Kris Boyd has finally hung his boots up. His tailor is rubbing his hands at the prospect of all the work he’s about to get! When I started thinking about how best to pay tribute to Boyd’s career I had a thought. Who, as a Rangers fan, do you remember more fondly – Boyd with 138 goals in 234 games or Nacho Novo with 73 goals in 255 games? Here in lies the problem. Is Kris Boyd a legend or has he tarnished his reputation irreparably to become a letdown? In this analysis, we have a look at the prolific frontman.
Moments of magic
Rangers fans will always acknowledge Boyd’s sheer volume of goals but when the sands of time have passed, what do we remember? We remember moments. Cup final goals. Moments of magic and inspiration. For Rangers fans, goals against ‘them’. Novo scored more goals against Celtic and in Europe than Boyd, the man for the big occasion. Combine the pair of them and you have the perfect striker.
It’s a sad indictment that I can only remember a few moments of brilliance from Boyd. Rangers certainly got their money’s worth in terms of goals though, £500k doesn’t go far in the modern game. His debut, if anything, epitomises his Rangers career. A hat-trick v Peterhead in the Scottish Cup. The ultimate flat track bully.
In the marathon 2007/08 season, he scored doubles in both cup final wins v Dundee United and Queen of the South respectively. The latter included as well struck a free-kick as you’ll ever see. Despite his 25 goals in 41 games, this season is best remembered for Daniel Cousin, Jean-Claude Darcheville and Nacho Novo. As I said, we remember moments and big occasions.
Free kick v Queen of the South
Boyd never scored many goals against Celtic or against European opposition. You could argue that he wasn’t given a lot of game time on these occasions but there was a reason for this. Mobility wasn’t his strong point. He could hold the ball up if it was played to his feet, not if he had to run for it first though. He worked best with an energetic partner. Between 2008/09 and 2009/10 he forged a lethal combination with Kenny Miller, 91 goals in two seasons is exceptional. Why they weren’t paired together for Scotland is beyond me.
I always felt Boyd was hard done by on the international stage. At a time when Scotland couldn’t qualify for anything and struggled for goals, Boyd could’ve been the answer. Maybe not against the likes of Italy, Spain or Germany but in the other games against second and third tier nations. When Scotland needed a goal against Norway in 2008 you would think Boyd would be the ideal man to come off the bench, not Chris Iwelumo. Remember the sitter? Boyd doesn’t miss that unless it’s against Villarreal…
When you look at Kenny Miller’s return for Scotland with 18 goals in 69 games you have to think, would Scotland have been better sacrificing work rate for chance conversion? Why not play them both, they worked well together for Rangers. Scotland has a history of making things hard though. Costa Rica, Italia “90 springs to mind and Andy Roxburgh’s refusal to play Ally McCoist and Maurice Johnson together despite their club form together.
There’s no doubt Boyd will be remembered for his goals. He’ll also be remembered for his part in the Paul Le Guen revolt, his abysmal form in the Scottish Championship in 2014/15 and his miss v Villarreal that cost us a quarter-final place in the 2007 Champions League. His reputation has also been sullied by his media career whilst he has still been playing. Constantly criticising Rangers in any form of media platform at every opportunity. It’s safe to safe he is a divisive figure in a way that Ally McCoist is with his playing and managerial career.
I’ll always appreciate what Boyd did for us but I’ll never love him in the same way as the likes of Novo or even Nikica Jelavić. There is, however, a chance that he is one of the last of his kind. An out and out penalty box striker. For this, he should always be remembered fondly, how we would idolise a striker that guaranteed over 25 goals a season, every season, now. It was the games against the jobbers that cost Rangers last season and that is where he was king.
Kris Boyd, The King of the Jobbers, first of his name, scorer of goals, what is fat will never run!