Think only of yourself. Think of your family. Martin O’Neil famously said he was leaving Celtic because his wife was ill. Fair enough. Personally, I think he knew, we all knew, Henrik had departed, Celtic needed a major revamp, the money for players was no longer available and a bloated squad –anyway- a mess he didn’t want to deal with.
Maurice Johnston, the Partick Thistle striker, famously signed for Celtic, but then signed for Rangers. Rodgers going wasn’t of that dimension. It was a different kind of betrayal.
In his first season Rodger could do no wrong. Unbeaten domestically and a great European run. Four steps ahead of Rangers.
Second season three steps ahead of Rangers, clean sweep domestically, but the signs were there. Peter Lawell wasn’t producing the kind of transfers into Celtic that Rodgers and the support craved. A power play behind the scenes. It was obvious Rodgers was leaving (and I said so).
Third season, the stab in the back. Two steps ahead of Rangers. Then one. They have stepped forward. The Ibrox club have temporarily broken even on the balance sheet. On the pitch they beat us at Ibrox in one of Celtic’s worst displays under Rodgers.
Steady the ship. More loan signings. Squad needs a complete revamp, but we’ve got £35 million banked. We’re not poverty stricken but do need bargain-basement buys. But then again we have gems in the academy step up and take a bow Ewen Henderson. The future of Celtic is not doom and gloom.
If Rodgers had, as we expected, seen the season out and won eight-in- a- row, we would even have forgiven him a Scottish Cup loss. He could have stayed until the end of the season. Leicester would have waited. Rodgers made Liverpool wait. He jumped ship with undue haste. Ironically, it’s for a team that we coaxed Martin O’Neil and Neil Lennon from. Celtic, of course, being a much bigger club, but not now in terms of finance. Wim Jansen stopped Ten-in-a row and walked. That’s a man with integrity.
Lennon has won the managerial lottery. He gets sacked by Hibs (let’s call it like it is). His chances of getting another job are pretty slim. There are more managers out there with glitzy CVs than there are writers with five-star reviews of their latest blockbuster. Lennie is Celtic through and through. He’s played for Celtic. He’s managed Celtic. It’s his club. It’s our club. Lennie doesn’t do walking away. What a manager needs (and writers too) is luck. That last minutes goal at Tynecastle, Edouard. Beautiful. Luck and fate combined. Lennie’s back.
We’ll read about Rodger’s anguish in his ghosted memoir in about five years. Fuck him. That’s like cheating on your wife and saying it was her fault. Leaves a bad taste.
All managers have a shelf life. But lucky Lennie is one of us. Long may his reign last. HH.