Brendan Rodgers Could Achieve Historical Greatness As He Restores Us To Our Rightful Place.

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Last week, as Celtic kicked off against Manchester City in Glasgow, I was in Ibiza.

The distance did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the match, and my delight and immense pride in the performance was evident to everyone who encountered me in the days that followed. It was an epic display, a match the whole of Europe was talking about. It was what we’ve been missing these last few years; a Champions League match in front of a full Celtic Park.

I spoke to a number of fans, from various clubs, on the night and all but some Sevconites from Fife (who were pretty sick) marvelled at the Celtic Park atmosphere and the way the team played. Moussa Dembele won especial praise for his sensational football, but the passion and the quality of our overall play was obvious to all.

At the centre of all this, of course, is Brendan Rodgers. His transformation of our club has been quite stunning; even those of us who trailed him as our preferred appointment have been amazed at how quickly we’ve turned the corner under his leadership.

To say it’s been impressive is to do our manager a disservice. It has been almost miraculous.

It makes you wonder what Brendan could achieve here. It makes your mouth water to consider it soberly. Get past Sevco in the League Cup semi, and there’s the near certainty of a double in his first season, with the treble visible on the horizon. That, itself, puts him in the vanguard of history as a far as being Celtic boss goes, and with ten in a row up for grabs he could cement immortality.

But it’s in Europe where Rodgers impact could be truly profound. Last Wednesday was the night when the continent’s biggest clubs were given license that Celtic Park is a ground to fear once more. Scott Brown has spoken of a desire amongst the players to turn it into a fortress again, and for one shining, brilliant, 90 minutes we were closer to that ambition than we have been since Neil Lennon took Barcelona in November 2012.

That night we defended like our future depended on it. Against City we were spellbindingly aggressive, forward going, the most adventurous a Celtic side has been on that stage in 15 years, since Martin O’Neill’s debut season in the same competition. The parallels with the Juventus game alone are obvious. City could not have complained overmuch had we achieved the same result, because we were brilliant in attack.

This is what Brendan was renowned for at Liverpool, for attractive football which went for the throat. What makes it amazing is that he’s managed this already with what is arguably still Ronny Deila’s Celtic team. If he can somehow get this team out of this group, either into the Europa League or into the next stage of this competition – no longer utterly impossible to imagine – the whole of Europe will, again, be taking notice.

And this is only season one. This guy is just getting started.

Greatness is something which can be measured by fans, and is honoured by clubs; one could argue that Alan Thompson is a Celtic great, and I would do so. But historical greatness is a different measure entirely, that which suggests someone’s impact at a football club has altered its course and shaped its future. Jock Stein, Fergus McCann … these are the kind of men I’m talking about. Brendan Rodgers has restored one of our great traditions already, the one for playing football the right way. He seeks to develop our youth and give them a chance. He wants to transform the culture in the dressing room, and put a roadmap in place for a long-term vision.

Historical greatness is within his reach.

We’re watching a special man restoring our special club.

In Brendan We Trust.

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