Brendan Rodgers creates Celtic siege mentality for title battle

Brendan Rodgers seems to have upset all the right ‘People’ after his ‘prickly’ behaviour yesterday afternoon at Fir Park…

His Celtic side turned around the first half performance and the scoreline in a second half where his team at last showed up and ran out comfortable 3-1 winners having deservedly gone in at the break a goal behind.

A Celtic manager not prepared to fight it out in a title race is not the kind of manager we should have in the job, so it was interesting today to hear highly regarded former Celtic boss Martin O’Neill giving Brendan’s post match comments his own personal seal of approval on talkSport, much it has to be said to the annoyance of host Jim White, who is of course well-known to be a a follower of the various Rangers clubs that seem to come and go.

Former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill with the SPL trophy during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Celtic and Aberdeen at Celtic Park  on May 24, 2023 . (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Brendan was simply calling out the narrative that appears to have been written about theRangers running away with the Scottish Premiership title as his side appeared to stall and falter from one mishap to the next in the media’s eyes.  Last week at his media conference Rodgers pointed out that eight wins and two draws in the previous ten games was being made to look like eight defeats and two draws.

There’s certainly plenty of excitement and wishful thinking in some quarters that this title race is already done and dusted but that is not something that’s a narrative that a Celtic manager worthy of the position is going to allow to stand. The title is very much still in Celtic’s hands and will be determined over the course of the remaining matches.

And if turning his own guns on the media at this stage helps to galvanise the Celtic support to put our January transfer window frustrations to one side and instead get set to roar the team on, then that’s excellent football management skills right there, from Rodgers.  No wonder Martin O’Neill approves.

The former Celtic boss had this to say about Brendan’s post-match comments at Fir Park: “I think my take on that there is that Celtic have been dominant for so long that people start to think that (the)Rangers have not only closed the gap but have actually gone past them.You’re talking about the immediate aftermath of the game that Celtic have won by the way, didn’t play so well in the first half but then came roaring back and won the game.

“The most important thing is the gap could have stayed at five points with level games suddenly and now it’s back to two. From an outside viewpoint, it is actually good for the game in Scotland. However, I think what Brendan meant was that people are rushing to conclusions here or rush to judgement should I say, that there is almost the feeling that (the)Rangers are going to overtake them this season and that they have their own story still to write.

“I’m actually pleased as well too that he got a bit prickly. I’ve done interviews that I’ve regretted. And I have got to say I was really pleased that he got a bit prickly.” Martin O’Neill added: “I would have done the same thing.”

Jim White then asked again if Martin O’Neill really would have done the same thing, to which Martin replied: “Yeah, yeah. Because I feel as if, ‘Hold on, you are trying to write something here. There’s still a number of games left. We can win this league. We can do it.’ I think that’s the point he was trying to get at.”

How dare anyone suggest that theRangers might not win the league! Well done Brendan for doing just that and in doing so ringing the bell for the last lap in this campaign where Celtic can go on to show we’re the finest team in Scotland. Not that ‘People’ like Jim White will ever agree.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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