BRENDAN RODGERS used yesterday afternoon’s sit-down with the written press to outline his unhappiness at what he sees as the failure of the club’s board to get his reasonable transfer targets over the line.
Recently Brendan spoke about forgetting ten in a row and stated that we should concentrate on eight. If you regarded that as a manager saying the old focus on one at a time routine, then think again.
Brendan previous had been happy to hold his two hands on the air to ‘stretch his fingers’ – all ten of them.
The recent attempt to create a £25million bid from Everton for Kieran Tierney was criticised on this site – and it has to be said some huffs were taken.
Even Brendan Rodgers himself had spoken along the lines of having to let players go for ‘moral reasons’ to England as they can earn 5 to 6 times the wages there.
He’s changed his tune since then though – rightly focusing on improving his squad and keeping his best players.
Rodgers has pointed out that the club have had two seasons worth of Champions League money in his time in charge – something they never had under the previous manager who, nice guy and all that but looking back he was a complete novice.
I was reading the comments from the Malmo boss earlier in the week from just after the 3-2 game at Celtic Park and before the return in Sweden. Their manager was saying that he could see that Celtic weren’t fit and could not last 90 minutes and predicted a comfortable win in the return.
Brendan has come in and worked with these same players – mostly – and has won 6 trophies from 6.
Brendan notes too that his big signing this summer – Odsonne Edouard – could have been brought in last year but that never happened and a loan deal was arranged instead.
Remember, Paddy Roberts was coming on a permanent deal last year for a fee of £10million but that turned into a loan deal too.
John McGinn’s possible move to Aston Villa seems to have been the straw that has broken the camel’s back on this. The narrative was clear – we could afford to wait. To be fair all the Celtic sites seemed to be in agreement on this and few supporters reckoned that we should meet the Hibs demands when we were the only club bidding.
A compromise position could have been reached though to satisfy the most important person in all of this – Brendan Rodgers.
Hibs would probably have accepted £3million plus a few loan players a week ago.
There seemed to be reports being generated to flush Celtic but the Brighton and Blackburn Rovers interests were seen as fake news.
That all changed when Aston Villa, fresh from a re-financing deal that has saved the club, got involved.
Rodgers is a Premier League manager, used to dealing in transfer fees much higher than Hibs have asked for McGinn.
He could make much more money personally elsewhere but chooses to stay at Celtic because it is his team.
The board deserve a great deal of credit for getting Rodgers in the first place. Looking back they short changed us with Ronny. Brendan’s appointment transformed the place, it filled the ground, it brought trophies to the club and it filled the coffers.
Yet the manager is not being unreasonable in any way in what he has been saying.
All he wants is for the club to sign the agreed targets that will improve the team.
If that is going to be a problem we are going to be looking for a new manager sooner rather than later.