Hacks shortlist for POTY announced, Matt O’Riley set to miss out

The Scottish Football Writers in the mainstream media left Brendan Rodgers out of their nominations for manager of the year, but curiously enough included Philippe Clement in their nominations while being fully aware of the decline in his side’s title chances over the past month or so.

Threatening legal action over a waterlogged pitch

Ross County interim manager Don Cowie looks towards theRangers manager Philippe Clement as the final whistle sounds. Clement did not shake hands with Cowie at full-time. Photo Stuart Wallace/Shutterstock

A lucky draw against Celtic aided by a dodgy penalty when 2-0 down, was followed by a 3-2 defeat at Dingwall against Ross County and then a goalless draw at Dens Park. In the first game Clement claimed a victory, in the second he refused to shake the Ross County’s manager’ Don Cowie’s hand at full-time and in the third his club has resorted to threatening Dundee with legal action because they had matches postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Manager of the Year material it’s not but as a stand-up comic the Belgian waffler would get plenty of votes.

Atletico Madrid were impressed by Matt O’Riley

 Matt O’Riley poses with his teammates for the team photo prior to the UEFA Champions League match between Celtic and Atletico Madrid at Celtic Park, on October 25, 2023. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Now the hacks have listed their shortlist for POTY and there is a Celtic contender this time with Matt O’Riley making the list.  O’Riley has done it at Champions League level, so much so that Atletico Madrid launched an £18m January bid while the classy Celtic midfielder thas forced his way into the impressive Denmark squad.

But it would be a major surprise to many if the hacks gave the award to Matt O’Riley.

The other three contenders are Jack Butland, theRangers goalkeeper and the two leading scorers, Aberdeen striker  Bojan Miovski (24 goals so far) and the Hearts striker Lawrence Shankland who has already won the PFS Scotland POTY, having scored 28 goals this campaign.

Celtic v Hearts –  Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart with Callum McGregor after the  3-0 victory in the Scottish Premiership match at Celtic Park, Lawrence Shankland of Hearts looks on. Saturday May 4, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

Shankland’s increasing price-tag

It has been more that a decade since a player outside the Glasgow clubs has won the hacks Player  of the Year and you would have to think that Shankland, who dreams of a move to the hacks’ favourites, will collect a second award.  That of course will allow Hearts to increase their valuation for any summer transfer interest, from Ibrox or elsewhere.

Celtic POTY Awards

Yet Matt O’Riley remains head and shoulders above the rest. He’ll get his own recognition at the Celtic POTY awards this weekend where he will be a massive favourite with Joe Hart also a contender.

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