SPL Clydesdale Bank Team of the Week
GOALKEEPER - PAUL GALLACHER (St Mirren)
In what is likely to prove a tortuous campaign for Gus McPherson's side, Gallacher, the former Scotland keeper, was immaculate throughout his team's goalless draw with his old club, Dundee United. He enjoyed the occasional slice of good fortune, but was solid at the back and it is the accumulation of points with performances of this kind which could make all the difference to the Buddies.
DEFENDER - MADJID BOUGHERRA (Rangers)
The Ibrox men were forced to dig deep, following the needless sending-off of Kevin Thomson after only 13 minutes against Hearts, but when Walter Smith decided to chase the game, and reduced Rangers to three at the back, Bougherra was a tower of strength and poise under pressure in ensuring the visitors rallied from a first-half deficit to secure a win with Kris Boyd's late penalty.
DEFENDER - DARREN DODS (Dundee United)
The giant Tannadice centre-half was one of the few individuals to light up an otherwise dreary stalemate between his club and St Mirren. Dods was desperately unlucky not to break the deadlock when his volley crashed off the underside of Paul Gallacher's bar in the 35th minute and he subsequently made several telling interceptions to prevent his opponents stealing the points.
DEFENDER - CHRIS HOGG (Hibs)
A section of Hibs supporters were critical about the summer sale of Rob Jones to Scunthorpe, but their fears have been allayed by the composure which Hogg has exhibited since taking over the mantle of captain at Easter Road. Once again, he was in prime form as a potentially tricky trip to Falkirk turned into a straightforward win for the visitors, with Hogg providing plenty of security at the back.
MIDFIELDER - FRASER FYVIE (Aberdeen)
Scottish football needs all the precocious talent it can muster and the 16 year-old not only starred in Aberdeen's 3-0 trouncing of Hamilton, but duly became the youngest-ever Pittodrie player to appear in a competitive match. Strong and tenacious, he worked tirelessly for the cause and gained praise from his manager, Mark McGhee. "Fraser was industrious and busy. He is a red head, but I don't want to say he's like Paul Scholes. He's more like Ron Weasley - a wee bit of magic!"
MIDFIELDER - JIM O'BRIEN (Motherwell) Another youngster with an impressive maturity, the 21 year-old Fir Park man was a pivotal figure in his club's 3-1 victory over Kilmarnock. Indeed, such was the torrid time he inflicted on the opposing defence that the Killie manager, Jim Jefferies, was forced into making early substitutions, but to no avail.
MIDFIELDER - AIDEN McGEADY (Celtic)
He is attracting all manner of superlatives at the moment, as well as being linked with a number of English Premiership clubs and, on this form, one has to wonder why he fell out of favour with Gordon Strachan. Pacy, persevering and possessed of myriad tricks, McGeady bewitched and bewildered St Johnstone during Celtic's 5-2 success at Parkhead and maintained the consistent excellence he has demonstrated for his team and new manager, Tony Mowbray, in the last few weeks.
MIDFIELDER - LEE McCULLOCH (Rangers) A controversial choice, not least because he committed a couple of hair-raising tackles during the victory over Hearts and, in some people's opinion, was fortunate not to suffer the same fate as Thomson. However, on the plus side, McCulloch grabbed another crucial goal, bossed the midfield to the extent that one could have been forgiven for imagining it was the Jambos who were a man down, and offered so much unstinting commitment he has filled the gap left by Barry Ferguson.
STRIKER - SHAUN MALONEY (Celtic)
Here is a fellow who has been reinvigorated by returning to Celtic from Aston Villa, and continued his excellent start to the season with a substantial contribution to his team's 5-2 win over St Johnstone. It wasn't simply that he conjured up two goals of his own, but also the symbiotic partnership which he has developed with Aiden McGeady, which were so impressive. Maloney already has 15 Scotland caps and it wouldn't be surprising if the under-pressure Scotland coach, George Burley, recalled him to the national squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers.
STRIKER - DEREK RIORDAN (Hibs)
He has his critics, and has courted controversy off the pitch, but when he is on song, Riordan is a pocket dynamo, as he showed anew with a brace of goals in his side's 3-1 victory against Falkirk. His first strike highlighted his knack for finding space, his second was a sublime free kick, which rasped into the net. "Derek has that ability to transform matches and he did it again today," said his manager, John Hughes, once the dust had settled. "His free kick was just vintage Derek."
STRIKER - COLLIN SAMUEL (St Johnstone)
The pacy forward has always been a threat during his peripatetic career and he ensured that Celtic's Gary Caldwell endured another torrid afternoon at Parkhead, even though the host won comfortably in the end. Samuel sparked problems for his opponents on a regular basis, capitalised on Caldwell's howler to score, and generally oozed class and tenacity. "He spooked the Celtic centre-backs today," said his manager, Derek McInnes, and he was spot-on in that assessment.