Football is littered with stars, fans’ favourites and cult heroes, but is there, or has there ever been, anyone so good that they could force the tag of a “one-man team” upon their side?
There are numerous examples of successful teams who have had this suggestion aimed at them, from the Maradona-inspired Argentina of 1986 to modern-day Liverpool, inspired by Steven Gerrard.
Even Manchester United now stand accused as Wayne Rooney continues his huge contribution towards their quest for silverware this season.
Teams will always have star players, usually goalscorers or creators, but to suggest that they can be solely responsible for success is, in my opinion, far from the case.
While there is no doubt that these types of players are extremely valuable to a team, they are only able to produce their moments of inspiration through the efforts and abilities of their team-mates.
A quarterback in American football would find it very difficult without a strong defensive line to protect him, so why should our own star performers be any different in requiring support to perform to their best?
In my own career, probably the best example I can provide is that of Russell Latapy during my time at Falkirk. Without any doubt, Russell is as close as I have come to playing and training alongside someone who was world class.
In terms of his ability to receive the ball, keep it, make passes, be creative and score goals, he was fantastic and was a massive factor in Falkirk’s progression upon the club’s return to the Scottish Premier League.
However, he was provided the platform to display his talents and influence games by the players who performed alongside him, and while John Hughes allowed Russell to play in the free role behind his strikers, it meant huge workloads and game appreciation from his fellow midfielders — and his back four to recognise the opportunities he could sometimes leave for other teams.
These other players were also responsible for giving him good quality possession ball in the areas of the pitch from which he could punish the opposition.
Every fan will remember, or currently have their own football “magician” such as Latapy, but they should never overlook the water carriers, or “shovellers” as our assistant manager Andy Millen likes to call them.
They are just as important to the performance of a team, and hugely appreciated by those within a side, especially the star performers, and are the reason why there really is no such thing as a one-man team!
From my own viewpoint, it has been a difficult week, in that I sustained an injury at Ibrox on Wednesday night.
There was concern regarding the severity of the injury and, while the scans and expert opinions I have received have brought some good news, I am still facing a period on the sidelines.
Our draw at Kilmarnock was only the fourth game I have missed since I arrived at St Mirren and within that time I can only recall not training on a handful of occasions, and therefore the upcoming period of rehabilitation is going to be a frustrating one but obviously necessary as I aim to return as soon as is physically possible. (Jack Ross is a Falkirk player).