Several years ago, when Brendan Rodgers was becoming the first manager ever in this country to win back to back trebles, after yet another storming season where he and the team swept everything aside with a measured ease, the two main manager of the year awards went elsewhere.
One went to Steve Clarke, the other to Jack Ross.
The media’s rationale was that having won the treble the year before that Rodgers was “expected” to do it again.
What nonsense. He was “expected” to do what no other manager in the history of Scotland had ever done before?
It smelled fishy.
Others said that with the assets at his disposal, he had to be considered differently than the rest. Hence they had given it to others who had “exceeded” what was expected of them.
Those of us who’ve heard this guff before knew it wouldn’t hold up for long.
Fast forward to last season; Gerrard wins his first (and only) trophy in nine attempts, having spent more money probably than anyone in the recent history of the game.
But nobody should have been talking about him in the context of great achievements; another manager shot for the moon and delivered so far above expectations that I didn’t think there was any way that he would not be the manager of the year. St Johnstone winning the two cups?
Their manager had to get it, right? Well, of course not.
Callum Davidson was the manager of the year last season no matter what metric you wanted to use, no matter what criteria you were calculating it on. His achievement was sensational. It was truly a one-off.
Yet all talk that he deserved it for elevating his team above all expectation was brushed aside as the media rushed to crown their favourite.
Ange Postecoglou is the manager of the year in waiting, whether he gets over the line on the treble or the double or not. His achievement in rebuilding this team and getting it to a place where it could challenge on all fronts, including delivered a trophy already, has been other-worldly. If he does win the league, then the vote should be a formality.
But of course it’s not a formality and most of us don’t trust the process at all. How can we when Rodgers can win a treble and not get it on account of not having exceeded expectations (as if you were able to following an Invincible Treble) and Davidson didn’t get it in spite of clearly meeting that criteria and then some.
There are people who will not want to give this award to Ange, people who made their minds up that he was going to be a flop and simply cannot bring themselves to admit that they were badly, badly wrong.
There are others whose bitterness just won’t allow it.
They are going to take any excuse they can lay their hands on to vote for someone else.
Look out for constituencies forming around Tam Courts at Dundee Utd, and Robbie Neilson at Hearts.
One of them has a good chance of emerging as the media darling in all this.
And since one of the awards went to Jack Ross in Rodgers’ second season for winning the Championship, you can bet that the sectarian reptile Dick Campbell has “fans” in the press box.
Chris Sutton has said that Ange is so far ahead of his peers this season that there ought not even need to be a vote, because he should walk it.
I think every single one of us would wholeheartedly agree.
But this is Scotland, where bigotry and bias will determine how a lot of people cast their lots.
You can’t count on anything except the chances of being appalled by what they choose.