CELTIC have not been contacted by Aston Villa to ask for permission to speak to Brendan Rodgers and the manager himself confirmed after the game on Sunday that
a) He is committed to Celtic
b) He ruled himself out of the running
c) He has NOT been approached by Villa.
So no approach to Celtic or to Brendan Rodgers from the Championship side.
It looks like Thierry Henry is getting the job – the 41 year old French legend who is currently number 2 to Roberto Martinez in the Belgium national set-up – Shaun Maloney is their Number 3 – is widely tipped in the papers today and on the various Villa forums last night as the most likely contender.
The Villa fans incidentally would have welcomed Brendan Rodgers as a good appointment and at the same time there is a feeling – not unanimous – that their new owners are making the mistake of being seduced by Henry’s status as a player rather than anything he has done as a coach.
Others point out that he has never been used to working with a group of players that in comparison to the teams he has played for are modestly talented to say the least. Good luck to him though.
One Villa player he did get the chance to watch close up recently is midfielder John McGinn, who was responsible for the error that led to the opening goal for Belgium at Hampden in the last international break.
The former Hibs midfielder is back with the Scotland squad for the latest round of International matches – Israel and Portugal are the opposition for those who take an interest – and the hacks couldn’t wait to talk to McGinn and Brendan Rodgers to Aston Villa…Could it happen?
“That’s football, isn’t it? It’s ironic. We never know what’s going to happen,” McGinn observed.
“The international break has come at a good time for me, in that sense.
“Hopefully I get a couple of games for Scotland, go back and have a new manager to settle in with.
“I can’t affect what will happen. I think Brendan came out the other day and said he’s happy at Celtic, he’s got a job to do. So it would be unfair for me to comment on that and fuel the rumours. What will be will be.
“If it is Brendan Rodgers or if it is somebody else, I’ll soon see. Hopefully, whoever comes in, I’ll be able to impress them.
“There have been a few interesting names linked with the job. But at any club there is always a managerial merry-go-round. You’ve just got to wait and trust that the club is doing the right things. Whoever comes in, hopefully I can keep my place in the team.”
McGinn also spoke about Steve Bruce, who lost his job after securing just one win from eleven games. Even the wonder goal scored by the Scottish midfielder came in a 2-1 hime defeat. McGinn though remains grateful towards Bruce from bringing him to the club.
“It’s never easy and, obviously, he’s the manager who signed me. I’ve got a lot to thank him for and he was fantastic for me.
“But it’s football. It happens. It’s just never nice to see him and his staff lose their jobs. These days you’ve got to prepare for it. It doesn’t matter what league, what country you go to, there will be chopping and changing.
“You see Alan Archibald unfortunately lost his job. No matter where you are, there will be pressure on your job.
“As a player, you’ve just got to deal with it. Obviously it’s disappointing to see the manager going but we have to move on and try to impress the new man.”
McGinn went on to talk about the two Scotland games, one a friendly and the other in the riveting Nations League, but you can read about that somewhere else if you are interested.