Rob Maclean's best of the season so far and one to watch in 2018

Steve Clarke and Brendan Rodgers
Steve Clarke has made quite an impression since taking over at Kilmarnock

BBC commentator Rob Maclean reviews the 2017-18 season so far and looks ahead to the second half of the campaign.

Manager of the season so far

It seemed like an inspired piece of business when Kilmarnock hired Steve Clarke as manager in the middle of October and results have only backed up that belief.

They were bottom of the Scottish Premiership when he took the job but even his presence at Firhill, when he hadn't yet started the repair work, inspired Killie to their first league win of the season against Partick Thistle.

They've lost only two of the 12 games they've played since, picked up 20 points in the process and kick off the new year in the Premiership's top six.

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Oli Shaw cancels out Kris Boyd's early goal but Hibernian are held at home by Kilmarnock.

There's a quiet authority about Clarke, who learned the management game alongside the likes of Ruud Gullit, Jose Mourinho, Kenny Dalglish and Gianfranco Zola before striking out on his own.

And there's a new resilience about Kilmarnock on the back of his ambitious and impressive appointment.

Player of the season so far

James Forrest
James Forrest has already bettered his highest ever tally of goals in a season this term

Gone are the days when Celtic winger James Forrest was a figure of frustration.

He seemed to be injured all the time and, for a player blessed with bundles of talent, his starring roles were few and far between.

A Brendan Rodgers makeover has obviously helped and Forrest is consistently delivering now at a high level. He believes in himself. He's been Celtic's best attacking player through the first half of the season and 12 goals from a winger is a sizeable scoring contribution.

James has been left out at times, both by Celtic and Scotland. For me, there's no doubt about it. He should be an automatic pick for club and country.

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Highlights - Dundee 0-2 Celtic

Performance of the season so far

If you'd written the script which said Celtic's invincible run would end with a hammering from Hearts, the advice would have been a check-up from the neck up.

Those 69 matches and 585 days without domestic defeat were a remarkable achievement for Brendan Rodgers and his players.

But the way that stunning sequence ended couldn't have been more unpredictably spectacular.

Craig Levein and Christophe Berra
Craig Levein and Christophe Berra enjoyed a convincing win over Celtic

The prospect of Hearts beating Celtic in mid-December seemed highly unlikely. By four clear goals? Don't be ridiculous.

That was a sensational scoreline. It was a Hearts performance few could have seen coming.

But all credit to the man behind it, Craig Levein who's now guided his team to a nine-game unbeaten run and taken steps down the road to recovery.

Entertainer(s) of the season so far

Coatbridge continues to be the entertainment capital of Scottish football. Or, more accurately, just wherever Albion Rovers happen to be playing.

They guarantee goals, both for and against. Of the 23 games they've played so far this season, 16 of them have featured four goals or more.

Brian Kerr, Ross Davidson and Alan Trouten
Brian Kerr (far left) took over at Albion Rovers in the summer and Alan Trouten (far right) is currently Scottish League One's top scorer

In Rovers matches, across all competitions, the ball's been in the net a total of 109 times.

In League One, only leaders Ayr United have scored more. Only bottom team Forfar have conceded more.

Albion Rovers fans are long suffering but they're never likely to get bored.

One to watch in 2018

I get the feeling Lewis Morgan can be whatever he wants to be in the New Year.

The 21-year-old St Mirren winger has already proved himself to be a special talent and he seems destined to deliver a whole lot more in the coming months and years.

Lewis Morgan scores for St Mirren against Dundee United
Lewis Morgan scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season on Friday

His was the name on everyone's lips as the Buddies and Championship promotion rivals Dundee United went head-to-head in Paisley on the third-last night of 2017.

Lewis clearly loves the pressure of expectation and two moments of Morgan magic stretched St Mirren's turn-of-the-year title advantage.

His impending move to Celtic is one of Scottish football's worst kept secrets. As is the loan agreement which will keep him in Paisley for the rest of the season where he'll continue to thrill his adoring public.

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