Amidst the protests and ‘incident’ surrounding last night’s Player of the Year Awards, there were actually gongs handed out.
Portuguese winger Daniel Candeias won POTY while Colombian striker Alfredo Morelos won the young equivalent.
Given recent results and the chaos surrounding the club at present the awards were a bit embarrassing at best, but if we put the positive slant on it both awards were probably about as deserved as they could be.
While others excelled during late January-early March, the 30-year old flanker has been extremely consistent throughout the season – he had a slight lull last autumn, then dipped after the Ibrox Old Firm, but by and large Candeias is a reasonably justified winner of the award, even if the season’s dips and troughs overall make such an award harder than usual to allocate.
At one point we felt like we had a veritable feast of candidates, from the brilliant Jamie Murphy, to the industrious Greg Docherty, to the free-scoring Josh Windass – that late winter and early spring period definitely skewed thinking.
Over the course of the whole season, left back Declan John was also a serious contender – by no means Arthur Numan, but a fine acquisition who has done the shirt proud and didn’t let his form dip after winning a deal. He’s even got back into the Welsh squad, which says a lot.
But overall we have no huge quarrel with Candeias – he works hard in attack and defence, and is as valid a winner as anyone.
As for YPOTY? Morelos really has struggled this calendar year. Ever since the supposed Chinese interest then the new deal the lad has just not done it – his goals have dried up and he’s scored just three times in the league since late January, none of which have been against a top six side. His purple patch was late October till end of January and while his overall tally probably justifies the award, if we take into account his 10-match draught last year, he’s definitely not the sensation we began to think he was.
That all said, the sparse competition probably helped him a lot.
Overall, another disappointing season at Ibrox and we really hope something changes soon.