The news today that Tom Rogic wants to get fit for the start of next season – and is willing to forfeit international football to do it – is interesting for several reasons.
First it shows that he’s committed to the club and to working hard at Celtic.
Second, it shows that he doesn’t intend to push for a transfer this summer as I think would have been certain under previous management.
I’ll be honest, I’d have sold Rogic, but only because I couldn’t see a role for him in the team.
Under a new manager and a new system who knows?
There is no doubt that he’s one of the best footballers at the club, and could be the key to future success. He also has a nice habit of scoring in major games, and you can never have too many of those guys around.
Rogic’s decision sends a very clear message, and I’m certain that it’s one he fully intended to send; things at Celtic have changed. The whole mood of the club will be transformed the second Howe walks in the door.
The last time Rogic gave such a clear and unambiguous commitment to Celtic was when Rodgers was unveiled; until then he had been on the way out, and very publicly at that. James Forrest was too, having refused a new deal and all but said goodbye.
Is this the first sign that we are going to be able to hang onto some of the alleged want-away players? I have wondered for a while if Christie and Ajer couldn’t be convinced to stay, and of the two of them if we could bind Ajer to the club on a long term deal and play him in midfield it might be the most significant bit of business we’ve done in years.
I genuinely believe that one of the reasons for the general unhappiness around the club these past two years has been the drop in standards between the Rodgers era and where we are now.
When a top manager is at a club that reverberates through the whole place; the players feel part of something special, they identify with the ambition being shown.
We started to slip from those standards.
That we’re showing, finally, that we’re taking them seriously again is the reason other people will take us seriously.
The players inside the club will start to believe once more. Faced with a new, forward thinking Celtic, might guys like Christie and Ajer not want to hang around? Rogic certainly sounds like he does.