Most famous for his goal against the French in Paris, James McFadden has been and is still idolised by Motherwell supporters everywhere. His attacking style of play and never say die attitude has won him fans across Scotland and Britain as a whole. The former Everton and Birmingham midfielder has come full circle in his career and is back at Fir Park where it all began. But what is next for ‘Faddy’?
Well, he has been fantastic so far in his second spell at Motherwell. His quality shines through almost every week and especially against Celtic recently, showed how he is probably better than most other players in the SPL. His willingness to run at the opposition and take defenders on makes him a breath of fresh air in the Scottish Premier League. His class has shone through in his past few matches and he is without a doubt, one of the most well-rounded players in the league. His passing is almost faultless and despite being only 5 foot 10, his ability in the air is quite something. This was especially prominent when he was beating Celtic striker Georgios Samaras in the air.
That goal. My god, what a goal it was. ‘McFadden drags it down, now. A long way out. Ooooooh. What a goal by McFadden! Magic from James McFadden! He’s a genius again for Scotland! They’ve been suckered in Parc des Princes! James McFadden from FORTY yards into the roof of the net! Pick it out, Landreau! France nil, Scotland one!’ Need I say more? I think Clyde One’s Peter Martin covered it.
McFadden was seen as a beacon of hope for Motherwell during his first spell with the Steelmen. During the dark days of administration, James was one of the very few rays of hope at Fir Park. His exciting style of play and his ‘maverick’ character – missing flights after being out the night before with Scotland was one example of this. The sale of Faddy to Everton also brought in some much-needed income to the ‘Well, to the tune of £1.25 million.
The Springburn-born player took more than a year to find the back of the net for the Toffees. He finally broke his duck on the 1st January 2005 against Tottenham, a game that Everton lost 5-2. He scored his second a week later in a League Cup match against Plymouth Argyle. The 2005/06 season was a bit of an up and down one for McFadden as he failed to hold down a starting place, although he bagged a total of seven goals that season, including a spectacular 35-yard volley against Fulham.
The following season was equally frustrating as Everton’s signing of Andrew Johnson meant that first team places were hard to come by for McFadden. His case wasn’t helped when he broke his fifth metatarsal in training, putting him out of action for three months. One of the few highlights of his 2006/07 season was his sublime injury time volley against Charlton Athletic. A goal that was later named Sky Sports goal of the season.
Faddy endeared himself further to his home town club’s fans when he scored against Metalist Kharkiv, celebrating by pointing to his black armband and then to the sky in memory of Phil O’Donnell. An action, that was never forgotten and never will be.
That was his last major deed in the blue of Everton and he soon moved onto Birmingham City. His first goal came on his fourth appearance for City scoring a penalty against West Ham. McFadden barely played in his second season at Birmingham – the 2008/09 season – as he was hampered by a serious knee injury. He had a fairly quiet time at the Blues apart from serious anterior cruciate ligament damage that meant he did not play at all during the 2010/11 season.
After leaving City, Faddy had short spells with Everton [again]and Sunderland, playing very little first team football at Goodison or the Stadium of Light.
Then, on the 18th of February 2013, the news that every single Motherwell fan had been waiting to hear was finally confirmed. James McFadden had signed for Motherwell. It wasn’t a long deal, but that didn’t matter. That brings us full circle to the present day.
But what is next for James? Well, as mentioned earlier, his form recently has been nothing short of exceptional so unfortunately, Motherwell will have a real struggle to keep him. The majority of teams in the English championship and dare I say it, some of the English Premier League teams would be more than happy to have him and being only 29, I’m sure he would have a lot more to give them – barring he can keep any serious injuries at bay.