With Brendan Rodgers imminently arriving back at Celtic as their returning manager (surprising given they wanted him dead when he left last time) Ibrox Noise takes a look at the implications for Rangers of a manager who was very very successful at Parkhead last time, and who we were on record as not wanting back as an opponent.
This is a panic signing by Celtic – they lost their ‘darling’ Ange who could do absolutely no wrong, and faced with a meltdown from fans and a genuine spot of concern at what Michael Beale is doing at Rangers, they didn’t want to take a risk on anyone.
They wanted, what they believe, is a ‘sure bet’ guarantee of keeping Celtic at the top, but they forget many, many things in their haste to replace the departed Greek.
First of all, Brendan Rodgers did NOT face a strong Rangers when he was in Scotland. He jumped ship well before Steven Gerrard and Michael Beale figured things out, and he never got tested properly.
Indeed, if you look at some of the teams we put out against his side, that we nearly drew v Celtic by way of an XI that had Sean Goss in it tells you how unchallenged his Celtic team were, and how they didn’t have to raise their level to win things.
Rodgers had it very, VERY easy in Scotland.
Secondly, he was an absolute farce in Europe – he was actually worse than Ange was, winning just one Champions League group match in 12 attempts, and that record was borne out at Leicester as he failed with them too. He is an abysmal manager when it comes to Europe.
Thirdly? The disruption at Celtic Park with half their team now wanting to leave (the Asian contingent are already admitting they want to go) as a result of Ange going and Rodgers coming in makes this a rushed and panicky signing, and we’re absolutely all for it. It doesn’t feel like they’ve thought this one out.
Rodgers did well on paper first time around, but the finer details show why, and unlike the infinitely-superior Martin O’Neill, he was abominable in Europe while the latter was, sadly, brilliant at home at least, always winning in the Champions League at home. Not so good away.
So are we concerned? No, we’re amused. Celtic fans who wanted Rodgers dead are now celebrating his return, and forgetting he had no challenge in Scotland first time around.
This time he has a much, much better Rangers deep into a rebuild under Michael Beale.
Celtic are absolutely 100% worried. That’s why they’re doing this.
Bring it on.