My man Dave Campbell hit it right on the head when he wrote on this blog recently that for a lot of people in Scottish football, the idea of a Celtic boss being able to say what he thinks is like a foreign concept.
They don’t accept that a Parkhead manager should have opinions, and there’s a lot of talk about what’s becoming, and unbecoming, someone in that role.
This attitude is now so prevalent that it was being voiced just the other day by none other than Steve Clarke, who is the last person I would have expected to.
Some of the hacks have talked about this in the past, about how Celtic bosses should be “held to a higher standard.” It’s rank nonsense, to be honest. What they mean is that a Celtic manager is held to a different standard but I’m not convinced it’s a better one or that it is intended to be. A Celtic boss has to censor himself, or so some seem to think.
I find the idea offensive, to be honest. The media loves Levein because he’s a mouthy sod, and they never tire of McCann and his constant whining. Every word that flows from the mouth of an Ibrox manager is pure gold until his credit is down the pan. Even Neil Lennon has become something of a darling to the hacks now he’s no longer at our club.
But Brendan Rodgers has to watch every word?
That’ll be right.
Our manager must be sick of this, but he has kept his own counsel on it. When he is asked a question he gives an answer. When he believes something stinks he says so. Teams do frequently come to Celtic Park and make no attempt at all to play football, and the only thing wrong with our manager saying it is that he’s the only one who is.
I understand the motivation; managers aren’t paid to roll over for us, it is their job to make things as hard as they can. But they can’t come to Parkhead with that attitude and expect our own boss to keep his mouth shut about it. Brendan has no trouble congratulating opponents who give us a game … what he will never do – and nor should he – is give credit to clubs and managers who make no effort to do that at all and this midweek, with nothing to play for, Kilmarnock came to our ground and made not the slightest effort except in defence.
That’s not something Brendan will ever pay tribute to, and if managers don’t like him calling them out on it that’s just tough.
As Dave Campbell has said, the back of the bus days are over. It clearly bugs people that this Celtic manager, like others before him, isn’t content to stay mute. He speaks his mind. He says what he thinks. To those who don’t like it, you better learn to live with it.
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