Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish Celtic

Comment: Brendan Rodgers won't lose sleep over his loss of legendary status at Celtic

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers.
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers.

By Julian Taylor in the Sunday Life

If there is one thing that we can be fairly certain of, it is the general resilience of lavishly paid footballers when molten lava gushes from the boardroom.

At the highest levels, managers leave suddenly and self-interested players gossip idly about who comes in. Other than a few chosen words amounting to little more than PR fluff, Brendan Rodgers is unlikely to give Celtic much thought for the next 20 years.

However, some of the reaction from sections of the club’s support to manager Rodgers’ untimely exit has been disgraceful. Anger is understandable but Celtic have already made the best of the awkward circumstances.

Firstly, and conveniently, Neil Lennon was available to step in. Secondly, the team remain eight points ahead of Rangers and will likely retain the Premiership. Thirdly, supporters saw at Tynecastle how the players — some of whom are familiar with the Lurgan man from his first spell in charge — would react, with an exciting late winner from Odsonne Edouard; a goal that could be Celtic’s most vital.

Scott Brown enjoyed a good relationship with Rodgers — but he also knows Lennon well so, unless the Parkhead captain is feeling short changed after signing a new contract, he will easily adapt.

So Rodgers has walked away from a kind of ‘immortality’.

In any walk of life, those with a highly-developed sense of self worth always, without exception, look straight ahead.

That Rodgers has passed up the chance to be placed alongside Jock Stein will not cause him any sleepless nights, a signifier of the well marketed English Premier League. A passing fancy at the Europa League at some stage with new club Leicester City and the belief such an achievement will earn him another crack at one of the so-called big six or a Euro giant is testament to Rodgers’ presumed strategy. Of course, there is also the matter of a trebled salary.

Where does the whole job satisfaction come from all this, compared to managing a club of Celtic’s size?

Rodgers, 46, is both young enough and entitled to make his choice.

The emotional element for the Ulsterman was not a consideration and the suspicion of Celtic being simply a stepping stone to re-energise after failing at Liverpool has been vindicated.

Maybe the ferocious spin-cycle surrounding the Glasgow giants was something the Carnlough man had enough of. Arguably, the elephant in the room, in addition, is that Celtic supporters simply bristle at the idea of one of ‘their own’ thinking of the club as a mere, limited, shelf life vehicle — and walking out on them with a Treble Treble in the balance. It is also believed Rodgers didn’t even say a proper goodbye to his squad.

In the end, Lennon, a contrasting personality, has come in — and the Hoops are poised to retain the title. And, as a club, Celtic will move on and address the minutiae of things like reducing an excessive wage bill.

For not even the fireworks that erupted following Rodgers’ departure to Leicester City will overshadow the real necessity of this.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


From Belfast Telegraph