O Brendan, Where Art Thou? The Rodgers Odyssey drags on…

The 2000 Coen brothers comedy-drama, O Brother, Where Art Thou? – loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey – followed the exploits of three escaped convicts searching for treasure. At one point, the three hitch a ride from a blind man, which just turns out to be one of many distractions that merely adds to the length of their journey. Similarly, Ulysses from Odyssey (from which George Clooney’s character is vaguely derived) took ten years to return home after The Trojan War.

In Celtic’s own interpretation of this story, the lead is played by none other than Brendan Rodgers, who is (apparently) heading home after four years in the EPL. We are now 11 days into another managerial Odyssey of our own. A comedy of errors all contributed to the delays in O Brother, Where Art Thou? – sirens, a cyclops, a bank robber, a campaigning governor, as well as that blind driver – but what, or who, could be behind the delay in bringing Brendan back to Celtic Park?


We’ve just won a treble. The transfer window is wide open. Yet, many Celtic supporters are understandably becoming restless at the lack of an announcement. Some are concerned that we’ve been in this movie before.

We’ve all heard the rumours from the ITKs and the KFAs, and then filtered out the nonsense from the nuggets. Online sleuths have been following flight-paths and Stock Exchange updates. We’ve been told that it’s a “done deal”, that there will be an announcement on Thursday… then Friday… then Monday.

Yet, Celtic are still managerless.

Fan opinion has been split, and it’s no wonder. Some don’t want Brendan back at all due to the way he left. Some say he departed ‘like a thief in the night’, with no concern at the possible derailment of the eight, the nine, or the ten.

My own view on him has thawed in the fullness of time. We witnessed what he was capable of in that first season – that invincible treble-winning campaign. What happened after that was Brendan Lite, yet he still won 7 trophies from 7. The reasons for his eventual moonlight flit were about more than money. His relationship with Peter Lawwell had soured, seemingly beyond repair. I delved into some of the specifics in an earlier article HERE.



On the back of reports suggesting Celtic’s chief executive, Michael Nicholson, and finance director, Chris McKay, had flown out to Mallorca a week ago to meet with Brendan Rodgers, I was asked my own thoughts on his potential return by Sky Sports and BBC Scotland’s The Nine show.

I’ve been discussing this daily on the ACSOM Bulletin, so my own view is distinct – remove the emotion, and Rodgers is, by some distance, the best candidate for the job. If it can be done, then get it done. On the subject of an apology for walking out on us, I don’t think one is necessary, but many others still clearly do. I got that message loud and clear from the deluge of social media ‘messages’ that followed.

My take on this is that he could apologise and be a failure, or he could refrain from saying “sorry” and be a massive success. Which scenario would you prefer?

I said earlier that Rodgers’ motivation for leaving back in 2019 wasn’t solely about money, but there is no doubt that it was a deciding factor. In O Brother, Where Art Thou? a blind prophet warned that “the treasure you seek shall not be the treasure you find.” Brendan Rodgers may have found his treasure down at Leicester, but he would never be as revered as he was after winning two back-to-back trebles at Celtic.

If and when he returns, he’ll not only find more treasure (as the best-paid manager in Celtic’s history) but he’ll also aim to repair his tarnished legacy, something that no amount of money can buy.

If he does that, and continues Celtic’s domestic domination whilst making positive progress in Europe, no-one will pause to demand that apology for the decisions he made back in 2019.


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