THEY think 2019 is all over! It is now! Well, the fitba is at least. We may have another couple of days or so to go before we welcome in 2020. But the Ladbrokes Premiership matches yesterday saw the final kicks of another eventful 12 months in the Scottish game.

The quality of the football in this country, not to mention the cost of a ticket, may not be as high as it is in England or other larger European nations. But when it comes to drama, entertainment, passion and, well, sheer bampottery there is nowhere else to touch us. This has been another annus mirabilis.

So who deserves plaudits and pay rises for their efforts since January? And who should get brickbats and boos? Who was Simply the Best? Who made Fort William look like Fiorentina? Here are my winners and losers.

READ MORE: "My Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos deserved to see red - but so did Christopher Jullien of Celtic"


But he hasnae scored against the Celtic! The Rangers striker’s inability to net against the Ibrox outfit’s Glasgow rivals is held against him. In the whole wearisome Odsonne Edouard or Alfredo Morelos debate in particular. His failure to find the target at Parkhead yesterday meant he is still goalless in the world-famous fixture after 12 appearances.

But his scoring record against every other club, both at home and abroad, has been exceptional. He has been on target, including against Legia Warsaw, Young Boys, Porto and Feyenoord, 38 times. The 14 goals he bagged in the Europa League before Christmas this season was a UEFA record.

The 23-year-old has tried hard to overcome the disciplinary problems which saw him red carded five times last term. He is still far from perfect and, as we saw at Celtic Park again yesterday, has work to do. The throat slit gesture? Stupid boy!

But it will be a surprise if Morelos doesn’t depart, for a considerable transfer fee and hefty profit, during 2020. His status as a Rangers great will be assured when he does leave. The Colombian is box office and no mistake. Life is never dull when “El Buffalo” is on the park. We will miss him when he goes.


Winning their eighth consecutive Ladbrokes Premiership, retaining the William Hill Scottish Cup and becoming the first club to complete three consecutive domestic trebles in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign, was impressive enough. But the Parkhead men have built on those achievements in the last six months.

Their historic 2-1 victory over Lazio in Rome last month secured their place in the last 32 of the Europa League with two games to spare and their 3-1 triumph against Rennes in Glasgow saw them top their section for the first time in their 131-year history. To top it all, they robbed Rangers in the Betfred Cup final this month to lift their 10th trophy on the spin.

READ MORE: Neil Lennon: Parkhead win will give Rangers a shot in the arm - it's game on in the Scottish title race


Odsonne Edouard’s late strike against Hearts in the Scottish Cup at Hampden in May clinched the treble treble. But Olivier Ntcham’s winner against Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome last month just topped it. It secured the Parkhead club’s first win on Italian soil ever and sent them through to the knockout rounds.

The French midfielder, a second-half replacement for Ryan Christie, dinked the ball over Thomas Strakosha in the fifth and final minute of injury-time beautifully despite the pressure he was under.


Steve Clarke, who led Kilmarnock to third place in the Premiership and into Europe for the first time in 17 years, and Steven Gerrard, who became the first man to take a club through four qualifying rounds and into the Europa League group stages twice and then helped Rangers book a last 32 spot, deserve honourable mentions here.

Yet, the way Lennon has coped with taking over from Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, initially on an interim basis, in difficult circumstances in February, has been remarkable. Those supporters who wanted a more glamorous appointment and were against his return have, almost to a man, revised their opinion.

READ MORE: Simply the best! Steven Gerrard admits win over Celtic at Parkhead is his greatest as Rangers manager


Not since Mo Johnston signed for Rangers in 1989 a matter of weeks after being paraded by Celtic has one man attracted such vilification from the Parkhead faithful. The Northern Irishman went from being a deity in the East End to a defector when he joined Leicester City.


Kilmarnock chairman Billy Bowie described Angelo Alessio as “the best manager in Scotland” when he was appointed at Rugby Park in June. But a calamitous defeat to Welsh minnows Connah’s Quay Nomads soon followed and the former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea assistant never really convinced. He was sacked after just six months a fortnight ago.


When former Barnsley manager Daniel Stendl was appointed by Hearts this month the Tynecastle club aimed a cheeky dig at Hibernian. “Daniel led the Oakwell outfit to a second-placed finish ahead of Jack Ross’s Sunderland,” a statement read.

It came back to haunt them. After the Easter Road club had won 2-0 at Tynecastle last week the Hibs Twitter feed posted: “Jack Ross leads Hibernian to victory over Daniel Stendel’s Heart of Midlothian. Purely for context, we are 13 points ahead of our noisy neighbours.”