The last few days, since Tuesday’s game, have seen the volume turned up in a big, big way for the start of the January window, and the manager could not be clearer if he tried. He has high expectations for that window, a traditionally tough one, in which a lot more can go wrong than right. But he’s talking like a guy with it all worked out.
Crucially, he has sung the praises of Dermot Desmond and said that he’s one of the reasons he came back to the club. In talking up their friendship, Brendan sounds a lot like a guy trying to short-circuit other influences. I may be crazy. But that’s an important statement he made the other day, and he isn’t making all this noise because it’s fun for him.
When he spoke to the media after the Lazio game the frustration in his voice was obvious and the message crystal clear; he won’t go into next year’s Champions League games with his hands tied, no chance of it at all. He won’t go into the second half of this season depending on the current crop of “fringe players” either. He wants deals done, big ones.
He’s talking like a guy who expects it, and if it’s not that then at last, at long last, he sounds very much like a man who is preparing to fight for what he needs. Brendan Rodgers did not return to Celtic to let someone else control his destiny here.
He has a plan. He has a vision. That plan may succeed or it might fail, that vision might take us to the promised land or it might be a road to nowhere, but if they weren’t willing to let him follow it through then they had no business bringing him to the club again.
We could have hired some yes man and dispensed with the window dressing. The board doesn’t get to bring this guy in and then use him as their human shield.
If I’m right, the big decisions have been made already and the change of gear has been factored in. Lawwell dropped the first hint when he wrote the intro to the accounts, and the manager has said repeatedly that he expects to see quality arrive … even the players have taken his side on this one, and that’s significant as well.
Hey, Brendan Rodgers has either been given the guarantees he’s looking for or he’s getting ready to fight and if he has the dressing room, the fans and the largest shareholder in his corner accepting what has to be done then that fight is over already.
You know what? I’m looking forward to the January window. I think we might get a big surprise, and not an unpleasant one. Rodgers is sounding a lot like a guy who has won the critical battle, or at least someone who knows it’s only going to go one way and that’s his.