The Celtic Boss Needs Support Right Now, From Everyone Connected To The Club.

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Brendan Rodgers has the support of the vast, vast majority of Celtic fans. I am sure of it. The man is a top class coach and he is moving us in his own direction and by the time we get there we’ll all have seen the benefits of his tenure.

We will see at least some of them before this season is out, when we secure another league title. That’s what we brought him back for.

But Brendan Rodgers knows that there is a section of the support which will never forgive nor forget. Hell, I won’t forget myself.

I sat at his press conference when he came back and listened with great interest as he said he’d be here for the full three years unless he was fired. To me, that’s a rock-solid commitment which he cannot escape from. Having said those words, he is glued to them. To betray that, at any point, would end his relationship with us entirely.

To others, those are just words and the suspicion remains that if the right job south of the border made itself available that Rodgers would go without even a backwards glance. I don’t think so. I don’t think he would get away with that and he knows it.

Yet for that section of our support still raging at his departure for Leicester, he will always be That Person, that person who broke their hearts, the partner who cheated on them, the one who jilted them at the altar.

That’s a hard hurt, man, that’s tough to take. Some people can get over that, but it takes a while. Other people never do, and that’s the section of our support who Brendan Rodgers is going to have to reckon with the whole time he is here.

So I understand why last night has re-opened some wounds.

I understand why those who never wanted him back here are willing to latch onto it as a means of justifying that emotion. I also get why other people think that he’s not the same manager that he was; of course, he isn’t.

Rodgers is older, hardened by the turn his time at Leicester eventually took, but I think he’s come back smarter and better and that will be all to the good.

I’ve read a lot of criticism about his tactics last night. I won’t go there. To suggest that we should play eleven men behind the ball in Europe is as defeatist as the attitudes of those clubs who do that to us in the league.

I also think it’s unfair to pour such scorn on him for last night when last night was an exceptional one in terms of how it happened.

Maeda was the worst possible player to be sent off.

So much of our football comes down his side of the pitch, his energy and aggression are key to every facet of our game, because he pulls players out of position, he makes them work hard, he runs them into the ground. I would have rather we lost any other player but him.

I also think had we got into the half-time break with only a one goal deficit that we’d have put up a second half fight. Maybe we’d still have gone down heavily, but it would not have been a complete surrender.

It’s the second goal that does that, and Rodgers didn’t get a chance to restructure the team with anything meaningful at stake.

The circumstances of the first half were dreadful. It ended any chance we had of making a proper go of it, and dictated Rodgers second half changes, which were all about giving people experience at that level and protecting our key players for Sunday.

So whilst I agree that the result and performance levels were wholly unacceptable, I am not ready to put the boot into the boss as a result of that fixture, and I’m not surprised in the least how much criticism there is of it.

I just believe a lot of it has nothing to do with him as a manager, but is more about the anger a lot of people are hanging onto.

Remember, this is a guy who is basically working with a team custom built for someone else. Without his own signings, brought in to fit into what he’s trying to do, how can he be properly judged on the big stage of Europe?

Next season, perhaps. Not this one.

A glance at results might convince people that we’re no further forward than last year. In some ways we aren’t but in others there has been clear progress. We rocked Lazio and Atletico at home, and on another day might have got wins in both games. Would we have lost 6-0 last night with eleven men?

Absolutely not, I don’t believe it for a minute.

So that’s progress, and it’s come about partly because we’re not going all-in and gung-ho trying to outscore the opposition no matter what state that leaves us in at the back. I know people want to see formation changes, but do we have the squad to do that? Where would we test it? Against SPFL sides who won’t come out of their penalty boxes?

We play in Scotland. That’s hardly the right environment to test out strategies for Europe. Rodgers isn’t a miracle worker.

It would be tremendously risky to throw players together in an untested system for a game like last night … this stuff has to be finessed, and done carefully. It is going to take time. That’s why Rodgers’ claim that he will be here until he’s punted is particularly interesting. Will he stay beyond three years? He should if he wants a real legacy.

In the meantime, I have no problem with the game being “taken in isolation” as he has already put it. The circumstances were not ideal.

The start was as bad as it could have been. The team needs to learn to keep its cool on that stage, and as I said the other day it would be a good idea to consider a full-time sports psychology department at Lennoxtown.

I’m not going to give the boss too hard a time over that.

He will get criticism when he deserves it, but the self-destruction of that team last night had very little to do with him. Part of it is the way we seem to come apart under pressure on that stage and part of it is that we are never adequately prepared because Scottish clubs don’t put us under pressure enough.

I don’t know how our manager changes that, but he and the club have to come up with something, they have to find ways.

Harder pre-season schedules where we can experiment with new systems would be one way to go … but in order to do that the transfer business has to be done early or it’s just a waste of time. We are hamstrung by our own policies at times.

There are things we have to do better and there are things that we simply have to do. I am still convinced that the right man is at the helm. He needs time and support – support from the stands and from the director’s box both.

When Rodgers screws up I’ll be the first one to be critical.

I think he’s let himself down in letting others design his transfer strategy … and that’s cost him and us this summer. But right now, we need to let that man work and get this team back on its feet, even those of us who still expect him to depart the moment a club in the Promised Land flutters its metaphorical eyelashes at him.

He’s here right now, and we’ve got to give him the backing.

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  • Alexander Munn says:

    James who should we have signed in the summer? who should we sign in January?

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Shankland And Shankland… The difference between us (Celtic) and them (Sevco) winning The League…

      But only if he goes to one of “The Glasgow Derby Club’s” –

      But a moot point if he stays with The Scumbos at Swinecastle !

  • Hugh says:

    Thought we started the game quite well but it all boils down to the loss of the first goal that saps confidence in this type of game. Joe Hart was the main culprit with that attempt at a punched clearance when it was really a simple catch. We then had a panic header from McGregor, a player who should never be near our defence as he has been involved in too many lost goals when in and around our box. Other than Harts mess up he had a decent game stopping shots but really we need a keeper who will take command at least out as far as the penalty spot. A good commanding keeper should be first on the list as their play can lift the team. As for VAR, it will only work if it is the Ref who calls for a replay anytime he feels unsure. Do we really need linesmen with the way it works now because they are made to look foolish as does the Ref. with the amount of things they seem to miss or have overturned because they get it wrong.

  • Pan says:

    Daizen was targeted by those morons because he was the danger. That is what they do at that club and some others. They were in the ref’s face because they knew they could influence events and get our most dynamic and effective player sent off. Their head coach is and utter creep and a coward to boot. I’ve said enough about the ref elsewhere, but he is an exceptionally weak referee and a person of very doubtful character. He has been under investigation before and it is becoming very clear that the number of refs used by UEFA are incompetent, or something more sinister. The whole competition is unfair and bent. We all know this but nothing is done. Soon we will find that Saudi is actually in Europe as the UEFA people see richer rewards. Our game is going down the Swanee fast!

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    I’m still backing him – As long as he wins The League and The Scottish Cup…

    I’m not doing it financially through the turnstiles though –

    But I am helping having purchased some merchandise that I liked…

    The merchandise purchases are not a fix –

    The SPFL Premier League very much is though !

  • Paddybhoy67 says:

    Roger$ … I never wanted him back. I still don’t. I saw nothing elite in the team, or tactics last night.

    • Graham Laurie says:

      Fine, if you feel you can’t support the manager, a guy who has carried on where he left off by humiliating the Orcs at their own midden yet AGAIN and will hopefully do so again when we get them back to Celtic Park next month then stay away. Celtic Park will STILL be full to it’s 60,000 capacity on Sunday without you and the REST of the Rodgers-haters.

  • SSMPM says:

    I still blame the board more than him for creating the environment from which he felt he could take no more. I’ve more distain for AP that I’m sure will subside. HH

  • Bunter says:

    Time to circle the wagons for a couple of days while our enemies have a bit of fun. Then we go again after that and hand out a footballing lesson to Aberdeen on Sunday. Brendan will sort out the team as he’s a top man manager. And we’re still top by 8 points with a January window to come. COYBIG!!

  • John says:

    I do despair sometimes with some Celtic supporters over europe and Celtic’s history on this stage. Celtic have a great past history in the European cup but since the introduction of the champions league this has become a closed shop for only the richest teams in europe and nothing is going to change that. Celtic play in a league where teams put eleven men behind the ball and use very tactic they can to stop them playing, then these players are expected to face some great teams in europe with great technical ability and players who cost fortunes and the expectations of some supporters is to say the least over the top. This manager and his team have in my opinion played with great skill and ability against the 3 teams ( excluding Tues, night) they have encountered in europe this season and the sending off of 3 players in two matches disrupted their game plan as they were holding their own until these events changed everything. As for questioning B.Rogers i think his tactics and the way he has the players at his disposal playing a level of football way above anything in scottish football shows his ability as a coach. I can only hope the Celtic board recognise if Rogers & Celtic want to complete in europe they give him the tools to do it. As for some supporters fanciful ideas on Celtic being a european force in the Champions league this is not a realistic dream. I believe european cup football needs a radical shake up as money is ruining this compitition.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    It’s no BR the support are blamin imo. It’s once again, the silent, greedy board sittin up there in charge of the club. Tho, one thing ah dae think, is that he’ll no tolerate bein made a patsy for their lack of ambition. 3 years ? If he doesnae get the backin, he’ll be off before then again and tbh who could blame him.

  • Johnno says:

    Still unconvinced Rodgers has this team set up in a manner that he’s comfortable with currently imo?
    Always going to take a period of transition when a new manager comes into the club, but also taking a bit longer than expected to implement the changes that he would possibly like also?
    As much as I dislike the 4231 that Rodgers started with, there was enough on show during the CL in patches and away from home within the SPFL to say it could work nicely?
    Yet has hardly worked to impressively against the anti football teams either?
    Even if Oreily has excelled within the change.
    Now we seem to have returned to the 433 with the opposite effect, better within the SPFL, but can’t see it being successful within the CL, even in the future either imo?
    Best highlighted by the roles of the full backs, especially that of Taylor.
    Expected to play the more flat role within a back 4 at CL level, yet used for trying to create overloads all over the pitch within the SPFL?
    Personally don’t think he’s that good of a player in either role, and AJ seems to be struggling with the transitions involved also.
    Some of the partnerships within the team still remain questionable, along with the positional roles of quite a number of players still, especially in the wider and midfield areas.
    One change I would like to see tried, is maybe giving iwata a go in the calmac role and pushing calmac forward moreso, especially if Rodgers intends to stick with the 433?
    Still think iwata has more to offer than being used in managing calmac game time, but still not trusted enough to actually start or take the calmac role as a potential change within a tight game?
    Still believe Rodgers will improve the finer details within our all round play, that will improve us much better in the longer run, even if taking a bit of time to see the improvements as of yet.
    Already trying to improve both kyogo along with Oh, with trying to drops deeper with there backs to goal and trying to hold up and link up play better, but certainly not the type of player Ange wanted to sign for ourselves?
    Still it’s not clear cut, weather that can be introduced into there game, to make them better all round players?
    Certainly not there as of yet, but some encouraging signs also potentially in the making all the same?
    As a support in general, we can tend to look for instant success, and less trust in the process involved?
    Still patient enough, along with being confident enough to say that it will be very beneficial for ourselves in the longer run with the process involved under Rodgers?
    Even if some matters remain questionable currently

  • SSMPM says:

    Strangely enough the signings and this squad is no more Brendan’s 1st team squad than before when Lawwell made the signings. Some can’t seem to see that or rather don’t want to simply because it doesn’t suit their dislike of the man. The buck and blame lies purely at the door of the board and their unwillingness to invest Brendan’s just an easy target and one they want out. To me they sound like and act a lot like the so-called fans across the city. You can’t have butter with margarine money. HH

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    We all seem this coming when it became obvious what our summer signing policy was – the fact that it took until the 4th game for it to manifest is testimony ti Brendan’s skills and abilities.
    Our chairman’s a Hun an it seems inescapable that our business model is, above everything else, geared around keeping sevco relevant.


  • MartinKennea says:

    We need desmond and the board gone . I have no idea how that can be achieved , but it’s the only way things will change . I honestly wish I could give Celtic up , but , like all us supporters I’m addicted .

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