IT has gone almost unmentioned amid the fallout from the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden last Sunday, but Brendan Rodgers currently finds himself on the brink of making history.

No manager, not Dick Advocaat, not Alex McLeish, not Martin O’Neill, not Walter Smith, not Jock Stein, not Bill Struth, not Scot Symon, not Jock Wallace, has presided over consecutive trebles before.

Every member of that celebrated octet led sides to a clean sweep of domestic silverware, the League Cup, League and Scottish Cup, during their distinguished careers in the dugout.

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However, Advocaat (1999), McLeish (2003), O’Neill (2001), Smith (1993), Stein (1967 and 1969), Struth (1949), Symon (1964) and Wallace (1976 and 1978) never replicated the feat in the subsequent campaign.

Smith and Stein both came agonisingly close to doing so. The former was denied by a 1-0 defeat by Dundee United in the 1994 Scottish Cup final. The latter, meanwhile, suffered the same fate in 1970 when Aberdeen romped to an unexpected 3-1 triumph.

Yet, if his Celtic side defeat Motherwell on Saturday, May 19, Rodgers will have done something that eluded all of his illustrious predecessors.

Now, members of the glass-half-empty brigade, of whom there are a fair few in Scottish football, will state that at no stage before has the gulf between the Parkhead club and their rivals been so great and they have a point.

When Celtic dominated the game in this country in the late 1960s and early 1970s they still had to overcome some redoubtable opponents. Indeed, Rangers reached two European finals and won one of them during that era.

The same wasn’t true during the 1990s when the free-spending Ibrox club lorded it over all who stood before them. Their Parkhead rivals were badly run off the park and poor on it as a consequence. They came within minutes of being declared bankrupt in 1994.

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At no stage during that decade, though, did Celtic go six years without winning an Old Firm game over the course of 90 minutes, as Rangers now have.

But to decry the efforts of Rodgers and his players, who will sew up their seventh consecutive Scottish title if they defeat Hibernian at Easter Road this afternoon, due to the failings of the teams they face is unfair.

Scott Brown and his team mates have still had to perform with remarkable consistency to reach this point. In a one-off cup game any team is capable of getting the better of them re-gardless of their superior resources. But they have delivered time and again. Rodgers deserves enormous credit for that.

So, the debate which is currently raging about who deserves to be crowned Manager of the Year, awards which will doled out by PFA Scotland and the Scottish Football Writers’ Association next month, seems rather unnecessary.

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Steve Clarke, Neil Lennon and Stephen Robinson have certainly all done well with Kilmarnock, Hibernian and Motherwell and all have their champions. Clarke, in particular, is a worthy contender.

The transformation which the Rugby Park club has experienced since he succeeded Lee McCulloch back in October has been nothing short of extraordinary.

But turning around the fortunes of an underperforming team and leading them from the nether reaches of the Premiership table to a top six place and to within touching distance of a possible European place is, while commendable, hardly on a par with what his counterpart Rodgers has done.

It is true that, despite reaching the knockout rounds of the Europa League, Celtic haven’t quite scaled the same heights as they did last term. But how could they better what they did in the 2016/17 season? Going undefeated in 47 domestic fixtures is unlikely to ever be repeated.

It is wrong to state, as some have, that the reigning champions haven’t entertained or have even been poor. It is true that drawing six times at home in the league is far from impressive. At times, they have struggled. But on other occasions they have been a delight to watch.

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The Champions League group game against Anderlecht in Belgium, a game they won 3-0, was one of them. The 1-0 triumph over Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of the Europa League last 32 double header was another. The quality of their play in the 4-0 victory against Rangers last weekend has been overlooked.

That triumph stretched Rodgers’s unbeaten run in Glasgow derby matches to 10. He has now won eight and drawn just two of them. That is another good reason why the Northern Irishman deserves to be singled out and honoured for his accomplishments.