Sleepless in Govania

BRENDAN RODGERS’ job just got a little more interesting. The Irishman plans to stick around for 10IAR but must have wondered if it was all going to be a bit too easy as his side took their feet off the pedal at 5-0 against Rangers in the so-called title decider.

More accurately we simply called it another Beautiful Sunday – and we have now had three of them in little over a month.

Steven Gerrard, now officially the new manager at Rangers, was at Ibrox for the first in the trilogy of Beautiful Sundays, most folk guessing he was there to support Celtic.

Maybe though he had an inkling of what was around the corner. Whether that was the case or not he certainly say Rangers in their best light that day. Well if you compare their performance at Ibrox to what was to follow at Hampden and then Celtic Park.

At least they were able to compete that day, were twice ahead and when Celtic had a man sent off with the scores level, it looked like they could go on and get their first ever win in the Premiership over Celtic.

But Brendan Rodgers made a tactical switch, playing two up top, and it worked a treat as Moussa Dembele set up Odsonne Edouard for a stunning winner.

The experienced manager had just given a lesson to the Under 20s youth coach in the home dug-out and t was a painful one.

Today both Rodgers and his former captain at Liverpool have been speaking. You sense there would have been an extra twinkle in Brendan’s eyes as he looked forward to crossing swords with the former England captain.

“Welcome to the land of no sleep,” was his initial reaction, suggesting that the job of managing a huge club is much more demanding and Labour intensive than playing for one. Nice start.

Rodgers confirmed that he had not spoken to Gerrard since the news broke that Dave King was going to take the biggest gamble of his life by giving the Liverpool Under 18s coach – whose side has had an indifferent season under his guidance – the chance to replace Pedro Caixinha as the Rangers manager.

“I haven’t spoken to him, I left him be when I saw he was linked with it, he will obviously have his own thoughts on it,” Brendan said.

“So I have let him be. But I am delighted for him because he has obviously had an incredible playing career, wanted to manage, wanted to coach and now he gets the opportunity to do that.”

Rodgers continued: “I am sure he will be looking forward to his first job and like I say, I am happy that he now enters into my world of coaching and managing.

“Obviously it’s his first job. He will have an idea in relation in how he wants to work. But as a guy he was ultra-professional, incredible qualities as a footballer.

“That level of professionalism all his career made him a great player so I am sure he will take all those attributes into management.

“But only over time will you see the identity of his teams, how he wants to work and play.”

Meanwhile at Ibrox, Gerrard was speaking to Rangers TV. “I’m very pleased, I’m buzzing inside. I can’t wait to get started on the first of June.

It’s a huge, huge honour for me to be sat here now as the manager of Rangers. The excitement levels are very difficult to contain at the moment but I have to be patient in the coming weeks,” the new Rangers manager stated.

He certainly looked happy enough this afternoon.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started. I’m well aware of the history and tradition of this football club. I know the size, I know what the supporters are all about.

“It’s right up there alongside all the best achievements I’ve ever had. I have big confidence I can improve the team and the results, and opportunities like this don’t come along very often.

“So when they do it’s important that you grab them and give it everything that you’ve got.”


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The Celtic Star, since we named these games against Rangers as Beautiful Sunday, have decided to release a very special, limited edition t-shirt, in a choice of colours – green and white. Have a look at the designs and if you would like to order these are available to buy now at


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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

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