Opinion: Brendan Rodgers digging his heels in over Liam Scales

It seems like Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is deliberately digging his heels in over Liam Scales…

We got there in the end on Saturday and that’s all that matters in the grand scheme of things. We all know and understand that when it comes to these sorts of matches. However, we didn’t half make a mountain out of a molehill at times. That particular issue was in no way helped by the defence and serious questions will be asked of it before now and the end of the season.

I know it’s never fair to single just one individual out for errors or mistakes, as the Celtic defence collectively was a mess. But I think Rodgers is now deliberately digging his heels in with Liam Scales and it’s got to stop. Maik Nawrocki came into the side last weekend and kept a clean sheet. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t have been starting at Hampden Park alongside Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Aberdeen v Celtic –  Bojan Miovski and Liam Scales battle for the ball during the Scottish Cup semi-final match at Hampden on Saturday April 20, 2024. Photo Andrew Milligan

Scales has performed admirably this year, but it’s now obvious that he has flatlined and this plateau is seriously costing us at times. Yes, he’s a battler and was wonderful at Ibrox way back in September and yes, he had that Man of the Match performance in the UEFA Champions League group stages. But now is the time to hold the hands up and admit that his obvious deficiencies are becoming too costly and risky at a time when we can least afford them.

Twice he was caught under the ball against his former team at the weekend and I’m sorry, if his battling defensive qualities are found wanting, his on the ball attributes aren’t going to balance them out or pull him or us out of a hole when we need it most. If Brendan can’t see what’s unfolding before his very eyes now, he’s just digging his heels in and being deliberately stubborn when it comes to the assessment of Scales in recent times.

Yes he is unhappy with recruitment, but this is heading towards self-sabotage territory and is just a step too far now.

End it, Brendan. Before it ends us…pick the best possible eleven for every game that remains.

Paul Gillespie

David Potter’s bestseller The Celtic Rising ~ 1965: The Year Jock Stein Changed Everything is completely sold out in print on but is available on Amazon kindle, with all the photographs of the hardback edition, for HALF PRICE at just £3.49

About Author

I'm a Garngad Bhoy through and through. My first ever Celtic game was a friendly against Italian side Parma at Celtic Park, in 2002. Currently a student of English Literature and Education at the University of Strathclyde for my sins. Favourite game would be a toss up between beating Manchester United with that Naka freekick, or the game against the Oldco when Hesselink scored in the dying seconds. I'm still convinced Cal Mac is wasted playing that far back.


  1. Nawrocki hasn’t completed 90 minutes since August. He’s good for about an hour, so someone else would have had to play the other hour on Saturday and most managers don’t like chopping and changing their CB’s every game.

    Nawrocki has looked defensively vulnerable when he’s played.

  2. Yes he got caught but he gets no help from Taylor when a ball crossed in scales has to just be leave he is last defender cause Taylor is no use for highball I suppose he must block the player attacking the ball nawrocki did come on but two players took up same position nawrocki had to guard back post

  3. I feel that Greg Taylor was equally caught out for those goals. Don’t want to be too hard on either though, proper competition needed

  4. Totally agree with your assessment of Scales, as he is too slow and doesn’t provide enough assists or goals, compared to Starfelt, and has been responsible for enough late goals scored against Celtic and dropped points.
    Scales is looking like a Rodgers vanity project to show he can develop players, when the reality is that he is nowhere near the level required for a Celtic central defender and should be considered as fourth/fifth choice, or an Aberdeen level defender, the position he started the season.

  5. What was Nawrocki doing when the cross for the third goal came in?
    Both 2nd and 3rd goals came from Aberdeen left wing.
    Where was Armstrong?
    15 cup matches in a row won under the management of B R.
    Must be doing something right .
    Hail Hail.

  6. Justshatered on

    Scales has had a terrific season and our campaign would already have been over without him.
    He may now be turning on empty as he has played a lot of football.
    Although I didn’t watch the whole game, I have seen the highlights and to meet it was a collective failure.
    First of all we failed to prevent the cross at source. This has been a glaring issue all season. We adopt the “after you Claude” tactic.
    I know Nawrocki was on at that point and we were playing with three centre half’s so perhaps there was confusion of where the three were playing and instead of spacing out they grouped together.

    The major concerns for us though is that, while we are scoring an average of three a game, our defence is starting to look rather fragile.
    This needs addressed before we travel to Dundee. This league isn’t over yet.

  7. We are going for the title and the cup, the manager has to back the players he has available. Scales was poor at the second and third goals on Saturday, but so was Taylor, on both occasions he appear to run under the flight of the ball fro some reason making no attempt to challenge the attacking player. Also Johnson does nothing to prevent the crosses coming in.

    With Hart leaving in the summer you could argue we need to be building a completely new defence around CCV.