The Celtic Boss And His Predecessor Cut Two Very Different Figures Right Now.

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Football bosses are always under pressure, but I have never seen a Celtic boss put under greater, or harsher, scrutiny than Brendan Rodgers was put under this season, and he spoke about that again today when he mentioned how it started, for real, on 26 August and never let up. 26 August folks; weeks into his second tenure as manager.

We all know this is true. The hacks did everything they could to undermine this guy. They pushed every negative narrative they could about him, and at the end of it he’s sitting there smiling like a champ and taking the plaudits he deserves.

The mood at Celtic is excellent as we go into the title party tomorrow and towards the cup final next week. This is where we should have been all season long, but the directors made that incredibly difficult in the way they went about the summer transfer business. Rodgers had to work damned hard to counter, and then repair, the damage that did to us.

This club needs a better summer this time around, but the boss sounds an awful lot like a man in total control of his surroundings again, and that’s where we want him to be.

Way down in London, Ange Postecoglou sat in front of a media which is not inclined to bend down and kiss the ring. They never really were, but for a while he made them forget their doubts and get onboard with the magic formula it was that he was trying to sell them.

It brings me no satisfaction at all to see that man being put under cross examination, or to have to defend his comments of midweek which I thought were on the money and not in the least bit surprising or controversial, considering the number of people at his club who couldn’t think further than what their getting a result might mean to Arsenal.

A lot of people have wondered if our fans would feel the same way as Spurs fans did; I for one would have focussed on what a victory meant for us rather than for our rivals. It’s not as if there was nothing at stake in that match. They had a Champions League place to fight for and the notion that it should be pissed away to satisfy an urge to see a rival suffer would have struck me as every bit as ridiculous as it struck our former manager.

According to The Athletic, what made it worse is this was a viewed shared by some on his own coaching staff, people I reckon will be out of the door at that club pretty pronto. His fury stems from what it says about the mentality of a club which should be charting its own course and is more interested in nonsense about what other folk might do.

Like the club across the city in many ways. It’s second-tier loser thinking. To take more satisfaction from your opponents slips than you do from our own triumphs … you need to be very short on triumphs, I think, to think like that in the first place.

Spurs is a pretty poor excuse for a major club, though I’ll grant you their status as an EPL “contender” confers that title on them.

Saying that they are a pretty poor excuse for one is not hindsight but exactly what some of us said when he took the job there in the first place. I keep hearing phrases like “sleeping giant.” Manchester Utd is a sleeping giant; you have to be a giant in the first place to earn the use of that particular term. United is a side waiting to reach its true station again. Spurs has had a spell or two as a big-hitter. They haven’t been that for eons now.

It is 16 years since they won major silverware. It was 1961 when they last won a title. They have sacked managers with a grim and depressing regularity, and I never thought Ange stood more than a token chance of breaking that ghastly run.

I hoped he would. I hope he does. I think it reflects well on Scottish football and our club if he can make an honest-to-God go of it at Spurs. I think it helps us attract players and even coaches here when they see which horizons they can make their own when they leave.

So it’s tough to see that as Rodgers has overcome his critics and is now sitting with a newly strengthened mandate and even more success that Ange is facing the opposite of all those things; that instead of a chastened media he is now facing one that is ever more ferocious in his presence and ever more emboldened to think he doesn’t belong there at all.

It’s a Hell of a contrast, and I hope he finds a way to navigate it. But the impression – which many of us had from the off – that this is the wrong guy in the wrong script is hard to shake. Somewhere else, Ange might have been able to pull it off … but Spurs is not a club built for it any more than Sevco is. He has learned that fact late in the day … what he does with those lessons will decide his future.

Rodgers learned to his own cost that too many people at Celtic Park didn’t want to change, and didn’t want to fully equip this club for success if it meant doing it the way he wanted it. But he fought his good fight and we’ll hopefully see how convincingly he did so in the summer to come. It’s other people at Celtic we’ll be watching … to see how they handle their own lessons.

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  • Unrepentant fenian says:

    Bang on about spurs wonder how the late great spurs player Danny Blanchflower would have thought about lying down for anybody his quote about football is one of my favourite on the game when asked about the monwy in the game back then he said he didnt play for money but for the glory spurs are a cup club nothing more liverpool would bw a much better fit for ange

  • Pan says:

    Hopefully a more fitting club will come in for Ange. He is wasted at Spurs and their small time mentality. No wonder Ange was raging. A club with more ambition and better fans would be ideal for him. I hope he gets that. He is too good not to.

  • Bigchunkylardass says:

    Ah don’t think spurs would have been Ange’s 1sr choice, but given his age, arriving in Europe late on in the game, ah don’t think he thought he’d get many more offers. If he’d been 10 years younger, he may even have stayed at Celtic for another year, ti see what other options opened up for him
    That said, an a think Ange was brilliant for us an a really decent man too, ah think we Brendan, we upgraded from Ange
    Like to say, let’s see how many battles he won inside Celtic park, because a properly funded Rogers could build us a formidable team.


  • Johnny Green says:

    Ange left Celtic for a couple of reasons. He was in love with the notion that he would be an Australian pioneer breaking the mould to manage in the EPL. He also wanted to pit himself against the top teams in that League and so far he has done not too bad. He had a good first season with the promise of more success to come. However that could also go badly wrong and in my opinion that is what will happen. Good luck to him but I reckon he will be regretting ever leaving Celtic as the grass is not always greener on the other side. Brendan Rogers is the proof of that, until he eventually regained his senses and triumphantly returned.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Enjoy the moment Brendan !

    And while I don’t particularly like smugness – I hope to fuck you are as smug as fuck with The Scummy Scottish Football Media as they sure as hell would be with you had Sevco and their cheats with whistles, flags and moniters prevailed !

  • Maurice Gallagher says:

    I have to say the scrutiny Ange was subjected to was just as bad, imho.

  • Eddie Marzella says:

    Ange will be looking to leave this club ! He won’t comprehend this nonsense and as he is a man of huge dignity , pride and humility he will fuck them off . There is a breaking point for guys like Ange and dare I say Brendan , when the trust is gone it’s gone !
    I think Brendan left for a very valid reason ok it wasn’t ideal but I also think Ange could see it wasn’t going to plan and left as well !
    I actually think the board will back BR this next window with some quality , get the dross out and invest in proper quality and experience

    • Effarr says:

      Ange a man of huge dignity? Pretending he was “one of us”, the Greek immigrant and all that rubbish whilst scanning the newspapers to see which was the latest club he was linked with. He did midnight flittings with previous clubs but his style of football is not any more sustainable than a shot in the arm, so I feel that a “dignified” removal will be on the cards next year for him. He doesn`t deserve any less. As for wishing your team to lie down: if Celtic losing a game in the present season meant R4angers were going to lose
      the life-saving cash from the CL qualifiers, then I would be angry if Celtic recorded a win.
      I have as much desire to see their demise as I have to see Celtic progress in Europe.
      it`s six and half-a-dozen.

      • BAM79 says:

        Any positive result for Celtic should always be the goal regardless of what goes on elsewhere. My granda tore a strip off me back in the eighties when I complained that we took points off Aberdeen in a 0-0 draw as the oldco Rangers pumped hearts 4-0(surprise surprise)that sealed the title for rangers. His words ‘Celtic winning is all that matters for a celtic supporter’ should ring true for all true Celtic supporters.

  • Maurice Gallagher says:

    First season, not now…

  • Frank Connelly says:

    He sprinted out the door at our club using us as a steppingstone to the EPL. So who cares how he ends up

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