“The difference is that little bit of experience and genuine quality,” Brendan Rodgers

Brendan can make us compete in Europe, if he is backed with what he requires…

As another European campaign ends in a whimper, the post mortem has already begun into why we have failed so miserably yet again. But we all know the cause, it’s blatantly obvious. We are devoid of real quality, and that’s what kills us at this level. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

Brendan Rodgers has spoken of his desire of adding real quality to the side in his efforts to take us to the next level. Last night he said that the lack of quality was glaringly obvious.

Not to domestic success as we are well equipped for that, but to make a mark in Europe. We need to to address this as a club and as a support. Not winning even winning a European trophy, but just challenging for the last 16 of the champions league or a decent run in the latter Europa League would be sufficient.

Questions are constantly asked of Brendan’s ability to coach on the European stage due to his poor record, but he doesn’t exactly have the required tools at his disposal. In his two spells at the club he has been faced with the task of taking on the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, PSG and Atletico Madrid and always with a much smaller budget than these European superpowers.

It’s a tough ask to compete with these sides with very limited resources. Even the so called ‘weaker’ sides we’ve come up against such as Borussia Monchengladbach, Anderlecht, Feyenoord and Lazio have much better quality at their disposal than ourselves.

He has shown he can compete at Europa level, beating the likes of Leipzig and qualifying for the last 32, but on the whole his record has been poor on the European scene. That can be rectified though, if he’s given money to spend. I have no doubt in my mind Brendan can make us compete at the top level if he’s backed to the hilt by the Celtic board, who let’s face it, have money in the bank to do just that.

Despite going out yet again, there were signs that we are at least improving in Europe. The home games against Lazio and Atletico gave us a glimpse of hope. Even last night against Lazio in Rome for a short period we looked assured despite numerous vital players missing. Hatate, Maeda, and Palma would all have started had they been available, and we’d have had Abada to bring on.

If Brendan can get in the players he wants, I can see him making us competitive in Europe once more. Whether he gets that backing remains to be seen.

Speaking to BBC Sport Scotland after the 2-0 defeat in Rome the Celtic manager had this to say in his post-match interview.

Brendan’s thoughts on the game…

“I am very disappointed with the result. I thought with the performance in terms of the first half we were too safe. I thought we kept the ball but we needed to progress the game a bit more.

“Whilst we were fairly comfortable in the second half we were much better. We progressed the game through the pitch and managed the game well. We arrived in the ascendency in the last 20 minutes. We looked like the team who could go and get the result.

“We gave away two poor goals. In the first one, we were in a great position but we lost the ball up the pitch and we lost possession and never recovered our shape back again. They get a bit of luck with the deflection into Immobile. That was a tough one to take so late on and obviously, we’ve got to get stronger and better for the second goal.”

Brendan on failing in his objective of achieving European football after Christmas – is that a big disappointment for the Celtic manager?

“It clearly is. We are disappointed as that was the aim. Things have been happening for us over the course of all our games. We have been hampered by our squad availability.  At this level, we need to have our best players available.

“I have to commend the players as the ones that have been available have given it everything. The game was very competitive right the way through and we felt we had given everything to that but sadly we conceded the two goals. The effort and the commitment was there from the players. It is disappointing not to have European football like we wanted but we go into the last game now to see if we can finish with a higher points total than last season.”

Brendan on the lapses in concentration that has been a constant problem in this Champions League campaign and how to change that for next season…

“In terms of our lapses in concentration, we give the ball away and I think you can trace it back to the guy coming on the inside. A little bit of luck has gone against us but I think it’s about the overall quality and the level.

“We need to have our very best players available going into this competition and also have added quality. That’s what makes the difference. These players have been competitive in every game but what makes the difference is that little bit of experience and genuine quality, especially at the top end of the field. That’s hopefully something that we can resolve over the next couple of windows.”

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. Full disclosure, I’ve never been a fan of the manager. He bangs in about a bloated squad, yet continues to field players who, let’s be honest, have no future here, like Forrest, Turnbull and Johnstone, to name just three. Firstly, we need to be better at the back, our centre half’s still can’t defend high balls and Taylor, whilst useful as a supplementary winger, has little defending ability, certainly not for Europe. Our midfield, yes including McGregor, still play the game laterally and backwards, all reluctant, or incapable, of that jaw dropping incisive, defence splitting pass. Negative, negative, negative. We have had a succession of wingers whose record in supplying actual crosses, is dismal. We face 9 man defences, domestically, every week, yet still not have worked out how to breach that. I leave out the strikers, at the moment, as they never get a decent ball, due to that congestion.
    And so on and so on and so on. 🤬

  2. So if Rodgers is looking at the quality and experience factor, does calmac tick all those boxes?
    Yet is using calmac to do nothing more than sideways and backwards passing in a must win game, the best way to be using a quality and experienced player?
    Seems bit of a cop out on Rodgers behalf imo, especially as he’s the one who makes the decision upon team set up and plans for such games imo.
    First part was achieved with staying within the game until half time without looking very threatening and not offering lazio to much either.
    Don’t know what to make about the use of Paulo?
    Expected to be able to provide an attacking threat from midfield, but very rarely used to do so within the SPFL?
    Maybe Rodgers could explain that decision taken in 3 CL matches since the Hatate injury, but Paulo yet to be used at SPFL level within the role?
    Some of the decision making from Rodgers has been strange at times, possibly even confusing, so could this have transpired down to within the team at times also?