THE camera zoomed in on a distinctly uncomfortable Brendan Rodgers as he reacted in the immediate aftermath of Motherwell’s goal at Fir Park last weekend.

Commentator Liam McLeod offered his considered take on an awkward situation for the Celtic manager who unblinkingly stared ahead. At that precise moment, the champions were five points adrift in their pursuit of a twelfth title in 13 years.

“He’s wondering what day of the week it is again,” perceived the Beeb reporter.

As observations go, it wasn’t particularly insightful. The use of the word ‘again’ more than suggested this state of flux or anxiety was not a  rare occurrence for the Celtic manager.

You could even interpret the remarks as being demeaning to the 51-year-old Irishman, who, please remember, won seven successive honours in his first stint as team chief at Parkhead. The haul included two back-to-back trebles, the first achieved by a team which earned the mantle as ‘The Invincibles’ following an unbeaten crusade from the first kick to the final whistle of a momentous season.

QUESTION TIME…Brendan Rodgers must find the answers at Fir Park as he reflects on Celtic going a goal down.

You may be of the belief such a sequence of high accomplishment might earn an individual some respect or, at the very least, cut him some slack when things aren’t quite going according to plan.

Show me someone who insists everything has fallen perfectly into place since exiting the womb and I’ll show you a liar. This is real life, folks. There are many bumps on the road in this journey of discovery.

Rodgers has enjoyed better times in the Celtic dug-out, but I doubt if he is on the brink of losing his marbles. I would put money on him not putting the dog in the fridge and taking the milk for a walk.

I wouldn’t take the somewhat snidey remarks of the Beeb’s man with the microphone too literally. I doubt if he was actually questioning the sanity of Rodgers, but there’s no getting away from the fact his comment came across as a pathetic, little jibe.

By a quirk of timing, the utterance came an hour or so before the Celtic boss became embroiled in an absurd sexism row following a post-match interview with a BBC Scotland’s pitchside reporter, Jane Lewis.

Feminist groups were up in arms after Rodgers ended the interview fairly abruptly and signed off with the words “good girl”.

That was enough to bring all sorts of deranged comments, one insisting the manager was “a dinosaur”.

CONSIDERED OPINION…Brendan Rodgers faces the media as he responds to sexism claims.

Rodgers was forced to open his pre-Dundee media conference with wasted minutes discussing irrational feedback to the chat’s conclusion and he admitted: “It saddened me for society now, because people are looking and trying to find ways to somehow bring you down if they can. It’s not nice.”

Lewis, to be fair, said she was not offended by the remark. Why would she be upset at such a throwaway and inconsequential line?

Are we all stepping onto thin ice every day when we go through our front door? What tumult of backlash awaits a mere slip of the tongue? God forbid if you try to tell a joke.

I was born in the Gorbals and brought up in Castlemilk, two sedate hamlets in the best city in the world. (I now await folk from Yonkers in downtown New York vehemently disagreeing.)

These locations were the sort of invigorating learning curves where you had to be fairly circumspect in your perceptions. You always selected your words with a reasonable degree of caution for fear of irking someone’s senses.

It was in these unguarded moments when you would undoubtedly discover that a half-brick was your hypersensitive fellow-conversationalist’s preferred weapon du jour.

I would like to think I’m a live-and-let-live sort of bloke. I don’t get too upset when my temperament is put to the test. I acknowledge everyone’s right to an opinion although it may not run parallel with my own.

I’m not a racist, a bigot or a sexist. No-one will ever be able to pin those labels on your humble scribe.

Having said that, I did experience some turbulence from the woke people a couple of months ago. Not a lot of people know this, as Michael Caine was wont to say, but, over the last decade or so, I have scribbled four mystery novels, as well as eighteen football books, fifteen on Celtic, and two newspaper memoirs.

WHODUNNIT…Alex Gordon’s four books in the Charlie Brock mystery series.

Alas, I hit a brick wall with my fifth whodunnit in the series in which a world-weary newspaper journalist by the name of Charlie Brock doubles as an unwitting sleuth. In the first four tomes (available at all good bookstores, folks) our hero Charlie works solo in solving the mysteries that baffle the authorities.

At a meeting with the publisher to discuss the manuscript for the fifth in the series, it was put to me there was a noticeable lack of a presence of “a strong female”.

After four books – circa 400,000 words – it had been discovered that Charlie did not have a woman as a sidekick. I was asked if I would consider a rewrite.

Far from being precious, or even a snowflake in today’s parlance, I argued that I didn’t see the sudden requirement for a female accomplice. Heels (high or otherwise) were dug in and, needless to say, Charlie will now be published elsewhere.

During the week, Brendan Rodgers felt the need to reassure the easily offended in our society that he is really quite a good guy.

I know how he feels.


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