Brendan Rodgers – where do we go next?

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Brendan Rodgers like me is a Celtic fan. Somebody asked me in the pub today why I watch Celtic if all I do is moan. ‘Because they give me so much joy,’ I said.

The last two years have been a joy. But this week has been a stinker. And I fear our Champions League involvement will end on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday night against AEK Athens we lost a bad goal just before half time. All goals Celtic lose are bad goals and we can no longer blame Effe Ambrose. Dedryck Boyata was for a while the fall guy, for similar reasons. Big games. Big mistakes were sure to follow like Morcambe follows Wise, but without the sunshine.  But as the most physically adept and best header of the ball in Scottish football you’d have expected Boyata to play today against Hearts. Hearts are a route- one team with a big man up front to bruise the opposition defence. Kicking the ball is a bonus. They didn’t often manage it today, but they did manage a goal. All goals Celtic lose are bad goals, but Kyle Lafferty’s strike was a cracker.

I’m trying to get my head around how Kyle Lafferty is a complete dumpling – yet he seems to manage to score against Celtic every time he plays. Perhaps Jozo Simunovic can explain it to me. He’d a shocker the last time we played Hearts in Edinburgh and wasn’t much better here. He made a mistake for the first goal and should have been penalised earlier for a shove on Naismith in the Celtic box. Any big money bids come in and he can go. Any small bids come in…

Celtic’s B team couldn’t beat Hearts A team. Simunovic wasn’t the worst man on the park. That dishonour goes to the man who stepped in to replace Ntcham, Kouassi. Kouassi hasn’t played much for Celtic but has played against Hearts a few times. He’s big and likes a tackle. Here he was rotten. No dressing it up. Rotten. Couldn’t pass the ball, couldn’t defend. There was a big hole with a John McGinn strip where Kouassi was playing. An empty jersey.

Last year I was buoyant. This year we won’t win the treble. Too many empty jerseys. We won’t qualify for the Champions League. Too many empty jerseys. Right now I’d settle for a double and a decent Europa Cup run.  I’m not sure that’ll be enough for Brendan.

I hate saying it, Rangers can win the league. Last year I laughed at that idea. I knew we’d go to Ibrox and beat them. I knew we’d go to Aberdeen and beat them. This year Rangers will beat Celtic. I’m not sure in what competition, but on this evidence it will happen. If Kyle Lafferty can score wonder goals every time he plays the Hoops anything is possible. Plan for the unthinkable. Celtic win the league and Rodgers walks. Rangers win the league and Rodgers is pushed. The money men seem to have got us into a fine mess once more. Short-term thinking leads to long-term problems.  Get decent players in and get them in now, or suffer the consequences.

 

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