish international is a throwback to an era when a player could survive almost exclusively as a scorer of goals. Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Pippo Inzaghi, Gary Lineker are some of the finest goal poachers to have played the game. However clubs demand more now and goal poachers are going from being the hunter to the hunted. Extinction is looming. Boyd is one of few left in the game. Where he ends up plying his trade remains to be seen. One thing is for sure; give him games and his name will once again become an all-to familiar sight on the Gillette Soccer Saturday goal ticker during 2012.