Well done to Celtic – all the players, management, backroom staff and board members – on a more-than-creditable performance in the Champions League this season.
Qualifying was a huge leap forward after the disappointments of recent seasons, and following the opening day drubbing by Barcelona the progress on the pitch has been clear for all to see.
Of course, Celtic didn’t win any games, but three draws in such a tough group is commendable stuff, and with a little bit more composure when goalscoring opportunities came, the Hoops might have ended up with more than three points.
But they didn’t, and European football is over for another year, leaving us with some great memories particularly the pulsating game at Celtic Park against Manchester City which was football at its most thrilling.
There can be no question that Celtic’s campaign was a huge GIRUY to one of the most ludicrous articles I have ever read in the Scottish sports press. Which makes it doubly pleasing!
Hopefully the experience and money generated can help the team to kick on next season should it win the domestic league and earn another opportunity to try and negotiate the banana skin-littered qualifiers.
Sadly however, I fear that Celtic might have to play those qualifiers without Brendan Rodgers. Because, despite what he said in a press conference a few days ago, it seems as though he is actually pining for a return to the English Premier League.
Here are a few quotes from the Celtic manager to ponder:
“I don’t see it [Celtic] as a stepping stone. I’m going to be coaching hopefully for another 20 odd years, and it is highly unlikely I’m going to be at Celtic for 20 years because of how the modern game works, but my intention is to be at Celtic for as long as I possibly can, to help the club grow and develop, and to take it as far as I possibly can.”
“I grew up supporting the club and I’m very fortunate. For me, I’m living the dream, being the manager of Celtic.”
“The most important thing for me is happiness – if I’m happy, I’m winning. And I don’t necessarily need to be working in the Premier League to be winning. We’ll see where the next 20 years take me, but at this very moment in time and certainly for the immediate future I’m very, very happy.”
That seems pretty clear to me. But apparently – deep down – he actually wants to leave:
When challenged about this quote, Tom English (to whom far play for responding) had the following to say:
Perhaps you can bring us some more evidence to strengthen your already compelling case? For example:
“The way Rodgers straightened his tie was a sure sign that he is nervous. He must be about to meet Dermot Desmond to tell him of his plans to leave”.
“You don’t sip water the way Brendan Rodgers does if you are staying at Celtic for the long haul”.
“Brendan Rodgers said Scott Brown could play in the Premier League. And he’s clearly going to take him there himself”.
“Peter Lawwell spoke of how Celtic could possibly be the biggest club in Britain if they played in England. He clearly knows that Rodgers is off there”.
“Have you seen the Celtic Christmas advert? Packed full of subliminal messages about Rodgers wanting to walk away. That bit where the door is shut in his face? A sure sign that he’s going”.
“Rodgers hasn’t signed a lifetime contract with Celtic. Clear proof he only wants to be there for the short term”.
“Brendan Rodgers has bought Patrick Roberts a massive suitcase as a bonus for scoring against Manchester City. It’s big enough to fit a person inside. Mark my words, Rodgers will be hiding in it when Roberts goes back down south”.
“Rodgers has a subscription to a TV channel which shows the English Premier League. How much more evidence do you need of his ‘wantaway’ hell?”.
Enjoy Brendan’s Celtic reign while it lasts everybody. The clock is apparently ticking…