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3 Arbroath talking points: What can ambitious Angus club achieve in 2022?

Joel Nouble celebrates with teammates in one of his last games for Arbroath.
Joel Nouble celebrates with teammates in one of his last games for Arbroath.

Arbroath rang in the bells with a hard-fought draw with Inverness at a gale-hit Gayfield to remain top of the Scottish Championship.

That extended their unbeaten run to 12 games.

That underlined their credentials as serious contenders with more than half the season gone.

But as we kick-off a new year, what can Arbroath achieve in 2022?

As usual, Courier Sport was at Gayfield with the national media spotlight turned firmly on Arbroath in the absence of Scottish Premiership action.

And here are three talking points on the league leaders as they aim for a historic promotion to the top flight.

Farewell Joel Nouble

Joel Nouble has been a revelation for Arbroath - but will return to Livingston in the new year.
Joel Nouble has made a huge impact at Arbroath

Joel Nouble’s time at Arbroath wasn’t supposed to end this way.

The talismatic striker has just 90 minutes left in an Red Lichties shirt away to Ayr United next week before he heads back to parent club Livingston.

Sunday was his final game at Gayfield.

And Nouble will be sad it wasn’t a farewell victory in front of a packed crowd.

Without Covid-imposed restrictions of 500 people, this table-topping clash would have attracted a bumper crowd at Gayfield.

And it’s safe to say, almost every Arbroath fan would have been keen to pay gratitude to Nouble.

The impact Nouble has made during his six month loan stint stretches far beyond his silky skills on the pitch.

He has become a real fans’ favourite for the way he has connected with the club and its’ supporters.

Nouble has invested in the fabric of Arbroath and bought into its community-first ethos.

He will be sorely missed on and off the park.

Welcome back to Arbroath Jack Hamilton

As Nouble prepares to go back to Livingston, Jack Hamilton has moved in the opposite direction.

Hamilton is a familiar face at Gayfield.

His eight goals in 14 games helped Arbroath survive in the Championship last term.

But the task is very different this time.

Hamilton has big boots to fill as he takes over from Nouble and his goals are this time needed for promotion not survival.

Hamilton almost got off to the perfect start as he had the ball in the net.

But while the effort was ruled offside, his poaching instincts were clear for all to see.

Only a fool would write-off Arbroath

Dick Campbell used his post-match interview to take aim at critics who haven’t yet given his club the credit he feels they deserve.

He feels Arbroath haven’t even been quoted as promotion contenders by some.

In the same breath, he’s keen to stick to the ’40 points for survival’ line.

It’s absolutely true that Arbroath’s first aim in August was to stay up.

And barring a spectacular disaster – a run of 16 straight defeats – there’s no chance they will go down.

Saturday was far from vintage Arbroath and casual observers will wonder what all the fuss is about.

But Arbroath are top on merit. They have been the best team in the league this year and they CAN stay there.

Dick Campbell: Any fool who writes Arbroath off knows nothing about football

 

 

 

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