One of the recurring themes in the media over the last few days – since the PSG trouncing at Celtic Park – is this; will Brendan get sick of easily winning in Scotland and easily losing in Europe? Will he realise this is the ceiling on his Celtic ambitions and leave?
It makes me want to laugh uproariously.
I mean, what do they think Brendan thinks about? What do they reckon goes through his mind? That he could build a Champions League winning team in two seasons and is now immensely frustrated that he’s run up against the clear obstacles to that goal?
Or perhaps his plans for Champions League dominance extend over a longer time-line?
Honest to God … do they ever listen to this guy, or does it go in one ear and out the other?
Let me remind them what Brendan’s stated objective for these Group stages was; European football after Christmas. And guess what? We’ve still got five games to go and all we need to do to achieve it is draw in Belgium and then beat Anderlecht at home.
A relatively straightforward task.
Craig Fowler, writing in The Scotsman today, devoted his column to this subject. Contained within it was one ridiculous idea – that Brendan is at Celtic to “repair his reputation.” Are you kidding me or what, Fowler? Jesus, that is patently ridiculous.
Brendan Rodgers came closer to making Liverpool champions than they have been since King Kenny was boss at Anfield, and I include Jurgen Klopp in that, who reached the Europa League final with them but couldn’t manage higher than a fourth place finish in his first league campaign.
I might be bitter just because they beat me for £200 yesterday, but they don’t look like achieving more much than that in this one. They currently have 8 points from 15 … a record not dissimilar to that of the hapless clown in the Sevco dugout.
Brendan’s reputation was in no need of “repair.”
He would have been fancied for any top job in the Premiership which came up. He would still be a candidate for them, and had Arsenal decided to sack Wegner at the end of the last campaign you just know that the Scottish press would have had a field day with that, and Brendan’s name would have been linked with every second until the club appointed someone else and then they’d have written a “snubbed” story and said that Brendan was only at second cause he was settling for second best.
Brendan signed a long term deal. He has a long term commitment. Fowler said that the one year rolling contract he had beforehand was proof that he was keeping his options open … actually it’s proof that Fowler doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about.
The one year rolling deal is a standard protection which Celtic insisted on with its last four managers. Brendan exceeded expectations and so there was no risk in giving him a longer contract … and there was always a chance that some EPL club would swoop in and take advantage of a short-term deal.
It was Celtic’s decision, not his. The extended contract gives both parties protection. Celtic knows if one of the big guns does come calling that they can call the shots should Brendan decide to pursue the offer. We can demand big money for him.
But it won’t come to that, because Brendan has his sights firmly set on ten in a row. When he talks he talks about a long-term vision, not “here today, gone tomorrow.” I understand why the media doesn’t recognise that; they slated Mark Warburton on his way out of Ibrox because he had once promised the same and then departed (was sacked) for Notts Forest … only for the club to replace him with a guy who’s average stay at a club has been two years.
(Not to worry though, Pedro will be gone long before that anyway.)
Brendan has a clear-headed, realistic view of where he can take this club. He knows that European success means getting to the last sixteen of the Champions League or the quarters finals of the Europa League. That would be punching above our weight, that would be a triumph. But he has no need to worry about how he’s viewed elsewhere.
Brendan has all the adulation a growing boy needs for the moment.
Fans south of the border will not sing him name with the fervour the Celtic supporters do … if some of our media is right and our manager is astoundingly conceited, then this is the best place for him; Celtic is a mirror into which he can gaze endlessly and who’s voice will always answer back that he’s the fairest in the land.
The media better get used to this guy being around. He’s going to be here when the next three Sevco bosses are on the next rungs of the career ladder … he might even see off a couple of chairmen over there whilst he’s at it.