24. James McFadden
|Name James McFadden|
|Squad number 7|
|Height 5′ 10″|
|Weight 12st 5lbs|
|Born April 14, 1983|
|Int Caps 48|
|Int Goals 15|
There were many who doubted James McFadden’s pledge that he would return to Fir Park for a second spell, but in February 2013 Faddy was true to his word he signed a short-term deal to re-join Motherwell until the end of the 2012’13 campaign. A deal that, to the delight of the Motherwell support, was subsequently extended in the summer of 2013.
McFadden of course began his career at Fir Park making his début on Boxing Day 2000 at home to Dundee and before a £1.25m transfer to Everton in September 2004 had netted 31 times in 70 league and cup games, became a full Scotland internationalist and captured the hearts of the Motherwell support.
Highlights? There were many! Sensational goals? Plenty! One such case being his hat-trick against Livingston in a 6-2 romp on the final day of the 03’04 season.
His goals that rainy afternoon included a cheekily dinked penalty that left Alan Main red-faced and completed by running from his own half and tearing the Livi defence to shreds before coolly slotting past Main. All whilst sporting the captain’s arm-band he had been issued with just moments before.
James was required to adapt his game to adjust to life in England, sometimes having to curb his attacking instincts, and as a consequence became a more rounded player during his time with Everton and latterly Birmingham.
In a Scotland jersey however he remained a talismanic figure to the Tartan Army capable to single-handedly turning games in Scotland’s favour.
Few will forget goals such as the lung-bursting run against Macedonia, the curled finish against Holland or the forty-yard strike that he will always be best remembered for against the French in the Parc de Princes.
Unfortunately though in more recent times it has been far from plain sailing for McFadden with injury severely restricting his opportunities at Birmingham and in short-term spells back at Everton and Sunderland. Even things with Scotland turned sour.
At various points in his career James returned to Fir Park, sometimes socially and sometimes to make of the Fir Park training facilities during a period of rehabilitation. Following a training stint in January 2013 he was able to agree a deal with ‘Well gaffer Stuart McCall and signed on to play for the Steelmen for a second time.
It was a mutually beneficial deal where McFadden looked to benefit from the opportunity to play regular first team football to kick-start his career once more; whilst the Steelmen secured the signing of a English Premier League standard player on a free transfer in the hope it would help secure a second place finish in the SPL.
To great excitement McFadden was listed as a substitute as ‘Well hosted Dundee Utd in a re-arranged league fixture in February and received a huge ovation from the Motherwell fans when he was introduced midway through the second period. Faddy was truly back home!
Making his first start back in a Motherwell jersey he helped inspire his team-mates to a 2-1 win over Celtic and McFadden would taste defeat just twice in 11 games there after as the Steelmen did indeed nail down that runners-up spot. Included in that run were four goals from the Scotland internationalist the first of which was like McFadden of old as he lead the Hibernian defence a merry dance before slotting home with a sublime finish.
‘Well fans spent the summer with bated breath anxious to see if McFadden would become another of the hugely successful side to depart but when the squad travelled to Spain for their July training camp there was delight when McFadden was among those to travel.
A new one year deal was sealed and McFadden was involved with a Motherwell side in Europe for the first time as ‘Well took on Russians Kuban Krasnodar in the Europa League.
James netted his first of the season in the 2-1 win over Livingston in the League Cup but would endure a difficult first few months of the campaign.
After a spell on the sidelines however he looked a rejuvenated figure when given a start against Partick Thistle in December ’13, scoring and turning in a Man of the Match display as the Jags were thrashed 5-1. Just three days later McFadden netted again as this time St Johnstone were put to the sword by the Steelmen.
|Season||Started||Sub On||Goals||Yellow Card||Red Card|