The Celtic Boss Embarrassed The Sports Writers. They Might Want To Think About That.

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As was entirely predictable when the Sports Writers published their manager of the year list, a lot of them went for the guy over at Ibrox and have ended up looking rather foolish for having done it. Rodgers did not appear on the shortlist.

In winning the double, losing only three league games out of 38 and in winning four out of five of the derbies and going unbeaten in those, he humiliated those who had spent the season criticising him and heaped more of it on those who unthinkingly chose his rival. There are two parts of the problem here as I see it, and one of them has to do with timing.

Timing is easy enough to solve. They should, in the future, push these awards until after the big prizes are handed out. To do otherwise simply tempts fate. It is preposterous that they nominated Clement only for him to wind up a loser, whilst Rodgers, the ultimate winner, didn’t make the shortlist at all. It would have been wiser to wait.

But there’s a bigger issue here, of course.

When the PFA Scotland list came out their voters had decided neither of the Glasgow bosses should be on it. I found that hard to credit, but it was at least strategically smart. It was certainly a much smarter decision than the one taken by the sportswriters.

If you’re of the mind – as many are – that no boss of the two big Glasgow clubs should ever be on those lists, then that’s one thing. But if two managers are neck and neck and it’s not yet clear which of them is going to edge it, the only thing leading you to tip one over the other is bias, and bias was most definitely on full display in this particular case.

The Clement love-in was both ridiculous and nauseating and had been going on for many, many months. When Rodgers and McGregor both sat in front of the Sky interviewer the other day and said that they considered this the sweetest of their title wins I could not have agreed more; we all felt that way about it, right? Because of the relentless negativity that surrounded the whole of the campaign, every single bit of it coming from the hacks.

So many of the hacks wanted to believe in Clement. Understand that not all of it was about football bias. There are other sorts of bias. They wanted to be right. They had written Rodgers off, from the minute he came back through the Celtic Park doors.

They were already gulping down the Michael Beale Kool-Aid at the time. That’s what they want you to forget. This was nothing to do with thinking the Belgian was some sort of genius; they just wanted someone who could put Rodgers in his place and when The Mooch proved not up to it they switched their hopes to Clement in two seconds flat.

Too many of them could not bear to believe that Rodgers, who they had scorned for a variety of reasons, might be poised to make them look like absolute mugs. In the end that is exactly what they’ve been shown up to be.

In future they might want to think about this stuff before doing something so idiotic. The award went to Derek McInnes in the end; the manager who finished fourth. What did he do to deserve it? He didn’t get to a cup final, but he did knock us out of the League Cup, so perhaps that’s why he got it. He also beat both of the Glasgow clubs in the league … so perhaps that’s why people felt like they could have thrown it his way without controversy.

I think being judged on a handful of games is pathetic though.

Brendan Rodgers lost three domestic games in the course of the season and won a double. McInnes won 14, drew 14 and lost 10 in the league; if that’s “manager of the year” winning form then Keith Jackson is a real sportswriter after all.

What an embarrassment these awards have become. How devalued the whole affair is.

And it is the people who vote for them who have made them that way.

They might want to have a think about that.

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  • Walter Chinstrap says:

    Good morning James

    I’d like to thank you for your standard of writing over the season. I haven’t always agreed with some of your content but it’s up there with best, naw scrub that, it is the best blog I read.
    Throw in movie and literary comparisons and it’s a total delight.
    I always wonder if these media amateurs and sevco fanboys read your blog. Please God in heaven I hope they do.
    Keep it up, it’s not just a football blog it’s an education.

  • Jim M says:

    He who laughs last, laughs loudest,

    The media/pundits in this country are an embarrassment to themselves and their industry ?

  • king murdy says:

    morning james…totally agree with “walter chinstrap”….love your blog…and likewise, i don’t always agree…but your articles do make me think and question my views…
    regarding your article…i guess it really just comes down to good, old fashioned, anti – celtic/catholic/irish, bias or bigotry…i really believe this…i think this bias is always bubbling just under the surface….when i lived in glasgow, many years ago, it was really quite naked and unashamedly out there…but they like to think they have become civilised,reasonable, tolerant even…but it’s still there…
    maybe i’m wrong….

  • Celticfcman says:

    Three league losses plus 1 cup loss, totalling 4. Hearts twice, Killie twice. One home loss. 44 domestic matches. 6 draws. 34 wins, 29 league wins. All with a weakened squad full of injuries, and none of his own choices. Relentless evil and lies from the media, relentless cheating from the refs and SFA. Relentless propping up of a scumbag west of Scotland group of bigots, cheaters, and liars. BR STILL reigns supreme with a double. World manager of the year, and a job so well done that it reached Jock Stein level. Hail Hail.

  • Gerry says:

    James I’d like to acquiesce with, and echo Walter’s comments about your articles this past season.

    The standard and content is exceptional, and keeps us all in the loop.

    I do not buy or read any of the other ‘sports journalistic’ efforts, from our pathetically biased smsm, and I am very grateful to receive exhaustive and candid updates about our club and associated football matters.

    The assemblage and variety of post article comments is also both, interesting and entertaining, demonstrating the mood in our fanbase.

    Like all the good Celtic sites and bloggers out there, keep up the good work and on top of the inbred bias, at work, in our smsm and ‘punditry!’

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Tbh ah couldnae have told ye who won it. Havenae given it one shred of credibility, since the gerrard farce. They (the media) all probably thought clemmonts name was on it, until the wheels flew aff the so called ‘juggernaut’.

  • Martin says:

    Ever since Slippy got it ahead of Calum Davidson when he took St Johnstone to a cup double, this has been a nonsense. That BR was disregarded the year before on exactly the grounds that being part of the Glasgow duo poly counted against him only made stark what a biased decision Gerrard winning was. These things mean very little really to Celtic, but Davidson was a nailed on certainty for that award that year, the best non Glasgow performance from a team since the 80s, and the craven huns with typewriter gave it to the sevco manager.

    Would make you sick.

  • John says:

    The decision of the Sportswriters to vote for McKinnes as Manger of the Year reminds me very much of the saying ‘Anyone but Celtic’. I really can’t imagine how bitter they are going to become once we win the league next year. Overcoming their beloved club theRanjurz imaginary claim of being ‘world’s most successful club’.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Anything that The Scummy Scottish Football Media has to do with will always be a shambles for sure…

    Obviously I’ll never know who they select or who wins it – as I don’t ever pay to read their evil…

    That The Celtic Blog reports that they didn’t select Brendan says it all really !

  • Jimmy B says:

    Totally correct James. The manager of the year is a joke. You could compare it to Eurovision. Nothing more than a politically motivated popularity contest. Pathetic.

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