Team of the year shouts at this time of the year are always controversial, especially if Rangers haven’t won anything and the other half of the Old Firm has.
Usually this means that whatever team should dominate the awards is the one that has walked away with the Scottish Premiership title.
Not according to WhoScored who have named five Rangers and five Celtic players in their team of the year.
Unlike the writers’ or players’ awards, this one is based purely on statistical performances.
Successful passes, crosses, discipline, goals scored and assists.
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In short, a player can be rubbish but if they have a goal to their name then their match rating is instantly improved.
How did so many Rangers players make the team of the year?
Rangers didn’t win the league but they were still pretty dominant against most of the rest of the teams, ending with over 90 points, it was just Old Firm derbies we struggled in.
What this means then is that three out of four of Rangers defence have made WhoScored’s team as well as Malik Tillman and, perhaps the most surprising, Fashion Sakala.
On paper, three of them are justifiable, James Tavernier is our top goalscorer and has 16 goals and eight assists in the league never missing a game.
Borna Barisic has one goal but ten assists, more than any other player in his position.
As for Tillman, he won multiple young player of the year awards for his club and in the league voted by his peers, he has been one of the best in the country, without question.
His performances for Rangers in Old Firm derbies shouldn’t detract from his other performances.
Connor Goldson’s inclusion could be argued but it is the addition of Fashion Sakala ahead of the likes of Kevin van Veen, Duk or Lawrence Shankland that is the surprise.
Maybe, with 20 goal contributions in 29 games in the league, he isn’t that bad a player after all.