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Was Brendan Rodgers duped into returning to the Celtic ‘strategy’

It is difficult to image that Brendan Rodgers signed up to being part of a plan to boost Celtic’s cash reserves through the £100m mark.

With ironic timing the club published their 22/23 accounts the day before the Champions League defeat away to Feyenoord which exposed the poverty on the pitch while £72m rested in the bank account at the end of June.

Rodgers has given a few answers recently that have made it clear that his role at the club barely goes beyond preparing the players and setting out the tactics. Recruitment and strategy are for others.

At times it seems like a re-run of 2018/19 when John McGinn was allowed to move to Aston Villa, Dedryck Boyata denied a transfer as he entered the final year of his contract and Moussa Dembele sold at the end of August with no replacement in mind.

Signing Emilio Izaguirre turned the clock back, Youssouf Mulumbu came in rather than McGinn while Filip Benkavic was signed on loan from Leicester City. The decline in performances was no surprise, the parting of the ways came soon after the signings of Vakoun Bayo and Marian Shved plus two American projects that weren’t even permitted to play in Scotland!

All of the signalling back in June was that a serious attempt was about to be made to improve in Europe, to make Celtic credible, improve on an embarrassing record of two victories in the 11 years since the last 16 of the Champions League was reached in 2013.

Most of that signalling came via exclusive Daily Mail reports which should have raised red flags knowing the likely source.

After losing Ange Postecoglou Celtic fans were relieved that they weren’t about to get a project manager in as his successor. Enzo Maresca or Kjetil Knutsen would have been high risk appointments, for most fans the issues from February 2019 were overcome by the pragmatic realisation that Rodgers was the candidate most likely to succeed.

One match into a Champions League campaign the ambitions of June and July are in tatters, this Celtic squad isn’t about to advance in Europe, matching last season’s tally of two points is far from certain.

Clearly over the last two seasons recruitment was a Big Ange Production, perhaps the influence of the Lawwell tag-team played a factor in his agent finally persuading Spurs to provide an escape route.

With Mark Lawwell’s extremely limited contact book only Maik Nawrocki of the seven summer signings could be considered on a par with last season’s squad which required improvement. Two late loan signings suggest concerns over the quality of the seven permanent deals.

Rodgers has lost Jota and gained three project wingers coming in from Australian, Korean and Greek football.

Aaron Mooy’s retirement has resulted in two midfielders being brought in from Norway and the Korean Second Division, showing doubts about their readiness a Benfica reserve was brought in on loan on Transfer Deadline Day.

After shifting Albian Ajeti, Ismaila Soro, Sead Haksabanovic and Vasilas Barkas the squad has again been bloated with players miles short on quality with Marco Tilio and Kwon Hyeok-kyu having no avenue to get near a first team place.

Rodgers has five potentially embarrassing Champions League nights to get through while maintaining an advantage domestically working with a squad high on quantity but thin on quality.

There is clearly a PLC strategy to build the bank balance as detailed by chairman Peter Lawwell leaving Rodgers to work with Peter’s boy in recruitment and his clone Michael Nicholson running the show as CEO.

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  • by Redmond
    Posted September 20, 2023 5:58 pm 0Likes

    Much as it pains me to say it, you are absolutely bang on… Rodgers wasn’t the only one duped into believing we were going to make a fist of it, I also believed the hype and think many others did too.

    I don’t think we necessarily needed to spend ludicrous amounts but give the manager the tools for the job ffs… been needing a LB, GK for over a year… plus haven’t replaced Giaka with proven quality… very poor

  • by Eddie
    Posted September 20, 2023 6:51 pm 0Likes

    Once again the prophets of doom are out in force and after only I game. It might have been so different I’ve Hatate had passed instead of shooting . Bad time to lose a goal and second yellow was a travesty.. For gods sake KEEP THE FAITH.

  • by Johnno
    Posted September 21, 2023 12:03 am 0Likes

    What a ridiculous account to be made by another total eejit within the Scottish media.
    Have they totally forgotten, like some within our support also, upon the 12M wasted upon ajeti, Barkas and Duffy (loan fee) in the 10iar season, for what we got in return?
    Yes, a lower risk approach has been taken since then, but bigger profits provided in return.
    Maybe a case of taking a little bit to low of a risk this season, or is it really a case of planning for next season in mind also?
    Would like to think of it being the latter, and still remains way to early to definitely say either way as of yet.
    Hate the way we in general can make scapegoats out of the younger player, with putting the project tag in place, especially after only a handful of games, with some very little playing time involved also?
    Increased squad numbers are the way within today’s game and that will become the case next season with the increase of games within the CL.
    We are always going to attract interest within our players, so we also need to be better prepared for that, than we really were this summer and potentially in January also.
    Rodgers possibly decided long ago to only go with 2 keepers for the CL this season, hence no new arrival, with Bain getting a place due to being Scottish.
    The LB position remains a strange decision, and one I don’t understand not addressing when it needed to be, even before Rodgers arrived, and even more so when he looks like he wants us to play with a back 4?
    Can only think that the injuries to CCV and rocki may have altered our plans with scales taking his unexpected chance?
    The season is only really getting underway now, yet we remain top without playing particularly well to date, and an unwanted injury list still.
    Is there a need to panic and start using the money in the bank and poor recruitment?
    Way to early to be looking at poor excuses at this stage imo

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