The four nominations for the Ladbrokes Championship Player of the Year have been announced with John McGinn and Jason Cummings of Hibs and Martyn Waghorn and Lee Wallace of Rangers vying for the award.
While it’s difficult to argue that those players deserved consideration, there’s perhaps a few other players who deserved a final four berth that little bit more.
We look at the seven biggest snubs from this season’s award.
7. Liam Henderson (Hibs)
While Cummings scores goals, there’s an argument to be made that his lack of work outside the area can be detrimental to the attack at times. (It’s not an argument this writer agrees with, I’m just pointing out that it exists.) The same cannot definitely not be said for on loan Celtic midfielder Henderson, who works tirelessly in every match. His contribution to the side this season cannot be measured purely in goals and assists, as his energy and enthusiasm gives Hibs an overall lift.
6. Jason Holt (Rangers)
His electric form around the Christmas period may not have held up over the course of the season, though he’s still been excellent for the league leaders throughout this campaign. His nine league goals is second to only Blair Alston in terms of midfield scorers, while his ball retention and passing abilities are a big factor in how Rangers play.
5. Lewis Toshney (Raith Rovers)
The best player in the division not to have his cheques signed by Rangers, Falkirk or Hibs. Toshney has been in almost flawless form for Kirkcaldy’s finest since his summer move from Cowdenbeath and has done a turn playing both at the heart of the defence and in the centre of midfield.
4. Blair Alston (Falkirk)
Ten goals and five assists for the Falkirk midfielder from this campaign, making him a curious omission from the Championship Player of the Year nominees. While it’s undoubted that John McGinn is the better player, many of the Hibs midfielder’s top performances have come in the cup competitions and in the dark blue Scotland jersey, which shouldn’t count towards earning a Ladbrokes Championship accolade.
3. John Baird (Falkirk)
If Cummings makes the list, then why not Baird? He’s got just as many goals as the Hibernian striker, has more assists, has played more minutes and, as Falkirk fans would argue, does more work for the team. In all likelihood, his omission is simply down to the fact that Cummings and Hibs are more high profile opponents than Baird and Falkirk.
2. Barrie McKay (Rangers)
Waghorn’s inclusion is fair enough. It’s unlikely that the top goalscorer in any league, in any country, is going to be left off the Player of the Year nominations list. However, why is Wallace there ahead of some of his team-mates? He’s had a very good season but it doesn’t compare to some of the others in blue shirts playing around him. He hasn’t even been the best Rangers player on the left flank, an honour that goes to McKay. Every week Rangers fans marvel at his performances, yet his fellow professionals apparently don’t understand the fuss.
1. James Tavernier (Rangers)
“Yeah, but he’s not a great defender.” Who. Cares. He’s scored nine goals and notched 16 assists from right back, only Waghorn is individually responsible for more goals this campaign, and he gets to take Rangers’ penalties, all 375 of them. In a higher level, perhaps, Tavernier may struggle a little more, but the Ladbrokes Championship is not a higher level and within its confines he was the best player. The fact that he’s not received even a nomination is mind-boggling.
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