Masterclass from Brendan Rodgers as Belgian Waffle feels the heat

Brendan Rodgers and Philippe Clement both spoke to the media today ahead of the first post split fixtures. The difference between the two title chasing managers could not have been more stark.

We told you that Daizen Maeda was ready to make an earlier than expected return from injury this week and on Sunday we were first to report on Brendan Rodgers having words with one of his backroom staff at Hampden on Sunday.

And we also broke the news that the Glasgow Derby ticket allocation would be coming back at around 2500 tickets, showing an image of the Liverpool supporters at Ibrox in the Champions League when their side won 7-1. That was maybe a month before it was formally confirmed.

Today Brendan Rodgers had a laugh about his little Hampden outburst at the weekend during a match which afterwards he said would result in his players needing therapy. Another way of looking at is that it’s games like that live long in the memory.

Today at his media conference at Lennoxtown, Brendan was asked what was his message to his players in the short-time he had with his players ahead of the penalty shoot-out and used that to publicly smooth over any ill-feeling with his staff member.

“I don’t like a kitman near them! Bless him. He’s a good guy, Stevie, he’s Celtic-daft, he’s Celtic-mad, but you’ve got to know your place.

“At that moment, the work was prepared in terms of who was going to be taking the penalties. So, we virtually knew as soon as the whistle went, what the order would be for the players on the pitch.

“Everything else that had gone on before, because we had to come from behind, and then we’ve had disappointments of being in front and conceding equalisers, so that could really affect your mentality.

“But that’s gone. Don’t worry about that. Now we’ve got to focus in on taking the opportunity to get to the final, which has was to stay clear and stick to the plan which was put out there in the days before. Commit to that penalty.

“The players did that brilliantly. The level of penalties – I know we’ve missed some this year – the quality was very, very good.”

Brendan laying down the law ahead of the shoot-out may just have focused minds ahead of the shoot-out and had the players listening a little more intently than might otherwise have been the case. A clever manager is Brendan.

Daizen Maeda scores in the first minute of a Scottish Premiership football match against theRangers on April 7, 2024 at Ibrox. Photo Imago

Makes you wonder too about Daizen’s injury which the Celtic manager told us would end his season. Bad news that for us but great for theRangers and their long-suffering captain in particular.

Then a few weeks later Daizen is Superman, he’s coming back early, a week ahead of theRangers game. Great news for Celtic, a big boost for our supporters but a blow for theRangers and especially their captain who will be disappointed and maybe a little terrified.

A Brendan Rodgers production that one. Just like his comments on the Dens Park pitch today. Class always tells in the end.

Compare and contrast with this Beale-like nonsense from the Belgian waffle today…

Where do you start with this? They beat Hearts but we could only draw with Aberdeen last weekend? Dear oh dear…

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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

1 Comment

  1. Rob O’Keeffe on

    A masterclass from Rodgers? Know your place? What he have said the same about The Brush?