TOMORROW is promised to no-one.

That is why, dear reader, I count my blessings that I have been around long enough to witness the managerial merits – and, alas, demerits – of SEVENTEEN of Celtic’s 19 managers.

And I am not taking into account five caretaker bosses, Kenny Dalglish, Sean Fallon and John Kennedy among them, when I tote up the gaffers.

I’ll just pause for a moment’s breath, if you don’t mind.

Even your humble scribe wasn’t on the planet when Willie Maley and his successor Jimmy McStay were in residence.

I confess I only saw the remaining 18 months of Jimmy McGrory’s amazing 20-year career in the dug-out before the legendary Jock Stein arrived in March 1965 and gloriously kick-started the most extraordinary and remarkable period in the club’s history.

LEGEND…Jock Stein drove Celtic into a new era.

You and I have counted in the many successors to the throne, from Billy McNeill to Martin O’Neill, Davie Hay to Gordon Strachan, Neil Lennon to Ange Postecoglou.

I’ve seen Tommy Burns and Liam Brady strive to put accomplished teams on the field to carry on the ‘Celtic tradition’ and we’ve had one-hit wonder Wim Jansen, the man credited with preventing Rangers from winning 10 in a row. We will all be forever grateful for that achievement.

Josef Venglos and Lou Macari fell into the ‘now-you-see-me-now-you-don’t’ category while John Barnes and Tony Mowbray couldn’t last a full season of carrying such awesome responsibility.

Ronny Deila made all the right noises, but failure in Europe – and a wayward penalty-kick by Tom Rogic in a wretched Scottish Cup semi-final in 2016 – curtailed his stay to two years.

And today I think we can all agree we have a safe pair of hands on the tiller in the shape of second time-around Brendan Rodgers.

To my tired old eyes, the Irishman possesses all the necessary characteristics to become an iconic leader in Celtic’s Managerial Hall of Fame.

Rodgers has won nine of the ten domestic honours available to him spread over his two stints. That’s not bad going.

BACK IN THE OLD ROUTINE…Brendan Rodgers holds aloft the Scottish Cup after the 1-0 success over Philippe Clement’s Ibrox side last month.

I stated back on August 5 last year when we were gearing up for the Premiership kick-off that the Irishman had the Ibrox hierarchy shaking in their brown brogues. In fact, I insisted they were running scared and you can check out the column here.

Poor, old floundering Michael Beale was out of his depth and was sacrificed by mid-October to make way for Philippe Clement, the Belgian who was going to save the day.

Oops. Didn’t quite turn out like that, did it?

The news doesn’t get better for the folk across the Clyde when Rodgers vows Celtic will be better and stronger in the new season.

Those words, delivered with the smile of an assassin, will be reverberating around the fabled marbled staircase while we enjoy our summer.

Next season promises much, dear friends.


Click Here for Comments >

About Author