If there is justice in the world, it will be Kyogo Furuhashi who storms to every single one of Scottish football’s awards at the end of this campaign. Realistically, the challenge to him will come from Celtic Park. There are several contenders, such as Callum McGregor and Cameron Carter Vickers. It is clear now that Daizen Maeda will be up there as well.
But two footballers have emerged in the “possibles” category of late, and I would not rule out the prospect of one or both of them being on the shortlist.
They have emerged as the unlikeliest of heroes, although the World Cup proved conclusively that one of them was a class apart. His name, of course, was Aaron Mooy, and yet still his emergence as a key part of this team has surprised a lot of people.
All but Ange Postecoglou, of course, who knew exactly what Mooy could do.
The other, I think it’s fair to say, has surprised us all. Greg Taylor is the real breakout success story of the campaign, and when he slammed home the opener last night it sealed his return to the team after his spell out with an injury and reminded us that he is a quality footballer and one who has grown into a difficult role in this side.
He has been sensational this season, and his performance last night indicates how sorely he was missed when we visited Ibrox last month. Of all the players in the squad, his rise and rise and rise has probably been the most satisfying to witness.
He and Mooy have become central to how we play.
I thought being deprived of Taylor and Mooy at Ibrox was part of the reason we looked a little disjointed that day and although Taylor will definitely play at Hampden, I wonder if Mooy has made himself a guaranteed starter as well.
He was benched last night to let O’Riley back into the side, and Matt played very well, but the fans gave Mooy a great reception when he came on, in recognition of his quality. When he came on you noticed a stepping up in our intensity and our play; he plays front-foot football as well as anyone in this squad at the moment.
He has an outside chance of the player of the year awards, but he’s gotten himself into the running. With 14 league games still to go and some cup football still to be played it is not impossible that he’ll make the shortlist at the very least.
And yeah, given the right run of “luck” – that word again – he might very well go all the way.
What a crowning achievement to his career that would be.