Time for Brendan Rodgers to prove he’s an ‘elite manager’

If Brendan Rodgers really is an ‘elite manager’ then he needs to prove it…

After a week where the club let us down majorly off the pitch, is it any surprise they have let us down on the pitch too? Not to me it’s not. The toxicity surrounding the club at the minute is palpable. It was imperative we picked up three points today to lift the mood but yet again the players and manager have failed to deliver.

We struggled last week against Ross County and continued in that vein once again today. We absolutely dominated the first half but squandered numerous chances to take the lead. Aberdeen came out and displayed a bit of grit and determination to get back into the game in the second half and we absolutely wilted. In all honesty we were probably fortunate to leave Pittodrie with a point.

Nicolas Kuhn of Celtic scores. Aberdeen v Celtic, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Football, Pittodrie, Aberdeen, UK – 03 Feb 2024. Photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

The atmosphere around the club is starting to resemble the dreaded Covid year. A lot of the anger today will be aimed at the board and the money men who failed to deliver the goods during the January transfer window and rightly so, but I also feel like our manager has to take his share of the blame. Rodgers has at his disposal a squad who are head and shoulders above the rest in the league, and I include theRangers in that assessment. The fact he’s failing to get a tune out of it is nothing short of disgraceful.

Let’s take a look at the league table. We are now six points ahead of our nearest rivals but they have two games in hand. Can you imagine the uproar if we had of lost the Glasgow derby post Christmas? We would currently be sitting joint on points with theRangers with our rivals having two games in hand. Fans would be calling for our managers head. It’s our wins against that lot that has saved the manager from a lot of flack. He won’t be able to hide from it much longer however unless things change drastically.

So far this has been a poor season. Yes we have been top of the league for most of it but let’s be brutally honest, under Mick Beale theRangers were an absolute shambles. Since Clement has come in and steadied the ship they haven’t looked like dropping points against the others in the league while we seem to be struggling week in week out. They have already won the league cup which we exited weakly against Kilmarnock.

Yes we managed to get a much needed win in the Champions League in a dead rubber match against Feyenoord but are yet again out of Europe before Christmas. We have a tough fixture coming up away to St Mirren in the Scottish Cup. That’s a must win fixture now. Go out of that and it leaves our rivals chasing a treble which will have our fans in total meltdown.

Nicolas Kuhn of Celtic celebrates scoring. Aberdeen v Celtic, Cinch Scottish Premiership, Football, Pittodrie, Aberdeen, UK – 03 Feb 2024 photo Mark Runnacles/Shutterstock

A few games into the season I wrote an article saying how much I was missing ‘Angeball’. The football under Postecoglou was a joy to watch. He didn’t achieve everything he set out to and we definitely could have been better in Europe but his brand of football was exciting to watch. I thought then that maybe the team was just in a transitional period and would take a little while to get used to Rodgers style of play.

I was positive it wouldn’t take long before the players adapted to what the new manager wanted and set about dominating Scottish football once again. We had seen it before remember, when Brendan Rodgers came in the first time, leading his troops to an Invincible Treble.

Aberdeen v Celtic . Aberdeen and Celtic fans during the Cinch Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Celtic at Pittodrie  on 3 February 2024. Photo Stephen Dobson PSI

It hasn’t transpired that way however. Instead of ‘first season Rodgers’ this current team look more like ‘third season Rodgers’. When he left for Leicester our team looked pretty much like it does now, void of ideas and inspiration, producing football that fails to excite the fans. It looks stale. It shouldn’t look like this when the manager has players like Kyogo, O’Riley and McGregor at his disposal.

The players on the park look lost. The tactics are so bland and uninspiring. We struggle constantly to break teams down and that is down to the managers tactics. Callum McGregor was absolutely anonymous today, his form has completely fallen off a cliff as has a few others in the team including our star striker Kyogo who is being totally starved of service.

We need to put the nonsense surrounding the transfer window behind us now. Yes it was a shambles but it’s over now and we can’t change the past. We need to concentrate on the players we have with us here and now and our manager needs to be getting the very best out of them.

We constantly hear about how Brendan Rodgers is an ‘elite’ manager. It’s time he proved it.

Conall McGinty


About Author

Hailing from Cushendall in the North of Ireland my formative years were spent watching Celtic during our barren spell through the 90's which meant I have appreciated our recent trophy-laden spell even more. Favourite matches home and away I've attended has to be beating Man Utd 1-0 at Celtic Park and being with my 2 brothers watching us beat Lazio 2-1 in Rome. Best away day experience? Has to be Munich with friends from Coatbridge...what a few days!


  1. The game’s up, the baw’s burst like Rodgers’ bubble.
    There isn’t a SPFL team that fear us, in fact they’re rubbing their hands when we show up.
    The tactics MUST change before its too late, if it isn’t already.
    Before some say that’s too negative, it’s real, get used to it!!!!

    • Agree 100%. We have been rank rotten in almost every game this season and that can only be down to the manager. The R*****s are average at best but we look like a Sunday morning pub team at best……… Drop points against Hibs midweek and we might as well send the SPL trophy to castle greyskull…………

  2. Blame the board, but the Manager are players are at fault. No passion, strategy, skill, speed or excitement. This is a poor team and Manager at this time.

  3. Mark my words. Rodgers has told them after the summer window he won’t be there next season. Hence this window’s activity.

    The board is a disgrace. The nepotism displayed likewise.

    Rodgers will be coaching a lower La Liga team next season if he’s fortunate. He’s been sold a pup by the board. I feel for him a little bit he is finished as a top class manager after this season. Too slow, ponderous and predictable. He has taken a good team backwards at an alarming rate.

  4. there are three main problems with the way we play.
    1. too slow in build up.
    2. very poor when not in possession all over the field
    3. Kyogo can not play with Palma unless palma is moved to right wing, we need wingers to hit bye line Palma is forever cutting inside and not turning defences,

    How does manager not address this he must see it surely

  5. I said at the beginning of the season he wasn’t an elite manager and nothing at all hes done this season has made me even slightly change my mind.
    We were lucky Beale stayed as long as he did or we’d be in dire straights.
    The board obviously has to take a lot of the flak too especially with the lack of real quality we have brought in this year especially with champions league and jota money but so many players have constantly failed us this season too and cannot be allowed to escape criticism far too many games this season the abject performances they have turned out has shown we have quantity but very little quantity

  6. Didn’t care for Rodgers turncoat time, care less for him this time. No dynamism, poor team selection, poor tactics, dreadful style of play. E. G. Ralston is an excellent player, but never on the LEFT SIDE!!
    Classic example today…Aberdeen were attacking, our defence intercepted and stuck a great ball forward to the right flank, our player stops dead and the ball ends up going backwards, in fact IT’S ALWAYS GOING BACKWARDS!!
    We get corners, up go the centre half’s and the corner is played backwards and short, then further back, we end up almost in the middle of the park, halfway to the centre line and there is no room for manoeuvre.
    We have umpteen wingers who just can cross a ball and we moan about Kyogo – the service to him is shite!!
    Oh and we have zero pace at the back.

  7. Martin Blackshaw on

    It’s really hard to believe that the Lawwells together with the inept Rodgers have managed between them to destroy the great team Ange had in place. It really beggars belief and it’s almost like they’re deliberately trying to give the title to Rangers this season. I still can’t get my head around the disastrer these idiots have brought about, a disaster that will be hammered home at the next face-off with Rangers in April.

    • You probably said that before the first one at the debt dome, and the last one at our ground. You might be right in your prediction, then again you might be wrong, we will find out soon enough.

  8. I believe Rodgers has made a few mistakes, but he has also been a bit unlucky. Keep hearing the same nonsense from fans ” he has destroyed a treble winning team ” no he has not, he has never had that team at his disposal. We lost Jota, Mooy, Starfelt, Reo and big Vickers have barely played, and when they have played they have been getting back up to speed after a long lay off, now both are injured again, playing today without Taylor and Maeda, that is seven players who would probably have started the game today if it was played this time last season. I give Rodgers a bit of a pass for the summer signings, I think a lot of them were already set up and he agreed to the transfers probably to not rock the boat, and he probably thought or was led to believe the recruitment department were good at their job. The window just gone is on Rodgers, no excuses. As someone has mentioned on this page, is it possible he has decided to leave in the summer and that is why no real money has been spent ? very plausible.

    A lot of fans have accused Rodgers of being a yes man, most people who become yes men or puppets do so because they need the money, Rodgers does not need the money, he probably thinks it is better to keep the disagreements in house rather than give the media the stories they crave which just leads to more instability.

    Momentum in our two horse of a league is so important, we have never really had any so far this season, our rivals seem to have found some, once they play their game in hand both teams will be level on points and near enough on goal difference with fourteen games left to play. Why have a lot of our supporters given up hope of retaining the title ? I can see why some might think we will not win it, but a lot of them have given it up, but the same fans will have a go at the players for lacking bottle when their own bottle has crashed.

    Everyone will agree we have been well off it this season and yet we have only lost two games in the league, beating them twice so far, what if we find a bit of form which it was looking like before the break ? the fact is, as bad as we have been if we win the remaining two games against them we will win the league, and that is taking into account us dropping points in two or three other games, which we probably will do. No way are we favourites for the title now, but for some to give it up while we are still top is madness. There is still a league and a cup to be won, if we get ourselves together we can win both.