The Brendan Rodgers Celtic Revolution
What will the future hold for Brendan Rodgers Celtic?
By Gary Smith
The dust settles on what has been a massive week not just for Celtic but Scottish football in general. Now everyone wants to know what the Brendan Rodgers Celtic team will look like.
Have Peter Lawwell and Dermott Desmond pulled off the biggest managerial appointment ever when they secured the signature of former Liverpool Boss Brendan Rodgers?
Monday saw the Northern Irishman paraded at Celtic Park and mass hysteria surrounded the unveiling. Celtic had to open the gates of the stadium to allow the 13,000 crowd to get the first glimpse of the new manager.
Scenes followed that wouldn’t be out of place in the Bernabeau. The noise that was littered around Celtic park sounded more like a home match than a new manager being paraded.
The former Liverpool and Swansea manager has signed a 12 month rolling contract however the vibe the fans are getting from him is that he smells success and is here for the long haul.
Brendan Rodgers Celtic Fan
Rodgers is a self confessed Celtic fan which isn’t a necessity for the job but it always helps in getting the fans on board. “One of my main jobs is to get the top of that Lisbon lions stand which has been redundant in recent years”.
There’s no doubt he wants to get backsides on seats again and get the crowds that Celtic are more accustomed to through the turnstiles. That will surely follow if Monday was anything to go by.
Celtic’s first competitive match under the Rodgers reign will be the Champions league qualifier in mid July which doesn’t leave him much time to work with his new team and possibly bring in fresh faces.
One of the many problems that Rodgers will inherit from Ronny Deila’s team is the unbalance of the squad. There is a massive influx of midfielders amid a scarceness of defenders and strikers.
There will be a big clear out of midfielders, no doubt, before any new faces will come in as Celtic will look to get the deadwood out of the club.
Players such as Carlton Cole and Stefan Scepovic have departed the scene as well as Dutch Dud Dirk Boeriggter who never really overcame his long term injury.
In defensive terms, the fans will hope that Dedryck Boyata and Efe Ambrose if not sold on are used very sparingly as both are prone to the odd mistake or two.
A more prolific partnership could be Jozo Simunovic and fans favourite Erik Sviatchenko. If the club can keep both fit and free to play alongside Tierney and possibly Lustig or Janko then not many teams will breach Celtic next season.
Emilio Izzaguire may have played his last game for the Scottish Champions in the 7-0 demolition of Motherwell. Amid streams of tears not just from the Honduran but the thousands of Celtic fans inside the ground.
The future can certainly look bright for Celtic however as its out with the old and in with the new. Youngster Kieran Tierney, for example, who capped off a stunning debut season with a goal in the final game, picked up Celtic and SPFL Premiership young player of the year awards.
Referred to as the master and the pupil Izzaguire and Tierney have taken this season to bond as the Honduran had mentored the youngster even after losing his place in the team to him.
Scott Allan and Ryan Christie are another couple of bright prospects. Throw in Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay Steven and these are certainly players Rodgers could get the best out of.
Scottish Cup winning hero Anthony Stokes returns to the club after his loan spell with Hibernian. He could solve the strike partnership problem that has been lacking at Celtic under Deila.
With Rangers in the Top Flight and wanting to get back to challenging The Champions the prospect of the Old Firm games will excite not only Brendan Rodgers but also any big name players who he may tempt north of the border.
Steven Gerrard was always going to be a name that cropped up and despite the new gaffer pouring cold water on the rumour I would watch this space. We could yet see a role for the former Liverpool captain in the Brendan Rodgers Celtic side
Other names from his time at Liverpool and Swansea have been thrown in such as the giant defender Ashley Williams and Liverpool’s Welsh dragon, Joe Allen. They could prove to be fans favourites if they make the move.
The assistant managers position wasn’t void for very long as Rodgers appointed Reading Youth Coach Chris Davies.
The Englishman was forced to retire at the age of 19, much like John Kennedy. He started taking his coaching badges soon after and has enjoyed a working relationship with Rodgers.
So with a Scotsman and Englishman and an Irishman (No joke included here though) ready to take the helm at Celtic it now feels they can steer The Hoops to more success not only domestically but also the bonus ball of Europe.
Can the man who was described as being at the head of the Celtic family now take the club to the head of Europe’s Elite clubs once again? Strap yourself in it should be another bumpy ride.