Earlier this afternoon, Brendan Rodgers gave an interview to TalkSport’s Jim White, where he talked about his new book and offered a lot of insight into what went into the writing of it. I listened to it with a big smile on my face; here we have a manager who is intelligent, articulate, knowledgeable about the game and who loves our club, talking about it to a UK audience in a manner which suggests it is the pinnacle of his career ambition.
Brendan has had a tremendous effect upon Celtic in his short time here.
He has a four year deal, which means that the overall impact on our club will probably be enormous.
Listening to him today, I was struck by the idea that Brendan would make a Hell of a salesman. He was on the show today promoting the book, sure, but what he was selling today was not so much himself, as it was us.
And he did a tremendous job of it.
One of the most interesting things he said was when he talked about Premiership football working on a “six week cycle”; managers are under pressure all the time there. They don’t have the freedom to develop players properly, the onus is on getting results fast. He could just as easily have been talking about certain Scottish clubs. The insight is blinding. It contains a horrible truth about the way modern football is going … and it is good news for us.
Brendan will not be at Celtic forever; people assume we simply got lucky with his hiring.
Part of it was luck, and no doubt about it.
He is a top drawer boss who grew up a Celtic supporter and that made our sales job a little bit easier, but I think we’d have had a chance of getting him anyway. The way he talks about us, the affection, the awe, the respect, I think that guarantees that we would get a good hearing from any number of top managers in the future.
And in particular, those who’d like to work on a long term project.
Brendan’s decision to come to Celtic has been fully vindicated not only in the trophies he has won already and will win in the future, but in the way he has been able to work in a way he would never have had the luxury to do in England; developing young players, team building over an extended period of time, getting involved in every area of the club.
English football’s reliance of money – where every problem can be solved by writing a cheque – denies managers down south the opportunity to do that.
Brendan is offering them a window into a place where they can.
He is voicing concerns common to football across Europe now, where managers find their time to get things done is short.
Here, Caixinha had a mere seven months.
Mark Warburton got just over a year and a half, and that was across the city from us.
Some will say Ronny Deila didn’t get the luxury of time, but he got two full seasons and Celtic’s concern is that progress in key areas – the ones he had been brought in to address – wasn’t being measured as they’d have liked. On the field, we were still comfortable champions.
Ronny himself knew there wasn’t satisfactory progress being made, and he was man enough to step aside.
Brendan has advertised the greatness of Celtic today, a club where a manager who wants to work on something bigger than just winning trophies can come and feel at home. I had always considered that to be Brendan’s own vision; today it’s clear that he and the club were of similar thinking and that’s why it was such a smooth, such an easy, fit.
This will stand us good for years to come, not only when Brendan is here but when he finally departs. He is telling the best coaches out there, those tired working under pressure, those who find modern football to be too short-term, that Celtic is a good club to come to because we don’t think that way.
It’s a place where a manager can find success in his own way, a club well run and set up to offer the right support, a club where the passion of the fans is matched by the breadth of the vision behind the scenes.
It was fascinating.
It bodes well for our future.
Brendan’s legacy will not just be measured in trophies and titles; we have a credibility now that he has enhanced beyond measure.
Other clubs can’t say the same.