Welcome Back To Celtic, Brendan Rodgers. Make Mine A Treble.

Image for Welcome Back To Celtic, Brendan Rodgers. Make Mine A Treble.

Think back to the moment you realised that Ange Postecoglou really was going to do it after all, that he really was going to leave us and go to Spurs, that the attraction of joining that elite group of bosses to win three titles in a row with our club and the opportunity to lead us into the Champions League were not enough to keep him here, that the lure of the club which finished 8th in England and with a sociopath for a chairman was too much to resist.

A cynic might say it was the money that proved too hard to resist, and of course that was part of the equation.

If we sound cynical its because we’ve been made that way, by decisions like this and by people like him.

We are always told we should take emotion out of this, that the game has moved on and that we haven’t. As I said before, this is a bit of victim blaming from a media which is obsessed with the game down south … but we believed people when they told us they talked straight.

That’s all we did.

Still, for a moment, lets give these people their due.

Let’s pretend not to know that they are motivated by their own bitterness. Let’s pretend not to know that many of them actually hate us and will not constantly carp on about how The Mooch will inevitably be tempted south. They never write this story. Their reaction to Gerrard going to Villa approached disbelief. They think this should only happen to us.

So strip emotion from it all and answer me this question; if you didn’t know the name of the guy, if you were going only by his CV – titles, trophies, an FA Cup, a second place finish in the EPL, a European semi-final … would you have believed that within three weeks of Ange departing that we would have gone out and found and hired such a man as we just unveiled?

Would a single supporter be anything other than overcome with excitement?

Because if you can be honest about it you know that we would.

I would have been doing cartwheels up London Road, and if you’ve seen me trying to run up London Road to make a game you’ll know how unlikely cartwheels are.

Celtic has gone box office on us. They have hired an A-lister.

Of course, emotion does form a part of these things and we know the coach in question is Brendan Rodgers. Those fans amongst our number – and they exist – who never joined the chorus calling him a rat or a traitor or a charlatan or a sell-out must be overjoyed.

I am, myself, tremendously excited that our club was bold enough to go out and get a guy with this CV and if I’m also wary of believing any of the inevitable blarney about how this is the club closest to heart and how he always wanted to “come home”, who would blame me?

All of us will approach this the way we would a relationship second chance after our partner has really done us wrong.

There will be mistrust. There will be suspicion.

But by God we know – because we’ve been here before – that it will be sexy and exciting and that this rollercoaster will have plenty of highs along the way.

Celtic needed an appointment like this.

We could not have gone from Postecoglou to some climber still clawing his way up through the ranks, or worse; some inexperienced “project boss” who had accomplished nothing yet.

This was the time for a winner; indeed, a winner was the only thing many of us would have accepted. You do not lose an elite level boss without at least trying to replace him with one.

I said that fans should trust the process because that process had delivered O’Neill, Strachan, Rodgers and Ange already. It had come painfully close to getting Eddie Howe. Our board has been smart at times and lucky at other times.

But when the hopes for those in the stands have been realised by the men in the boardroom, when they’ve pushed the boat out to appoint the right person and then backed that manager properly … well, we’ve seen the results.

Our entire modern success story was built on the backs of bold managerial decisions.

Things have only gone wrong when we have backed off from being the best we can be and settled for less.

I was fairly confident that we would get the right sort of man, although the way Maresca’s name simply refused to go away was a reminder that we’ve also, at times, revealed a tendency towards shooting ourselves in the foot and – and this is the big one – an entire history of failure to build from a position of strength.

Our club is in its best position for decades.

To have squandered this opportunity by taking a backward step … that would have been horrific.

But it would not, historically, have been unprecedented.

But this one time, in a stunning development which no writer of fiction would have dared craft, we have shown the right level of ambition and a commitment to improvement.

There is no doubt that part of it was that Postecoglou himself had inspired the club to progress in directions and in ways which have already reaped enormous benefits … and everyone in the club can see the sense in keeping that going and building on top of it.

Yet Rodgers himself is a man with grand ambitions and grand designs.

The problem last time he was here is that we had an over-mighty CEO who didn’t think big and didn’t want anyone else in the building who did, it seems to me … the notable improvement, right across the club, since he left that post has been obvious to even his greatest defender and promoter. Decisions are made more quickly, the football department runs like a Swiss Watch.

This wasn’t just down to Postecoglou himself.

Michael Nicholson deserves immense credit for the way he has approached the job and basically gotten out of the manager’s way.

This is what we should have had all along, instead of someone playing Football Manager for real with the future of Celtic. Nicholson is no frills, not in the least big egotistical, not a man who cares about getting his name or his face in the papers or on the telly.

This is precisely why he has proven to be so effective.

His low-key no-nonsense approach allows the manager to act as the front man. Postecoglou was an exceptional front man, perhaps the best this club has ever had at the helm. But we all know that Rodgers isn’t half bad at it himself; he has the personality to dominate a media which still thinks its a law unto itself.

Before last season kicked off, much of the media backed the Ibrox club to win the league.

They were just off a Scottish Cup win and a European final.

I didn’t understand it then and it looks frankly ridiculous now. Their club is a joke and the media’s obsession with trying to paint a positive narrative is a joke. We are the only show in town, and the departure of Postecoglou was supposed to weaken us at the time when their pitiful shadow of Rangers was growing stronger.

And you know what? We could have done what we’ve often done in these sorts of scenarios and cursed ourselves with a massive and un-necessary self inflicted wound.

We have not done that. We have, instead, flexed our muscles and shown our strength, going out and replacing the guy who won five trophies out of six with one who won seven out of seven.

Jesus … that has to have them scared. And you know what? They damned well should be.

If Rodgers wins us another treble their club’s vaunted (and artificial) status as the so-called “most successful team in the world” is gone, gone, gone even the lie of it. He is the perfect person to deliver that killer blow to them. They know it too.

They cannot believe what has just happened to them here.

It is for that reason that whatever you think of the man, embrace this appointment as manager and be glad for what has just happened to us.

Share this article


  • Tony B says:

    We welcome back a winner.

    Big summer ahead of us faced with supreme optimism.

    Make no mistake – the huns are shitting themselves and their summer is ruined, no matter what pish and bollocks they spout.

    This is a game changer and we are the beneficiaries.

    • JimBhoy says:

      I beg to differ Mr Tony B, the rangers have their best squad in ages, well for pre-season anyway.

      Mr beale being soooo astute in the transfer market saving jillions by getting great talent in cheaply and early.

      I bet Rodgers is not so astute and spends millions on players.

  • Michael Collins says:

    I have never really blamed Brendan for going, even the way he did it. Lawwell was completely to blame almost all by himself and the reasons have been well documented.
    I live in Thailand and if I was a season ticket holder I would have handed it back when Lawwell came back as chairman. This time I do believe that he will have been well warned to keep his nose out of any team affairs, and I do not think he will dare try it again.
    Welcome back Brendan.

  • Johnny Green says:

    A great appointment, the season cannot start quick enough and three in a row beckons on all fronts, The Celtic Nation will be in full flow once again. We never stop.

  • Bunter says:

    Agree with you James, but a wee apology to the supporters for the underhand manner of his departure south is required. We forgive him – we just need to hear him acknowledge the hurt caused. Then we move on united.

  • Bob L says:

    Well said, James, best man for the job. Buzzing!

  • Jackson says:

    Great article and bang on the money .
    Our players will have a bounce in their step too.. bring some real steel Brendan to the midfield and I for one will be happy.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Quite frankly and although we obviously all want the team tae dae well, everyone has their own opinion of his return and that’s their entitlement. Tho now (and was ALWAYS goin tae be the case imo), that we once again, have the same coachin staff in the dug out, kennedy and strachan, we can expect tae see exactly the same defensive weaknesses, especially in Europe, as we’ve seen in previous seasons and through how many managers is that now ? Personally, would be hugely surprised if there’s any difference. Absolutely nae reason tae think otherwise.

  • John Copeland says:

    Let’s all hope that it’s a beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning moment with the reintroduced head coach , Brendan Rodgers ? As said by the world class Rock star circa 1977 ….

    • Thomas M Daley says:

      Churchill coined the phrase after El Alamien. Said a lot but condensed the victory were the end of the beginning.


    A ‘Treble’ next year isn’t a stick-on for Brendan.
    Let’s see how he deals with Sevco’s best acquisition
    of the past few years.. none other than ‘Mr Varman’.
    Be in no doubt, as bad as it was last year this year
    will be even worse. Beagle’s budget army of ‘Action Man’ Heids
    will need and will get all the assistance and ‘Honest Mistakes’
    necessary to get them over the line.

    Champions League riches will be a bonus this year if they qualify.
    Season 24/25 participation is an absolute must for them.
    FFP has forced a measure of austerity on them for this Season.
    However Beale’s recent acquisitions are on Championship wages
    and Sevco’s propensity to bleed money has not been completely staunched (sic).
    There are a helluva lot of shares needing to be bought back to reimburse the people who have been financing the
    approximately £100 Million losses since 2012. These donors want their money back and not yet more paper confetti and EUFA has them on their watch list now. Sevco has no access to serious external financing. Their lower ground capacity and smaller Commercial revenues ( Big Mike hasn’t gone away) means they can’t compete with us in financial terms and for ‘Kultural’ reasons the are unable to grow non-Football income.

    The only way ahead for them is sustained access to Champions League / Europa League revenues.

  • S Thomas says:

    Always been a big Brendan fan.. and glad he’s back, although green brigade are not happy at all I’ve just noticed. Hopefully now we start targeting new players to get them well drilled in how Brendan wants us to play, as it’s different system from Ange. A mind Bob Geldof said he didn’t like Mondays.. well my Monday is going great. Happy bhoy today HH.

  • Effarr says:

    Celtic fans just need to get fully behind the Celtic manager but be always wary of Brendan Rodgers. Respect the man`s
    authority but keep an eye on his every move and utterances.

  • Johnno says:

    We as a club have been in this position many times before with not showing enough ambition to really take ourselves to the next level within European football.
    So must applaud the board in showing ambition with the appointment of Rodgers.
    Must admit to be against it, due to the potential split within our greatest weapon of our support.
    So a huge decision has been made, now I believe that it calls upon our support to know there place and question themselves as to weather they are proper supporters?
    A decision has been made that may not be to the liking of many, yet are we going to let our enemies thrive upon it, like they have done in the past, without success either, which in turn made us even stronger as a club?
    I believe it’s another one of those incidents we are facing yet again, and only our support could offer such shite a winning advantage against ourselves.
    Next season was always going to be about just how much ambition there really was within the club?
    Ange never really wanted to finish what he started, and Rodgers was never really given the opportunity to match what was his ambition for the club, until now.
    Given where we should be looking to go as a club, then I believe that we are actually in safer hands to match that ambition than Ange still hadn’t proved himself enough to match that ambition and next season always stood to be when the questions of just how good of a manager Ange really is?
    The answer will be revealed with a different club now, yet it won’t take away from the fantastic job he done for ourselves.
    Just for the record, I still class Rodgers record as winning 8 in 8 with having the league as good as won and only left lenny to stumble over the line in that campaign.
    Really looking forward to next season and thinking far bigger than just burying a shower of scum as per usual

    • Henriksgoldenboot says:

      I agree with you my friend. Rodgers left the league on a plate for Lenny. I count it 8 from 8. And also like you Johnny, I can’t wait to see what Rodgers does with us with proper backing for Europe. God bless.

  • Brian Boyd says:

    I’ve been reading your blogs for a while now and each and everyone of them is from the heart and every celtic supporter can relate to what you have written, keep up the good work and god bless

  • SSMPM says:

    Happy Daze. So it took time but Rodgers won out in the end and Lawwell lost control. Welcome home and sort us out a big central defender plz Brendan. HH

  • Henriksgoldenboot says:

    Hands up!! I was one of those who never joined in with the debasing of Rodgers. At the time I thought it was uncalled for,even more so now. I understand people are emotionally tied to the club, we can’t help it it’s who we are but you have to have a good look at yourself when the emotional takes over the rationale because at the end of the day it’s only a game and we always need to put things into perspective. And the perspective looks fantastic right now!

    And I think James as you say in a roundabout way above, we are going to benefit undoubtedly from his sabbatical from the club. It’s the biggest masterstroke the club have had since the appointment of Win Jansen (God rest his soul), who we mustn’t forget about either when we talk about our recent modern generation of successful managers. For me he really was the catalyst for where we are now in a managerial sense.

    I’m also excited by the prospect of Rodgers working with Nicholson. Like you say his personality seems to be the type that should dovetail very nicely with Rodgers’ and if he stays IF as long as he says he is planning to, then this could be our best years since the original 9 in a row and the O’Neill years.

    Our shadow over ibrokes is about to get bigger and darker. Stuff of their nightmares. I’ll be praying for them that they get some rest…… They’re going to need it!!

  • JimBhoy says:

    Hoping wee Calmac has another 2 or 3 trebles before he retires.

    I wonder who will take over from Beale when he is found wanting and when the rangers fans have had enough of the double-talk and BS….

    It will only take a few bad refereeing performances, 6 or 7 points dropped over 5 or 6 games for the klan to be tooled up with pitchforks and torches.

    I expect Brendan to bring in 3 or 4 players probably from the EPL so should be good quality. I expect most of our fringe/loanee players to move and maybe 1 or 2 squad players too and we get in some cash for them.

    If Brendan buys another Dembele or gets a Paddy Roberts fantastic. He will be in a good place to enhance the footballing assets at Celtic with good resale too.

    Very strong position for Brendan to come into and make his own. The rangers fans are well aware of this and have started their slanging match in preseason. Harder to do when the hunskelping begins.

    • James Forrest says:

      I think Calmac might get pushed further forward, into what I’ve always thought was his best position.

    • Stesano says:

      Huns always confident when there no football to be played!! Ha ha bit like the coward that acts hard and talks hard after the event you know ” I could a beat him him” to his cowardly pathetic mhates oh and that’s a hun trait, they just love ” comforting lies” ha ha They are terrified as over 4000 comments on ” next Celtic manager “thread proves! What a rid neck tho ha ha having a thread like that tho they do continally seek our approval, valadation and relevance ” O f” style pathetic weirdos! That they are! Hail Hail more Trebles incoming!! Yasssssssss

  • Gael says:

    Support the new manager. Otherwise the only beneficiaries would be Sevco.

  • Stesano says:

    Any Celtic fan that says he was not be like a kid at Christmas Eve waiting on Brendan is frankly a liar!! The Green brigade di alot good but that bs today is only ” don’t back down double down bs! The Aussie has been hawking himself for every job in England since January at the least fact!! No one club was interested he got to spurs mainly through the Aussie connection but the GB go after Brendan!! Geez peace I know no fan that ain’t over the moon with this when Brendan first came it was showbiz!! As he has got it!! The Aussie love in was never the same and I told everyone on here he be gone asap living in Australia for years like I have he sees it as a victory for Aussies! As they worship England and America! Not about money at all , he made a bad move cause once he sacked and that will happen! He finished there that’s why coaching staff have stayed plus the Brendan magic!! This a great day for Celtic! Yassssss loving it!

  • Jim aka CQN's Truth, Beauty & Freedom says:

    Dear James,
    I think this is your best article yet!
    You have grown in stature and maturity as a Blogger and a Journalist and you have converted this CQN’r into one who FIRST looks for your excellent Celtic Commentary when looking for my ‘Celtic News’!
    Well done James!

Comments are closed.