Brendan Rodgers has been in the Celtic hot seat for five months of the season thus far, not including this one.
In that time he has won the Manager of the Month award three times. On the other two occasions – one where they gave it to Richie Foran and the other where it was handed to Robbie Neilson, he was purely and simply stiffed.
I don’t think he cares one way or another, but it’s ridiculous that he’s not just made it five in a row.
When Foran won it in November there might – in hindsight – be some argument to be made. Not at the time. In fact, in light of Brendan’s successes since that does actually look better than it did when it was announced, when most people snorted derision.
Neilson got his award for two wins and two draws, in a month where we won every domestic game and turned in a couple of decent European performances to boot. But those domestic games included a cup final and non-domestic football doesn’t fit the criteria.
Nevertheless, we did play two league games that month and won them. Had we played an extra one there would have been no question that Brendan would have snapped up the award. He is, purely and simply, unconquered here in Scotland. Three out of five manager of the month awards is only the start of it. The hacks who seemed almost bitterly determined to deprive Neil Lennon and Ronny Deila of being named Manager of the Year will have no case to answer come seasons end.
It’s going to be Brendan Rodgers.
Look at the Player of the Month awards; they might surprise you. This month we’ve taken home that gong – Stuart Armstrong, for exceptional displays – but its only the second time a Celtic player has done so; Moussa did it in September, the very month where they gave the manager award to Foran. The other three players of the month have been Liam Boyce (August) of Ross County; Adam Barton (October) of Partick Thistle and Bjorn Johnsen of Hearts (November.)
None has been as consistent as Armstrong or Simunovic or Sinclair or Moussa or Rogic or Brown or Sviatchenko over the course. When it comes time for awarding the annual baubles there is little question that there will be three, perhaps more, Celtic players on the shortlist. The only danger is that they cancel each other out and some Sevconite who’s played three good games gets in there by virtue of luck and a little tactical voting.
I actually don‘t expect either. We look certain to do the clean sweep, even this early.
It would take a calamitous loss of form to take those things away from us.
A lot of folk say this stuff doesn’t count; of course it counts. Our players and our manager have set such exceptionally high standards that it’s inconceivable they won’t get the recognition for that which they deserve. In fact, it would be disgraceful.