Celtic have made a poor start to their season by their standards, and a very poor start compared to recent seasons.
After unceremoniously crashing out of the Champions League in the qualifying stages, Brendan Rodgers hit out at the board of the Scottish giants, claiming that he wasn’t given the funding or the backing to buy in players and improve his squad. This didn’t change much after the loss, as the club did not spend extravagantly during the transfer window.
To make matters worse, the Northern Irishman became embroiled in a feud with defender Dedryck Boyata, who, at times appeared to have played his final game for the club. The Belgian remained, but it was an indication of the contempt towards authority that may be rife at Celtic.
The troubles continued as star striker Moussa Dembele joined French outfit for £20m, with the club failing to replace him with another player. Yes, they had signed Odsonne Eduoard, but he had already spent a loan spell there.
Fans of The Hoops would have been hoping that they could still depend on their side in the Scottish Premiership, where they managed to go unbeaten two years ago, and have won the title in both of Rodgers’ two years at the club. However, that is proving to be much tougher than expected. The club sit in fifth place, having only won four of their opening seven fixtures, and are already six points behind leaders Hearts.
It is expected that The Bhoys will climb up the table very soon, but this is not good enough from the team that has won the domestic treble for the past two seasons. With bitter rivals Rangers improving as well under new manager Steven Gerrard, Celtic’s glory days in recent years may be coming to an end.
But from Rodgers’ perspective, a man that has won every domestic title possible and has a win percentage of almost 70% at Celtic Park, there is very little to gain from staying at the club. He obviously won’t get the funding he needs in Europe, which is the last frontier he needs to claim, so he might as well try it elsewhere. There is the impression that he is growing weary of the club, and the results reflect that.
It seems unlikely that the club will sack him, unless there is a major slump in form, but it also seems unlikely that he will be there this time next season. He may well part ways in the summer, looking for a new challenge.
He should look to the continent to give him this challenge, as there would be a host of clubs that would want to sign him. His possession-based, direct style of football suits the likes of Spain and Italy, and he could be a major success there. Of course, similar managers have made that move, like David Moyes, and failed spectacularly, but Rodgers can learn from his mistakes. There could also be a case that Rodgers would be better qualified to manage abroad than the Scot anyway.
Nonetheless, that looks as though it would be the only way for Rodgers to earn the respect of big English clubs to warrant a move back to the Premier League. His tenure at Liverpool was a mixed bag, and he will be desperate to make amends, but leaving Celtic seems to be the best option.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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