Rodgers Knows To Stay At Celtic He Needs Success, So Why Is He Letting Others Risk It?

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Brendan Rodgers sat down for another press conference today and he laid out the bad news for us. There’s nothing on the immediate horizon.

Those above him had months to identify a handful of players who we could obtain during this window and instead we’re scrambling about going in to the last week. The first league game after the winter break is two days away.

We needed to be ready for that. I knew the minute Kyogo was not selected by Japan that this was the excuse people at Celtic would grab onto for dragging their feet.

You can read these people like a book, and the more they do it the more they make the manager sound like an idiot.

There he was today, sitting there, trotting out the old bog-standard nonsense about knowing part of his job is development. It’s pathetic, to be frank. It’s not what he thought he was coming here to do and every now and again that creeps out in his words. He knows his squad is good enough to stay ahead in Scotland, maybe, but that in Europe it’s nowhere.

He also knows that those above him emphasising development of the players he was handed in the summer is all about them replacing the top tier stars he’s now resigned to losing in the summer. Like Celtic bosses before him, Rodgers has inherited something he’s not going to get to build on. Instead, every year will be another desperate quest to turn what the board deems him worthy to have into something that gets the job done domestically.

But that’s becoming an increasingly challenging job because of two things; Ibrox’s lunatic determination and willingness to take massive risks to overtake us and the poverty of the other clubs in this league. Our abject failure to reform football finance in Scotland actually counts against us in a race like this, because we’ll continue to follow a for-profit strategy and other teams, contemptuous of the rules and of heedless of the risks, will not.

And remember; they only need to be better than everyone else, and capable of beating everyone else and then you need virtually a perfect record to stay top. Throw in a difficult fixture schedule, wear and tear on your best players – because Rodgers will not just throw guys into the team he knows full well aren’t ready for it – and you’re rolling dice.

That’s all we’re doing here, and with Kyogo in particular. His mention of the development squad today is an echo of what some of us suspected when we heard that Vata might be offered a new deal after all; he’s been earmarked as the backup striker because the “head of recruitment” hasn’t found the right player yet, although he’s had time aplenty to do it.

But listening to Rodgers try to defend this stuff is depressing. He’s now openly contradicting himself again and we’re back to this development mantra we were hearing after it became clear he wouldn’t get his players in the summer. He got one thing right today; if he’s going to be here for as long as he has planned, it depends on his continuing to win things … and right now the people above him are gambling with that and he is letting them.

He sounded like a mark today, like a hapless con-job mark putting his faith in a guy he’s met at a bus-station and who has talked him into some improbable scheme.

Part of him has to know he’s been done up like a kipper and that he increasingly looks like a fool … watching a top class coach willingly put himself through that is appalling and would shame those above him if they had any.

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  • Captain Swing says:

    I am increasingly convinced he won’t be here next season regardless – why would he? I remember Billy McNeill saying in his book of his ill-starred time at Villa that his only wish was to keep the club up so he could resign with his head held high…. he didn’t succeed and got the tin-tack from “Deadly Doug” Ellis and we maybe got the benefit of that the following season. Well, I imagine BR might be thinking along the same lines – win the double or at least the title and then walk, letting PL and DD explain his departure. As long as he leaves it to the end of the season…

  • Pan says:

    We are the fools.
    We keep handing over money.
    Perhaps we should continue supporting the team but stop AL purchasing of merchandise and hit them in the pocket. If there relationship with Adidas is in danger, watch them then!
    There is no integrity or honour with this Board. All honour and integrity disappeared with Fergus and Brian when they left. I’m sick of these patronising money grabbers. They use the fans to pay for their comforts. Dishonest to a tee.

  • Mick says:

    Yes, it was so very sad to see and hear all the usual tired excuses, there will be no new additions. BR has been sold an idea then that idea has morphed into the Lawwells’ Lowball Laugh a Minute Bingo. He was never consulted over any of it.

    I said the same after watching that interview earlier, his body language and his demeanour are pitiful and he knows that we ALL KNOW THIS and can see him shrinking before our eyes.

    He will be gone come summer if this continues, a manager of his standing should not have to put up with this.

    Q. IF you were him, would you leave?

    My answer is… NO THANKS, I’M OFFSKI!

  • Jimbhoy says:

    Spot on james. How much more are the fans going to take , when it was announced HE was making a return we all knew the same old same old was returning with him . With so much at stake for the winners of this title , one big big gamble is in play here . We may be good enough to beat Newco but are we good enough to beat them the mibs the sfa the spfl , VAR It’s a hard ask .

  • Pan says:

    all – NOT AL.

  • Jas says:

    Without wanting to be devil’s advocate, trying to bring to Celtic any in form striker in January is 99% impossible, besides them being happy to remain where they are, why would any striker with half a brain come to Celtic to play second fiddle to Kyogo with little chance of getting the jersey?

    Tellingly Geo wasn’t happy to do it!

  • DixieD says:

    That was painful to watch today. A top class manager neutered by the invisible men, who will sink even further into the hedge leaving him to carry the can if it goes wrong. He now knows that he will almost certainly be losing O’Riley in the Summer and he won’t get a sniff of the profits. Remember when Ange laid out his plan: Buy for £1m-£3m, sell for £8m – £10m, buy for £5m – £8m, sell for £12m – £15m and so on. This board time and again ably demonstrate that domestic success is enough for them. They have failed every European football KPI since Lawwell has been at the club. We’re loaded though, so what’s not to love??

  • Jim Duffy says:

    Spot on James, especially regarding the manager,he’s turning into a patsy.

  • Peter Cassidy says:

    Celtic supporters who pay to watch Celtic week out week out and pay for shirts etc are taken for granted by the Celtic board have done so for decades so no change there .Come summer if they get good offers for our players they will be sold and then cheap players bought in the hope we get a star that’s how they want it and also not to get to far in front of there mates the rangers”need them to keep the fans hating each other or the game is up and on we go again again spl tripe football and Europe how depressing.

  • G Smith says:

    Your pre supposing he wants to stay and the celts are not a stepping stone to “greater things” again.

  • Kevan McKeown says:

    Words fail me. Incredible.

  • Roonsa says:

    Rodgers has either been sold a dummy or he realises his star has lost it’s sheen and he’s not the in demand manager that he once was. I can’t see why else he would willingly come back to Celtic to be set up for such a big fall.

    If Celtic end this season without the SPFL title in the bag then he is toast. It won’t be Desmond, Lawwell or his inexplicably positioned son. Head of recruitment? You are having a laugh. These jokers will keep on serving up the same old muck we’ve had to endure since Rodgers left 1st time round, save for a moment of lucidity when Ange bulldozed his way to getting things done his way.

    I honestly cannot believe we are prepared to risk the 2nd half of the season like this when there is such a reward for winning the title. If the huns get it, the conclusion must be that’s what the money men at Celtic wanted all along so we can go back to pushing the Old Firm brand again like the good ole days.

    Fucking pricks. Fuck them. A hex on their houses.

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ Roonsa, Absolutely agree. With all that money sittin there and all they have tae do is sign 3 players tae give us a far better chance of winnin this league and they don’t dae it, ah’ll believe there’s somethin a lot more sinister goin on here, somethin out of sight. A deliberate neglect, tae suit their own greedy future buisness plan. Thats exactly what ahm thinkin.

  • Michael Clark says:

    The whole thing has become depressing watching Celtic’s form ever increasingly collapse since Postecoglou’s departure. Now whether it was his eye for a bargin and Rogers not capable remains to be seen but I find myself slowly losing interest because so has the board. I didn’t miss the football because there’s nothing to miss.

  • Cheezydee says:

    If Rodgers thinks he’s been done up like a kipper surely he’d be on the phone to Desmond saying what’s with all this stuff you told me to get me back? And Desmond would surely on the phone reminding lawell to get things sorted. If it’s a shit show because the recruitment team are shit, then that needs addressed I’d say after this window closes.

    If we’re bringing in another striker then I think vata or oh has to go, and it looks like Rodgers sees something in vata (that I haven’t).

    Personally I think we’re realistically just trying to get a LB in this window now

  • Sid says:

    Time to demand change!

  • Johnno says:

    Do you James or anyone else come to think about it, actually know or even a clue about the thinking of Rodgers currently?
    Very much doubt it, and the decision making process about potential signings are looking to be at a standard where they can play at CL level?
    Yet the funds aren’t available to sign CL quality players?
    What’s more, where is the space available currently within the squad to actually accommodate such players, without a clue upon what Rodgers actual plans may be?
    So let’s go through the 3 positions that is causing so much panic from bed wetters within our support?
    Who needs the Scottish media to attack our player’s currently when so many within our support are prepared to do it for all of those eejits?

    Seconds away from a Korea v Japan match on Wednesday, which in turn would have released 2 players. So was Rodgers wrong in taking such an approach?
    Is OH such a failure of a player that needs to be hounded out of the club now, because we are demanding better?
    Does Rodgers actually think so poorly of him as a player also and demanding better?
    Any idea how much it is going to cost for a striker to play a back up role to potentially kyogo and Maeda ahead of such a player?
    Even Abada has done the role and apparently kuhn can also by all accounts, but totally rule out vata now because he’s already been classed as never going to be good enough for ourselves?
    Is that really the thinking of Rodgers?

    So now Hart is being regarded as surplus to requirements now?
    Any chance of Rodgers making the decision that he was happy to keep Hart as his no1 for the season, and address the position in the summer?
    Would make sense, especially when we want a quality keeper for the future, but the position isn’t readily available yet?
    So is that an appalling decision from Rodgers?
    Don’t believe so, and Hart certainly has earnt far more respect within the club than he’s currently getting with the demands for a replacement?
    Surprisingly no-one is even questioning the role of Bain as a no2?
    Is that the best Scottish option currently available as a no2 keeper, especially as a requirement for ourselves with CL squad place in mind?
    Maybe Rodgers has suddenly become so unaware of the current position within the club?
    Not a chance of it, but will get addressed in the summer, but 2 decent professionals that provide plenty within the changing room is maybe the safer option Rodgers has decided upon currently, than looking at causing upheaval in the position mid season?
    Couldn’t really make much of a case against Rodgers if that was his decision either?

    Left back
    Taylor is such a poor player now that he’s got to be ran from the club?
    Again like Hart could Rodgers have decided Taylor was actually his first choice for the position this season?
    Even now not having decent available cover is a massive risk, but the demands within the club is actually looking for and wanting better than Taylor?
    So what are the consequences of the arrival of the potential upgrade upon Taylor?
    Can’t see Taylor wanting to play the same role as a ralston or Welsh within the squad myself, even more so with Scotland in the euros in the summer also?
    Are we meant to think that Rodgers hasn’t even thought about that prospect?
    Is recalling monty from his loan as potential cover for Taylor should he decide to move on because lack of game time is going to become his new normal?
    Could be potentially in the making and Rodgers looking to cover his options available for himself and the team for the future, but maybe doesn’t feel like the time is right now to address it, but still time available to do so if he wishes?
    Again any potential replacement for Taylor would potentially be looking for guaranteed no1 role in the position, especially when the quality Rodgers has mentioned is also a requirement?
    Bit of a catch 22 for Rodgers currently in that regards currently, but hardly a position that is going to cost us either within the SPFL imo?

    So overall is our squad so bad that it requires urgent attention currently?
    Not a chance of it being regarded so, and finding it a bit insulting to current players to be labelled as not good enough, especially when many haven’t even reached anything near what there potential could eventually be for ourselves?
    Not totally convinced by the decision making of Rodgers to date?
    But certainly won’t be questioning him just yet upon weather he knows what he is actually doing?
    Will give him great credit for trying to address the 8 homegrown rule that brings about massive problems to ourselves at CL squad level?
    Never have we been able to achieve a 25 man squad for CL level.
    Had decent teams in the past but this 5 sub rule in play requires better depth within the squad.
    Still believe that the process is well underway now, even if not totally completed, but not as many available squad places available within a 25 man squad, that way to many are trying to make out either imo?
    Starting to think we are developing into a club that likes to moan for the sake of moaning?
    Top of the SPFL with the advantage and the best still to come from ourselves on a consistency basis is currently not enough for some who would rather fill there own shorts?
    Remain unconvinced that the board isn’t actually backing Rodgers currently, as won’t go around like a sheep following a shepherd?
    So just to leave a thought for yourself James and include Joe into the reckoning also?
    If Tommy Burns thought it was OK for ourselves to get 1 homegrown player from 5000?
    Then why was it so wrong to be getting 1 out of 2 available for squad positions this season and having them in place already, especially when squad depth was never even in place in so many positions when Rodgers actually took on a job that Ange was happy enough to run away from?
    Overloading our squad has gone unnoticed for way too long with us as a team been so dependent upon certain individual players?
    Is that really the case now?
    Even the thought of not having a CCV, Hatate, Maeda, Abada, or even the prospect of a calmac, kyogo or Oreily doesn’t send a shiver down the spine of playing any team within the SPFL imo?
    Inconvenience by all means, but panic?
    Not a chance of it, and never felt as relaxed about the current strength of this current squad, and just how many times within our history have we ever been in such a position?
    Never that I can recall, but as a support in general we don’t tend to deal with change within the game to well either imo?
    Becoming a bit to fond of looking for scapegoats currently?
    I actually believe Rodgers return was based mainly upon getting us back to being a very decent CL team, which requires a decent overall squad.
    Played 10CL matches in 2 seasons without been able to field our strongest available 11 in any game to date.
    Strange with the amount of moaning currently that we aren’t actually to far away from saying what our strongest available 11 is if every player was actually available?
    And we are meant to buy into this horseshite that we aren’t good enough still?
    More of an insult to our current players than trying to direct it upon the board and manager, I would say imo?

    • michael mccormack says:

      Long winded load of shit

    • Kevan McKeown says:

      @ Johnno. Probably the biggest amount of arrogant, blinkered, pish ah’ve read on here recently. Bed wetters ?! No bad ! By that, ye mean the people that are watchin and payin (paid) tae watch these games every week and have formed the opinion, that they don’t have the confidence in some of these players tae win us the league and with 50-60 million at stake, without some kind of back up ? Who the fuck are you tae make a statement like that. Some amount of ‘bed-wetters’ out there ! For one example ( and for me and anybody ah know, the most important area right now ) and also just tae state the obvious, if Kyogo is out, has Oh done enough, even with the game time he’s had, tae install confidence that he can get the goals ? Naewhere near it ! Are we goin tae rely on Rocco Vata ? You even sound like you’re pro-board. If no and that board read your comment, they’d be rubbin their hands hopin everybody thought like you. Wi that mindset, You’re a Lawwells wet dream mate. Fuck sake, aye us ‘bed-wetters’ need tae wisen up.

    • Jim Duffy says:

      Well we’re hardly a decent CL team are we ,a d under liewell and desmond we’ve no chance of ever being a decent CL team,they just won’t speculate to accumlate,spend money on decent players get a decent run in Europe,get some credibility back in Europe because we are every bit as bad as sevco in Europe if not worse,most teams probably rub there hands when they get Celtic in any Euro groups,/games,Our stature in Europe has went so far down the last 15 years , fortress parkhead? don’t make me laugh and remember Rodgers first season with us in Europe that was some humiliating hammers we yes Johnny we may just about beat sevco to the title but with this squad of players ,or the way they’re coached we ain’t going to do nothing in Europe next season either.

    • Sid says:

      This is the guy who was happy with the summer recruitment and thought we’d have a really good CL campaign with projects.
      He was wildly wrong as was predicted before a ball was kicked.
      He’s back on trying to pretend the board is doing a great job and any faults are completely the manager.
      A board plant is my guess.

  • SSMPM says:

    I’d feel sorry for him if he wasn’t earning so much to accept potential failure and stitched up.
    It’s the fans that struggle to afford their season ticket year in year out and that are fearful of putting that season ticket on the line that I feel really sorry for.
    Should they dare jeopardise that in some kind of stand against the board they know they’ll not be in a position to reclaim it and that the yes fans in the queue will stamp all over them in the rush to get their seats.

  • John Fitzpatrick says:

    If we lose this league it will be by design

  • Dando says:

    There is something not right here…..

    Oh hasn’t, and never will replace G Mac, just ask big Sutton…

    Our alleged budget for a striker is £6m, here’s 3 that would be within that……

    Weghorst (my preferred option)


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