Over the last couple of days, a few things have become abundantly clear and, with hindsight, they maybe should have been a clear a lot sooner.
The first is that Brendan Rodgers is a shameless narcissist, and like all the rest of them he’s unable to even see anyone else as he rattles through his glib litany of platitudes for whatever audience he’s addressing.
The second is this; Brendan Rodgers absolutely thought, and perhaps even hoped, that he was leaving a wounded, fractured institution behind him.
He believed he had done maximum damage, never thinking our club might have swiftly got in front of it, and moved purposefully forward.
It never crossed his mind that we might stay united.
He doubtless expected us to turn on each other, to start a game of “who do we blame?” rounding on the board and shattering the club’s sense of purpose.
It never dawned on him that Celtic fans would, or could, turn on him.
It never quite sunk in that might not be grateful for the skulking way he pushed the car out of the driveway so we wouldn’t hear the engine start, and made a dawn departure like some chancer sneaking out of his hotel bill.
And sitting in front of the media yesterday, puzzled, even a little hurt by the mood music he’s been hearing since he cut and run on Tuesday, you could tell that it had got to him.
Amidst all of the squalid claims of love and affection for the club, the fans, the players and all the rest he left behind like a thief in the night, was a self-righteousness bordering on megalomania; we would come to our senses in due course and he would get all the accolades he deserves.
Forgiveness would come, and with it gratitude and perhaps even that hero worship that he was still taking for granted even as he paraded around the King Power Stadium in his blue suit.
Well, fella, don’t count on it because it ain’t gonna happen.
There might be a day when Brendan Rodgers will set foot in Celtic Park again.
When we win ten in a row the men who made it happen will be honored one at a time as they step out of the tunnel and onto the pitch.
Neil Lennon will be greeted like a hero.
Ronny Deila will be received warmly and made to feel welcome.
Whoever got us over the line will walk onto that pitch as a true immortal.
I hope Rodgers gives it a miss. The sound of booing is not something that should be heard on such a day of triumph and if the board has any sense they won’t invite him.
Because it’s over.
It’s as if whatever spell had bewitched us has been broken in the last few days, and now we see Rodgers for what he truly is and was the whole time.
A man’s who’s first and only loyalty was to himself.
A man who traded on our good wishes and basked in our warm emotions, and who got out as soon as more money was flashed at him.
We understand it all now, we get it, and we see clearly the grand design … not just walking away with the job half done, but a naked attempt to leave us bereft at the same time. It was as if he calculated the moment of maximum damage and timed his departure to meet it.
Well the damage was contained.
All the phony platitudes were rejected.
The club did not come apart. Celtic went on.
All those positive feelings were turned on their heads.
Rodgers is a pariah now, the quintessential man without a country, who turned his back on everything he claimed to love and all the people in it, and who can never again return home, the sort of man of whom Sir Walter Scott wrote;
Breathes there the man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart has ne’er within him burned,
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
And no ending was ever more fitting than that which Sir Walter thought such a man deserved. That no matter his regal names and titles, no matter what his grand self-regard, no matter how much money he made and hoarded, that he would never again have that thing he held most dear; the love and respect of his own countrymen; instead, his destiny was to forever be shunned, to be ignored and finally to be forgotten completely.
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim,
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
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