Brendan Rodgers is a tough man to rile. He is normally very calm under pressure. He is normally very convivial with the media, no matter the provocation. I have never seen him get spikey about personal criticism; he’s one of those people who genuinely waves it away without a care. I like that about Brendan Rodgers; he’s a cool guy.
I’ve only seen Brendan get snippy with the press on a couple of occasions, and neither was about criticism levelled at him. It was at criticism of, or disrespect towards, his players. When the diving comments started I knew he would not let it go quietly.
I also knew he would not do anything to inflame things before the last of these games was over.
But in the aftermath of the game, he found the press room and gave full vent to his frustrations. He was not riled, he was just angry, but it was the measured, directed, anger of someone who’s thought long and hard about what he wanted to say.
That’s why I winced when I heard it on the radio yesterday; it hit the mark so perfectly.
He singled out Motherwell’s Alan Burrows for the way he toured the press boxes with his laptop last weekend, and then had the gall to send out a tweet about being dignified in defeat. There’s media spin and then there’s aggressively going after another club, and he veered out of the former and into the latter and I knew Brendan wouldn’t let that slide.
I have no idea who Alan Burrows is; already a mythology has grown around him that he is an “ordinary fan” who has found his way to the centre of the club. His crass behaviour should serve as a reminder that “ordinary fans” don’t belong at the centre of clubs unless they are of a thoroughly professional caste. Because we are emotional. We do get hysterical at times. We aren’t detached enough to handle things the right way.
The slapping sound could be heard across Scotland; it’s a warning to others.
Brendan will handle barbs and slings against himself all day every day, it’s part of the job … but he will fight for his players and he will fight for this club.
That’s a manager. That’s a leader. What a man he is.