FORMER CELTIC manager Gordon Strachan has been talking about the reasons why he believes that Brendan Rodgers left Celtic three weeks ago rather than wait until the end of the season and try to write history in Scottish football by completing an unprecedented treble treble.
Strachan, speaking to Leicestershire Live, reckons his decision was based on a carefully considered approach to both the move and the timing. Rodgers by leaving when he did, gave himself the chance to work with the Leicester squad for six months before the new season gets underway, rather than six weeks, if he had remained at Celtic to see out the Scottish season.
And the Leicester fixture list – as we mentioned at the time, see HERE – was particularly attractive just at that moment, with teams like Fulham and Burnley upcoming rather than Man City or Liverpool. Rodgers had a chance to hit the ground running on his return to the English Premier League and that was too good an opportunity to miss.
The move didn’t just happen because Leicester lost to Crystal Palace and then sacked their manager. This was a move long in the planning, and the timing was as considered as everything else.
“It is not the fact he has chosen one club over another, it is the fact he chose one league over the other,” Strachan said.
“The leagues are completely different. Celtic are a bigger club in world football but Leicester are a top club playing in the top league in the world. That is the decision.
“It is not a slight against Celtic, it is reality, which is not really accepted in Scotland.
There is a reality that our league is not that great.
“Brendan was probably thinking how long he could go on playing teams on plastic pitches and against sides who couldn’t test him or his players. He had to look at that.”
And tellingly from a former manager who knows a thing or two about these matters, Strachan gave a telling insight. For Rodgers it wasn’t personal, it was strictly a business decision taken by a football professional.
“No one should have been surprised how quickly it happens because in football deals are done or things are put into place just in case that moment arrives that it can be done.
“I don’t think whatever happened, happened in 12 hours. It happens everywhere in football. I don’t think anyone knocked on Brendan’s door at 10am and by 8pm he thought ‘that would be a good idea.’
“I don’t think Brendan is someone who rushes into any decision quickly or lightly. He is analytical in everything he has done. That’s why he has been so successful.
“Does he stay and win the treble with Celtic? Does he move to Leicester, and give himself a few months to look at the squad and what needs to be done in the summer?
“I think he is probably looking at it and thinking if he went to Leicester in the summer it would only give him five weeks to work with the players before the new season starts.
“This way he gives him four or five months to look at what he has got, where he wants to go, what needs to be done.
“I think that is Brendan’s analytical brain telling him he has the opportunity to have a real good look at Leicester.”