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Rodgers could take Celtic to 10 titles in a row says club legend


By Steven Beacom

Celtic great John Hartson believes that Brendan Rodgers has made the Hoops an unstoppable force in Scottish football and can lead them to a record-breaking 10 league titles in a row.

Rodgers has been a monumental hit at Parkhead in his first season in charge. At the weekend the Glasgow giants completed an unbeaten league season having clinched the Scottish Premiership last month.

This followed a League Cup triumph and on Saturday Rodgers can emulate the legendary Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill by guiding Celtic to a domestic treble if they defeat Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final.

Hartson has watched his old club’s progress under Rodgers with delight and feels that, with the Ulsterman having agreed a new four-year contract, Celtic’s dominance will continue now they have won six titles in a row.

“Brendan has done an incredible job as manager and has put Celtic in a great position to push on,” said Hartson, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph to mark an event in October when he and ex-team-mate Stiliyan Petrov will be visiting Northern Ireland.

“Everyone always goes on about winning 10 titles in a row. Both Celtic and Rangers have done nine in the past so if Brendan could take Celtic to 10 that would be huge.

“He has committed himself for another four years so that tells you it is a possibility. I hope he sees out his contract because that would take Celtic to 10 in a row.”

Hartson, who had a highly successful five-year spell at Celtic from 2001, has watched his old club's remarkable progress under Rodgers with delight and sees Brendan's Bhoys as immovable as well as invincible.

He was impressed by how Rodgers in his first season guided the Hoops into the group stages of the Champions League.

The Welshman said: "Brendan's first aim was to get Celtic into the Champions League group stages for the first time in a while after Ronny Deila had failed to do so twice.

"He did that then Celtic went unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership, won the League Cup and will do the treble if they beat Aberdeen.

"Bringing in players like Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele turned into masterstrokes and Patrick Roberts has really improved under Brendan.

"The way the team have played the game with Brendan in charge has been hugely impressive. They are playing with the ball on the floor, they are quick with slick passing and there is great movement off the ball, they have good centre forwards and are strong defensively. It has been very, very exciting.

"I'm delighted for Brendan and Celtic because I have allegiances with the club having spent five years there and scored over 100 goals.

"Aberdeen stand in their way in terms of the treble. They have been the second best team in Scotland this year but with the confidence in the Celtic ranks, I believe they can win and complete one of the greatest seasons in the club's history."

While Celtic's dominance domestically should continue next season, it's on the European stage where Hoops fans really want to see their team doing well.

Rodgers will need to bring in a few new faces this summer and Hartson is confident the Ulsterman has the ability to entice decent players to Parkhead.

The money is available but will Rodgers be able to spend it?

Hartson concluded: "Financially they are in a good place to add more quality players, they have potentially one or two players they could sell on for big money and they will have another £25million from the Champions League so you cannot see Celtic being caught in Scotland right now. With Brendan they have blown everybody out of the water."

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