Toughest one yet
Toughest what Mahe?
Month? League in general? Opponent?
Nope. None of the above. It struck me during the week after we overcame the Jambo’s that choosing this season’s Player of the Year is almost impossible, and as such could easily be called the toughest one yet.
I freely admit this season reminds me of Midas Martin’s first, and I know I’m not alone in that train of thought. His opening season also witnessed many fine candidates for POTY, our Bulgarian midfielder scooped the young POTY while golden boot Henrik scooped the main accolade ahead of big Chris, Joos, and Didi who all turned out impressive debut seasons.
Usually ‘hard to pick’ is code for not many decent options available, but under our Greek Australian leadermany have flourished, a lot have impressed, and some have been a revelation.
For the first time in twenty years I can honestly state there are potential winners all over the park, almost everywhere you look.
I count 9 genuine contenders, more could enter the list by finding great form from now unto seasons end.
The outsiders include Tony Ralston who had one foot out the door, but now has a new one year deal and almost cult hero status. His early season form should not be forgotten, his contribution not overlooked. This season he emerged as a true first team player, what great timing.
The player who often keeps Anthony on the bench is another outsider. Our Croatian right back is a Rolls Royce of a player, supposedly catching Brendan’s eye recently, and has proven one hell of a find. At a mere 2.5 million Euros he could be filed under bargain, at 25 hes entering his prime and could feasibly take up his berth long term. He bossed the recent derby clash, and should he repeat that he might move from outsider to contender, but even to be in the mix in his debut year is some feat.
Hatate is another outsider, with the potential to push hard for the award. After a dream start to his Celtic career he has earned many plaudits, if he keeps his current trajectory he shall become a legendary midfielder. If he drags this team over the line a few times through his goals and craft, he shall be in the conversation come season’s end. After a half season only, that really would be something.
Big Joe Hart getting the nod isn’t far-fetched at all. If titles are truly won by the defense, then our lynchpin deserves mega plaudits. He’s probably an outsider at this stage, but a few vital penalty saves could propel his claim. He deserves something for the way he has galvanized our rearguard, and brought a lot of professionalism to the table.
Cameron Carter Vickers initially filled me with dread, that lasted about 45 minutes into his debut. I then realized this wasn’t another hypejob who earned the loan by being an EPL player in name, but actually a very competent central defender who needed only a solid chance. He got that chance, he’s taken that chance. A rock at the back, like Big Joe he deserves a lot of credit for the way he had gone about his business. He’s certainly in the mix to scoop the POTY award.
Should the gong not go Calmacs direction, many including myself shall feel slightly aggrieved. He picked up the armband almost through necessity but boy has he grown into that role. His team talks are much more animated than his predecessors, his ‘shitebag’ now a piece of Celtic gallus folklore, and with three trophies still to play for it could be an absolute dream beginning to his ‘reign’.
He’s probably the favourite at this point.
Reason being, Furushi Kyogos injury. I suspect he would be favourite instead should he not have succumbed. It’s not unreasonable to think he would have notched up many more goals and put those in blue to the sword along the way, which would have propelled him to an almost certainty for the gong. It’s sad he got crocked, but other heroes stepped up in that absence, silver linings and all that.
He shall probably finish the campaign strongly, but I feel this spell on the sidelines hampers his chances.
Jota and Abada are making strong claims, very strong. Our young wingers have been sensational full stop. I freely admit I wanted more experience, two kids didn’t fill me with confidence. They do now. I’m delighted to see both their names on the team sheet, usually means one on the scoresheet. They clearly have instructions to come inside and go for goal, but both can cross the ball also. They look like team players, good characters in the dressing room, they look happy and who can blame them. Ange-ball is a joy to behold, its probably a joy to execute.
Liel keeps on scoring at this rate, he shall be in the conversation come season’s end.
I think he has a slight edge on his Portuguese counterpart, at the minute.
That’s almost an entire team, Greg Taylor and Tom Rogics renaissance must be overlooked, David Turnbull also even though he played a big part in our team settling after a wobble and was first choice until injured.
Yep, its a very high bar this year, it’s the toughest one yet.