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Realistic Hartson delighted by elite Celtic appointment

John Hartson is convinced that Celtic and Brendan Rodgers have changed for the better since the dark days of February 2019.

It would take a long time to list all of the issues that built up over eight troubled months but the names of John McGinn and Marian Shved give a flavour of the issues involved.

Rodgers left the club almost overnight, Celtic banked £9m with the 2018/19 treble secured under Neil Lennon.

A downsizing however had set in, typified by Champions League failures against AEK Athens, Cluj and Ferencvaros.

This time around Rodgers has a guaranteed place in the Champions League to look forward to, a settled young squad and a completely revived recruitment set up.

Swansea fan Hartson has watched Rodgers closely for over a decade and is certain that Celtic have another elite manager in charge of the club.

He told the Daily Record:

I’m not surprised Brendan opted for Celtic again. He was available and he looked at it and said he won’t be dragged away again. At that particular time he has his own reasons for leaving. If he wins back to back doubles at Celtic in his first two seasons then does a club like Tottenham come in for him? Will Manchester United come in for him?


Does he then leave again? I think this time around he’s older, wiser and making better decisions so I think he’s here to stay this time, at least for the duration of his three-year contract.


I also believe the club will back him as they believe they have got a good manager. I know principles and morals come into play and you may see a banner or two at Celtic Park in protest at Brendan’s return and I understand that.


It will act as a reminder to Brendan of what he did the last time when he walked out of the side door. It was different with Ange as he stayed for the Scottish Cup Final and won the treble.


If Brendan finds that winning formula and starts with a momentum then Celtic can ride that crest of a wave. We are not talking about a managerial novice, he’s an elite manager and he’s been over the course.

On Friday the SPFL fixtures are published with Celtic scheduled to kick-off at home on August 5/6.

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