Charlie Nicholas has been at it again this week, after Celtic’s demolition of Aberdeen at the weekend, he has claimed that Neil Lennon’s version of the Parkhead side is better than Brendan Rodgers’.
Nicholas, writing in his Daily Express column (via The Daily Record), appears to have jumped on the bandwagon of what was a fantastic performance from the Bhoys.
The former Celtic striker has never been shy of a hot-take and appears to have jumped in with both feet again this week. When commenting on the game between two of his previous clubs, Nicholas said:
“The first 45 minutes at Pittodrie was as good a performance as I have seen in a long time. Yes, the squad he inherited from Rodgers was superior to every other team in Scotland, but he has improved it”.
“He has adopted the technical side of the game that Rodgers built and added speed and urgency, with defenders also getting involved. The Hoops have strength in depth in all positions. The only player you would say is guaranteed to start every game is Odsonne Edouard, but Lenny has options all over the rest of the pitch”.
“People will talk about Rodgers’ achievements at Parkhead and the Invincible campaign that saw them go through 47 domestic games in 2016/17 without defeat, but Celtic were starting to go backwards in his final season.
“Rodgers is a sensational coach and is proving that with Leicester City in the Premier League, but Lenny has built on those foundations at Celtic and made the team better.”
One 45 minute performance is not enough to judge whether or not Lennon’s Celtic will go on to better Rodgers’. Nicholas claims that they have improved by adding “speed and urgency”, basically they are more direct. He neglects to mention that these tactics didn’t work against Livingston and Hibernian recently or Dunfermline earlier in the Betfred League Cup.
Much as those performances don’t define this incarnation of Celtic, neither does the first half of a one-sided affair against a team that Rangers beat 5-0 only a matter of weeks ago.
The nature of Rodgers’ departure soured the memory of his time at the Parkhead club, his achievements will probably never be replicated by a manager in Scottish football again.
Rodgers can point to a period where he won every trophy (except European) that he competed for and had a season where his team didn’t lose a single fixture domestically. That is a staggering achievement, Nicholas has seriously downplayed what he achieved based on an exciting 45 minutes of football against a poor side that had seven defenders in the line-up.
Nicholas likes to sensationalise almost every facet of football punditry regardless of what the subject might be. Lennon has Celtic playing well and are in a strong position across all fronts, but the time for comparison will be in a couple of years, if he is able to better the incredible achievements of Rodgers and leave a legacy of his own.
Who has more potential, Odsonne Edouard or Moussa Dembele?
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