Craig Bellamy: Nobody in England cares about Celtic's success

Ex-Celtic striker Craig Bellamy insists no one in English football is impressed with Brendan Rodgers' success in Glasgow's East End because that's what's expected of the Parkhead side.

Craig Bellamy played for Celtic in a five-month loan spell in 2005. Picture: PA
Craig Bellamy played for Celtic in a five-month loan spell in 2005. Picture: PA

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The Welshman compared Rodgers’ time up north with his own spell in Scottish football. After signing for Celtic on deadline day in January 2005, Bellamy was in red-hot form for the rest of the season as Martin O’Neill’s side came within one match of winning the double.

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The ex-Liverpool and Manchester City star says his exploits in green and white hoops carried no weight with clubs down south. In fact, Bellamy insists more clubs were interested before he made his move.

He believes if Rodgers is looking to use his time with Celtic to get himself another top job in the English Premier League, following his sacking at Liverpool, then he’ll likely be disappointed.

Speaking to bookmakers Paddy Power, Bellamy said: “Brendan Rodgers couldn’t have done any more than he did with Celtic last season. His reputation of a great coach is there, but getting one of the top jobs again in the Premier League might be difficult for him.

“Mainly because, and I found this out during my time in Scotland, it doesn’t matter what you do up there – no one cares. I had more offers in January, before I went to Celtic, than I did when I finished my time up there the following summer.

“That’s because once you went up to Scotland nobody in England gave a damn what you did up there. If you do well up there, it’s a case of ‘so you should’. I just didn’t feel it mattered to anyone down south.”

Bellamy also dismissed the run of the ‘Invincibles’, saying it shouldn’t be considered among the greatest ever by the club because Rangers haven’t been strong enough to mount a challenge.

He added: “There was always going to be a gap after what happened to Rangers and it hasn’t helped Celtic.

“I know Celtic will say they’ve had their best run ever, but you can’t class this side with the one from the Sixties.

“You can’t do that because it’s not fair and it isn’t real. Celtic need a strong Rangers.

“The days are gone where they could have an impact on Europe. The team of 2003 with Henrik Larsson in it, which got to a European final, unfortunately I just don’t believe we’re going to see that for a while.

“Not until Rangers get up there somewhere near them again and really become competition to push Celtic on.

“The challenge for the Hoops in Scotland just isn’t there anymore and it could take Rangers another three or so years to get back up there with them again.”