Ange Postecoglou is the Manager of the Year.
That’s regardless of what happens between now and the end of the season.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no point in even starting the voting. Postecoglou’s work at Celtic makes him the outstanding candidate and you’d be as well just handing him the award right now.
No doubt this statement is going to get folks hot under the collar but, if you are being honest and unbiased, who else can anyone really vote for?
Celtic were an absolute shambles at the beginning of the season. The club had lost the title by a massive 25 points last season to Rangers.
It was a one-sided Rangers route. My old club was a mess. The entire squad needed upheaval. I needed a brand new team.
Postecoglou was walking into an alien environment and he had to turn around the squad and the mood.
Not only has he done it, he might just be about to win the title along with it.
Even if he doesn’t, it has been some turnaround. Let’s face it, no-one, including me, gave him a hope of overcoming Rangers in his first season.
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Postecoglou has brought a brand of football which is exciting, he has signed a raft of players such as Kyogo Furuhashi, Jota and Liel Abada who have lit up the season in Scotland and he has rejuvenated an institution which was in serious trouble.
Are there other contenders? Yes, you would say there is.
Rangers might win the Premiership but Steven Gerrard had them 25 points ahead in the last campaign.
Winning the Europa League would be an incredible effort. That would be a game changer, but, as well as they have done to reach the last eight, I can’t see it.
Don’t get me wrong. I like Gio Van Bronckhorst. He was a good mate of Henrik Larsson’s when we were all in Glasgow together playing and he’s a good guy.
However, having been so far ahead last term, this season should have been an open goal for Rangers.
Postecoglou took over Del Trotter’s three-wheeler while van Bronckhorst was grabbing hold of a Lamborghini.
If Robbie Neilson manages to add a Scottish Cup success to finishing third in the Premiership with Hearts on their return to the top-flight, then that would be a superb effort.
But as we all know, the voting is concluded before the Scottish Cup Final is played, so that’s going to make him a non starter.
I don’t agree with that, incidentally. They should wait until the season is over before making these decisions but I don’t make the rules.
And unless it has changed this season for the first-time ever, it’s not going to be the case.
Let’s face it, if the voting had run until after all the games in all the competitions were finished last season, Callum Davidson would have won it for a famous cup double with a provincial team such as St Johnstone and not Gerrard.
If there’s one guy who can rip the crown away from Postecoglou, it would be Dick Campbell.
What he has done at Arbroath this season is absolutely superb.
To have a part-time team maintain their status in the Championship is a big
To have them fighting for the title with just a handful of games remaining and having the dream of reaching the top flight still alive at this stage is an incredible effort. If Dick were to win it, I’d change my tune. But hand on heart, I just think Kilmarnock will have too much under Derek McInnes.
And even if Arbroath got through to the play-off Final, I’d see a St Johnstone being too fresh and strong for them over two legs.
Paul Hartley is doing a fine job with Cove Rangers and looks set to take them up the ladder again and into the second tier.
Kevin Thomson likewise at Kelty Hearts as they appear destined to win League Two.
Same as Cove, just because quite a few expected it might happen, it doesn’t mean it’s any less of a great effort from him and his squad.
But, when you are talking about Managers of the Year, you are talking about the elite and the ones who do the best jobs at the biggest clubs under the sternest of pressures.
Winning major trophies is what it is all about in the game and Postecoglou has already got one in the bag having landed the Premier Sports Cup.
To get that in the cabinet within six months of such a monumental rebuild was a cracking return.
I’m willing to deduct points from overall score for the meek effort against Bodo/Glimt in the Euro Conference League but you could tell by his team selection in Norway that, rightly or wrongly, attention was on the title race and not that competition having gone out of the Champions and Europa Leagues.
I know Glasgow, I know the pressures of having to deliver.
To walk into that environment and take over when things are going well is one thing. To do it when there is chaos in the building and still deliver is some achievement.
Postecoglou might well go on and win a Treble.
But, even if he doesn’t, I’d say he’s Manager of the Year material.