Why Brendan Rodgers should replace Ange Postecoglou at Celtic

Being asked on the afternoon of the Scottish Cup final about the likelihood of various managers replacing Ange Postecoglou was a surefire indication that all was not well in Paradise.

Being posed the question live on national radio, during arguably Scottish football’s most popular show, was a prelude to the disappointment that was in the post.

Trouble was brewing, the bookies were having a field day, and I didn’t really want to discuss who was going to be our new manager, because Ange hadn’t yet left the building and we had another treble to win.

Scott Brown? Too soon. Davie Moyes? He had a European final to prepare for. Gordon Strachan? He’s too busy. Martin O’Neill? Maybe as Director of Football. Stevie Clarke? He’s happy where he is. Brendan Rodgers?

There’s the Brendan Rodgers Klaxon.

That name stopped me in my tracks. What if we did have to seriously consider life without Ange?

Can we not just concentrate on winning the treble? A historic, world-record eighth treble?

Clearly not.


It didn’t take a body language expert to know, by the looks on the faces of Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond at Hampden later that night, that all was not well. Then there were those longing embraces by Ange with the players being substituted… that unusual post-match interview tetchiness from Ange after a trophy win… the poor eye-contact… talk of him having to be “selfish”…

Two days later, he was gone.

I had responded that we, as a club and as fans, had to be “more ruthless”. That’s what I answered when asked on the radio about Brendan Rodgers returning to Celtic. We had to become less emotionally attached to players and managers who are only passing through the Parkhead gates to represent our football club. We should use them, like they use us.

The Rodgers-inspired group of winners of the first two seasons under his tutelage were something to behold. Their style and the success of his team were an irresistible elixir, guaranteed to induce total devotion to the manager and his coaching staff.

Back when we were in the throes of his arrival, fresh approach and success, he was almost infallible.

There were some miss-steps along the way – dropping Craig Gordon for Dorus De Vries; playing his own laddie on a pre-season tour; throwing Kundai Benyu into a Champions League qualifier; embellishing a story involving Danny McGrain to such an extent that it left the Celtic legend embarrassed in front of thousands of fans at Glasgow’s SEC Armadillo – but Brendan Rodgers got away with it at the time because we believed in him and bought into his vision for Celtic.

For a spell, he was untouchable.


At some point during his all-too-short stay in Glasgow’s east end, Brendan’s fire left his belly.

This was after the board had also bought into Rodgers’ vision – a club record £9m shelled out for 20-year-old Odsonne Édouard; knocking back a £9m bid from Fulham for Dedryck Boyata, a £4m bid from Chelsea for Craig Gordon, and a £13m bid from Porto for Olivier Ntcham. They were ‘all in’ with helping to create Brendan’s utopia, or were they?

Rodgers questioned the board’s ambition during the infamous ‘terminado’ interview in August 2018, warning that he would leave if the Parkhead power-brokers didn’t match his lofty aspirations. The collapse of John McGinn’s 2018 transfer from Hibs didn’t help and still rankles with many to this day. Then there was the failure to capture Sporting Lisbon’s Cristiano Piccini, not to mention Atalanta’s Timothy Castagne, in 2019.

Instead, a plethora of ‘unwanted’ signings rocked up to be unveiled at Celtic Park: Marvin Compper, a £1m purchase from RB Leipzig, who played a total of 60 minutes under Rodgers; Maryan Shved cost even more a year later and went on to play just three times; and there were undoubtedly others.

So many behind-the-scenes issues derailed that laser-focused Rodgers, who initially had us eating out of the palm of his hand as he led us to an invincible treble.

Some say we should never go back, but Brendan’s business at Celtic seems unfinished.

There won’t be a hero-welcoming unveiling at Celtic Park this time round. He will have to earn the forgiveness of a great number of fans resolute in their belief that he ‘did the dirty’ on us by leaving for Leicester without any consideration for eight, nine, or ten in-a-row.

But football is a fickle business. Brendan Rodgers can win over all of his doubters by winning games of football and bringing success to our football club.

Would I take Brendan Rodgers back as Ange Postecoglou’s replacement? Without a shadow of a doubt.

If we can create the correct environment (one without the ego-jousting with Peter Lawwell), we could have the return of arguably the most complete manager we’ve had at the club since Martin O’Neill walked in the building 23 years ago.


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