Brendan Rodgers was today announced as new manager of Celtic, succeeding Ronny Deila after agreeing to a 12-month rolling contract.
Yesterday, prior to the announcement, Andrew Smith tallied five reasons why Celtic have picked the right man for the job.
READ MORE - Celtic confirm Brendan Rodgers as new manager
HE HAS GENUINE PEDIGREE
It is generally acknowledged that two years ago Rodgers came within 100 minutes of leading Liverpool to a first title in quarter of a century. Certainly, he was heavily backed in the transfer market - with a net spend of over £100m - at Anfield, but there was no question that he made the club contenders again after a length period drifting aimlessly. His sacking by the club last October remains contentious, even if he stands as the only Liverpool manager since the 1950s to take charge of the club for three seasons without claiming a trophy.
Rodgers remains highly regarded throughout the game for his meticulous approach to player development and preparation. He is said to have a ledger containing every single training session he has ever conducted. He is the man responsible for taking Swansea into the English Premier League, and his work in the academy set-up at Chelsea was of such quality he was lauded by Jose Mourinho. With awkward early management stints at Reading and Watford, Rodgers has packed in much to his eight years in senior management. Reputationally, his man-management skills on a one-on-one basis, and with young players in particular, are gushed over and would be invaluable with the size and complexion of the current Celtic squad.
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HIS FOOTBALLING STYLE IS AT ONE WITH THE DEMANDS AT CELTIC
There can be all too much prattling about ‘the Celtic way’. Ronny Deila came to Celtic with an adherence to a passing, attacking philosophy that seemed in keeping with the expansive approach synonymous with the club’s most fabled eras. Yet, Rodgers’ desire to control games for the purposes of creating chances and scoring goals aplenty - as his Liverpool teams did at their best - does make him a natural fit for Celtic, and sets him apart from Deila because...
HE RECOGNISES THE NEED TO BE FLEXIBLE AND GET THE BEST FROM HIS PLAYERS
As with Deila, Rodgers was an unyielding disciple of the 4-2-3-1 in his early years in management. However, at Liverpool, as Stuart McCall noted on radio this week, he quickly recognised that he had to accommodate both Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez in central areas, and so had to be willing to tweak his strategy. Indeed, he discovered that, as Liverpool challenged for the title, there were occasions that a diamond formation would give way to 3-5-2, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, because such reconfiguration was warranted by a particular assignment. Part of Deila’s downfall was his unwillingness to trust his players, or himself indeed, to be so adaptable, especially in the approach to certain European games.
HE IS BOX OFFICE
Rodgers is a English Premier League manager in waiting. His capture would be a signal that Celtic are once again stepping up their level. It is believed that there is a willingness to pay a salary in the region of £1.5m, with a further £1m bonus for qualification to the Champions League group stages. That would put the role in line with a mid-table English Premier League side. Not since Martin O’Neill was attracted in the summer of 2000, have Celtic been pitching at the level Rodgers can be said to belong in. It would be a coup to appoint the Irishman and there would be an instant recoup in the guaranteed uptake in season ticket sales.
HE IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW
It is forgotten that Deila didn’t arrive till only days before Celtic were to return to pre-season. Since Rodgers has been snapped up early, he has more than a month to familiarise himself with all aspects of the club and - more importantly - playing staff before he entering into a pre-season that quickly will give way to Champions League qualifiers. The advantages of this as regards augmenting the squad with summer transfers would surely be many and significant.
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