Chris Sutton’s point about Kuhn and the January window was well made today. He is correct to say that Brendan Rodgers will stand and fall on the decisions he makes and he appears to be convinced that Kuhn is definitely one of the manager’s picks. I agree.
The smartest thing Sutton said was that Brendan Rodgers will stand and fall by the signings. His signings. It is important to note that. That man should not be getting judged by what other people have failed to deliver. And I am increasingly concerned about this.
Rodgers needs to keep on emphasising the need for quality. His definition of that. When he spoke yesterday about considering a project striker my heart sank, and not for the first time listening to this guy. Perhaps it is not clear to him that some in the stands are supportive of him only as long as the team is top of the league. Perhaps it is not clear to him that some on the board are supportive of him only as long as we’re the best side in the country.
But both of those things are true. Rodgers is not being worshiped like he was the last time he was here. Right now, he’s being tolerated. That’s the hard and simple fact of it for many people, he’s being tolerated the way Lennon was by those of us who were well aware of his deficiencies and believed that his tenure would end in disaster.
Brendan Rodgers cannot afford to be judged on what other people at Celtic are doing. But he has one advantage and he has to play the card for all it is worth; the uncertainty a lot of fans feel about him is more than replicated in how they feel about the son of the chairman and his personal performance in his job.
That must not get hung around the manager’s neck. It would be better if people like Chris Sutton stopped judging Rodgers on a summer in which he foolishly gave up his control of things and started being honest about the people at Celtic who mad the decisions.
Going forward it cannot be like that. There is a time for signing project players, and trying to develop them as part of a winning team. But right now, Rodgers is still trying to construct his version of that and he needs the freedom and latitude to do it.
In order to get that freedom, he needs to speak up more, but on top of that those of us who know what’s going on and don’t like it need to speak up for him and let him know he has the support he needs when he goes in front of the board to make his point. Sutton can be one of the loudest voices on his behalf but he’s got to realise that and give the boss the backing.
There’s not long in this window left to go, and we need our handful of friends in the media sending this message more loudly than ever. The blogs will step up over the next week, and that’s all to the good, but someone like Sutton may genuinely be able to move the needle in a way we’re not able to. He should realise that this is the moment for turning his platform into a podium.