Steven Gerrard’s award of SWFA manager of the year while completely deserved, showed the surreal contradiction of Rangers’ boss’ season, in the incredible league and UEL campaigns, but tempered by the abysmal cup showings.
The reason there’s a contradiction highlighted by this is the sheer brilliance of both David Martindale and especially Callum Davidson’s season.
The Livi boss took a relegation-fodder side and turned it into a meritorious top-6 team on zero budget, while losing Lyndon Dykes and managing to hold Rangers to one of the few dropped points we had all season.
Meanwhile Callum Davidson’s debut season in management has been simply staggering, and if it wasn’t for Gerrard’s incredible league campaign, Davidson would have been a runaway winner – securing a top-6 slot with, yes, a relegation fodder side on zero budget, but also taking points off Rangers while surrounded with the small matter of lifting one cup and being a final away from the other. His first campaign as a manager has been ludicrously good.
Gerrard, we don’t deny it, worked miracles – he destroyed Celtic single-handedly and his league Rangers (not to mention the UEL one) were absolutely breathtaking – the records keep tumbling.
But the cup stuff was a real mess, and it does leave a slightly sour taste in the mouth.
But Davidson? He managed both – he defied all expectation beyond words with the brilliant league campaign, and he has been a miracle himself in the cups.
And of course while Martindale didn’t achieve quite the heady heights of Davidson, he too had a great campaign.
All three were a true credit to the division.
God knows why Steve Clarke was even nominated…