WE'RE just past the halfway point of the Premiership season and it’s certainly been interesting.

Rangers were favourites and expected to be top at this stage but Celtic do look a lot stronger this season with Ange Postecoglou having improved the standard of their system and performances.

They got a major boost by gaining the first trophy of the season and this will give them the confidence to challenge Rangers for the league title.

The January winter break will be pivotal as Celtic do need to strengthen a bit more by bringing in a striker to cover for the injury problems they are experiences regarding their two top attacking players, Kyogo and Jota.

I’ve been impressed by Rangers since Giovanni Van Bronckhorst took over as manager. Steven Gerrard did an excellent job but I think the performances have improved as he’s playing a system that seems to get more out of the players.

When you consider it, Van Bronckhorst has had a great deal more diverse career than Gerrard had, having played at the highest level, and successfully, in Holland, Scotland, England and Spain.

He seems to be bringing this experience to bare at Rangers and this could be pivotal in determining who the league champions are going to be. Unless Rangers sell one of their key players in January, then I don’t think recruitment will be an issue for Van Bronckhorst as the squad currently seems strong enough.

It’s not a great surprise who the teams below Rangers and Celtic are. I believed Robbie Neilson would have Hearts gaining a European place and I did think that Motherwell, Aberdeen and Hibernian would probably make up the rest of the top six.

There’s nothing in it really but you still can’t rule out Dundee Utd despite the fact that they’re not on the best of runs having lost six of their last eight league matches.

They started the campaign pretty well and Thomas Courts was receiving a lot of praise for the way they were playing so they need to recover this form to challenge for a Europa League spot. Hibernian could be boosted by the appointment of Shaun Maloney as the two victories he’s enjoyed since being appointed have taken them back into the top six.

It’s going to be a real battle to see who gains the European positions and it’s going to be interesting to see how things develop. The relegation contest has also become interesting with the gap at the bottom only recently arising with St Johnstone losing their last seven league games. What a turnaround this has been with Callum Davidson starting this season with his stock at a very high level having been the first provincial club manager to win two cups in the same season.

Considering it was also his first season as a manager determines how special this achievement was. He did lose two key players at the beginning of the season, in Jason Kerr and Alistair McCann, and there have also been a few injuries, but it would still not have been expected that this St Johnstone team would be sitting at the bottom of the division and eleven points behind seventh place after twenty matches.

They need to turn it around and there best chance to avoid the drop could hinge on how eleventh placed Dundee fare going forward as they are also a team on a bad run. It will be interesting as we’ve seen many examples of form changes over the years that can take teams to a completely different league position in a short space of time. 

I was very disappointed when the fixtures were cancelled for January 2nd as the old firm game was certainly a match that was drawing a lot of anticipation. I can understand that it would have been undermined to a degree because only five hundred spectators would have been allowed in.

This obviously also had an effect on the Boxing Day fixtures with the atmosphere being grossly diminished with such low crowds. I don’t understand how these rules were applied to football matches. With five hundred people being allowed to an outside event, this could mean that a hospitality venue could hold it in their garden.

People could still be very close to one another but this was allowable. The rule for football should have been based on ground size with a percentage of supporters being allowed in for each match. I feel that it should have been 20% of the capacity level of the stadium and therefore the crowd for the Rangers, Celtic match would have been twelve thousand and as safe, if not safer, than for any hospitality event.