DEVASTATING news overnight for the Rodgers to Villa speculators – suppose for them it was good while it lasted. Brendan told them on Sunday that he hadn’t been approached and wasn’t interested but that wasn’t enough to dampen their enthusiasm to link the Celtic manager with the vacancy.
Now though, the former Brentford manager Dean Smith has been appointed as the new head coach of Aston Villa, with the recently retired John Terry named as his assistant.
I smiled when the guys at Celts Are Here ran a story linking Steven Gerrard with the Villa job. Of course they knew it was as completely unfounded as the hacks naming Rodgers as a Villa frontrunner but they made an excellent point – the hacks wouldn’t dare do to Gerrard what they have just done to Brendan and will do again as soon as the next decent job emerges down south.
Of course eventually they will get one right and Brendan will be away but he has said he is staying here to see out his contract – so that’s this season and then two more. All going well, Brendan Rodgers is here for 10 in a row.
You see their problem? It is this…
Followed by this….
And possibly this too…
Scott Brown, who instead of having his scheduled week off this week, has been at Lennoxtown working on his fitness so that he will be ready to face Hibs next weekend, yesterday spoke to the media about Brendan Rodgers and his pal Leigh Griffiths, who has also been in the news this week as we all know.
On Brendan, Broony has this to say about the speculation the Celtic manager has had to face since the weekend.
“For me Brendan Rodgers is a top-class manager. No matter what happens there is always going to be someone who wants him.
“He has shown his love for Celtic over the last two years. Football is funny, and you never know what is going to happen — but he is here just now and we have to respect that.
“What Brendan has done for Scottish football has been exceptional. It has been good for us to work with a top-quality manager and long may it continue.
“He was the Liverpool manager then came to us almost right away. He loves Celtic as much as anyone. Brendan will always do what is best for himself and the club.”
On the Leigh Griffiths station Broony was supportive of his friend and fellow Celtic star who has had to endure a quite torrid week mostly due to the breakdown in the relationship with Alex McLeish. The Scotland manager’s man management skills appear to leave a lot to be desired and his reference to Griffiths having problems in his private live yesterday was below the belt to say the least.
“I think it’s brave of Leigh to do that (withdraw from squad),” the official Celtic website reported.
If he’s going away with Scotland, he might not get the game-time he’d expect and the training wouldn’t be as hard because of the two games coming up. so he wants to get in and be as sharp as we can for the Hibs game coming up.
“Scotland and Celtic need Leigh as fit as he possibly can be for the whole season and I think he’s done the best thing possible for himself. When he’s fit, he’s the best striker in Scotland by far.”
Scott Brown also gave an update on his own fitness after missing the two games against Salzburg and St Johnstone.
“I’m feeling good. I was supposed to have a week’s holiday but I’ve been in working hard with the physio. It’s been good and I’ll be back in contention for the Hibs game.
“I think I’ve got past that stage of missing being with the international team. I’m happy with what I done for Scotland and I think I retired at the right time because the new lads are coming through and doing well.”