Brendan, his captain and recruitment


We got quite a fascinating insight into how football teams operate when Brendan Rodgers told Celtic TV that he met with Callum McGregor last week, to discuss the squad and get Callum’s view on the status of the club.  This was before Brendan put pen to paper or Celtic had secured the services of John Kennedy for next season.

It demonstrates the role of team captain at Celtic, which has been in place for well over a decade now.  Callum inherited Scott Brown’s role as the first line of discipline for the squad, responsible for ensuring the managers’ wishes are carried out when coaching staff are not present.  Callum’s assessment of his teammates will be invaluable to the new boss.

If there was a bigger takeaway from the interview, it was Brendan’s endorsement of the recruitment regime he inherited.  Celtic confirmed the signing of Norwegian midfielder Odin Thiago Holm (20) yesterday.  Brendan confirmed he met the player on Monday, but that he was a target of the recruitment process that brought us so many valuable players in recent times.

Player trading is fundamental to Celtic’s prospects.  We need to buy and sell well or forever tread water.  You and I discussed a weakness in this area last time Brendan was in town.  Yesterday, the manager noted how impressed he was with head of scouting and recruitment, “Mark [Lawwell] has done a brilliant job……He has done a great job.”

Soon after Brendan took over in 2016, we discussed how his time at Liverpool brought experience no one at Celtic had.  Previous managers and coaches came from less-resourceful clubs, Celtic were still stuck in 20th century ways.  Brendan raised the bar significantly.  Mark Lawwell’s tutelage at City Football Group revolutionised Celtic’s recruitment, starting with Ange Postecoglou’s appointment in 2021.

We tried to upscale in this area before with the appointment of the much-maligned Lee Congerton in 2017.  Lee worked with Brendan at Chelsea, where he was chief scout during the early Abramovic era.  After six years in London, he went to Hamburg as technical director, then to Sunderland (subsequently relegated) before Celtic.

It was an impressive CV, few clubs in the world recruited more than Chelsea during that era and the technical acuity of German football is renowned.  Looking back, Chelsea’s approach could be described as scattergun, while a once-lofty Hamburg (subsequently relegated) have been left behind by a dozen-or-so smaller, technically better rivals.  Lee followed Brendan to Leicester (subsequently relegated) and is now at Atalanta.

Recruiting the right players within budget and selling at the right time – it is a two sided process – is the only way Celtic can achieve improvements in the European arena.  Hopefully we’ll benefit lots from educations at Liverpool and City Group.

Welcome to Celtic, Odin.

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  1. I’m pleased with the work being done by Mark Lawell in the background.



    There was nothing revolutionary about Ange’s appointment. It was very much analogue 20th century pot luck at the end of the Eddie Howe debacle. Let’s not pretend otherwise.



    Need to see Brendan through a full cycle of buy > develop > sell to see if he has turned a corner as the old version kept hold of too many for too long.



    Interesting window coming up. Great squad – how much tweaking does he do tactically and personnel-wise to make progress?



    We can all sit back and enjoy the fact that “Nir Bitton as emergency CH summer in the qualifiers” is a thing of the distant past.




  2. Good afternoon all


    Look forward to the press conference and brendan batting hun media away.

  3. bigrailroadblues on

    Good afternoon all from Paddy Neesons. The Shipwrecks are invading Embra next Friday 30th June, 12pm onwards at the Booking Office pub at Waverley Station. Thereafter to the Guildford Arms and Kitty O’Shea’s. All welcome, even the salt n sauce hooligans. 😁

  4. Back at you MEANSONG.



    BRRB – That’s me off for two weeks after today. Hopefully be doing some bar tours here and Chicago.

  5. The amount of huns checking in on Brendan’s media conference looking for a divided house will be off the scale.



    Let’s unite behind the club. I didn’t like the exit, nor did I like Ange’s. A remidner that they’re transient & we remain the constant in all this, long with winning trophies of course.



    GIRUY lurkin’ Huns




  6. Rumour about Celtic being offered Brazilian from Shaktar.E-Tims investigated,and found out it was Tete,a guy Brendan had previously signed for Leicester.Last 6 months of his contract,so a bargain maybe.


    Looks a genius.E-Tims have a 10 min video of him.Has to brighten up anyones day.

  7. Will BR be accompanied by MN at today’s presentation? Or is he going to be flying solo.



    James Traynor been hired to throw out anyone asking naughty questions? 😂

  8. Tete has a current market value of £25m. Caught up in the Ukranian situation. Contract ends there in December after Leicester one ends June 30th. Been looking for a home with Lyon and Leicester.



    Don’t know what FIFA have agreed on Ukraine this season. Could be an absolute bargain of course if forced to sell with 6 months left but would he come to Scotland?




  9. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    “Hopefully we’ll benefit lots from educations at Liverpool and City Group”



    Fair enough Pablo.



    We clearly needed to learn these lessons from these larger organisations (and there are possibly still a few to learn) …



    … but there will have to come a time when we own the plan created, tuned and tailored by us, without reference (is harping back to strong?) to these other institutions.



    As you point out re Hamburg – the most innovative and dynamic learnings are often from the bottom up.

  10. bigrailroadblues on



    Sweet home Chicago. Lot of great pubs around Clark Street. Used to be, anyways. 🍻

  11. BIG WAVY on 23RD JUNE 2023 12:21 PM



    Let’s unite behind the club. I didn’t like the exit, nor did I like Ange’s. A remidner that they’re transient & we remain the constant in all this, long with winning trophies of course.





    Agree. When Brendan left, I felt like one of those inconsolable 14 year old girls when Take That split. Still not fully over it but over it enough. Lesson learned. I’ll sing his name again if he gives us a 10. Until then, I’ll sing Celtic’s name.

  12. Loving the lectures on uniting behind the club. Maybe a little lack of self-awareness going on there and some short memories.



    One of the features on Ange’s time here was the total unity of purpose throughout the club. Easy when you’re successful on the pitch, a little less when results start going against you.



    A longer term plan like aggressive player trading needs buy in from the major players or it won’t work successfully. Friction will cause it to malfunction.

  13. Why would we sign a player who’s just been relegated with Leicester playing for our new manager. We’d just be buying failure



    Our recruitment is better than theirs, Brendan has just been bigging it up, we’ve got excellent value for money recently from untapped markets. Trust in it.



    Tete was distinctly average at Leicester. Let’s do better

  14. Big Wavy,


    As I said,just a rumour about Tete.How well informed,who knows.You can see the link though.The video is breathtaking.Swear to God,I am sure I saw him make the ball disappear a couple of times.


    Could be around £ 6 million mark,( he says hopefully ).

  15. I listened to a The Cynic podcast recently which had an English stats man on talking about Rodgers.



    I found it very interesting that as an outsider this English man said that Beale had been closing the gap significantly on Ange and that he expected a very tight race next year.



    I think Brendan will have us pulling away again next season although I do think Beale was making ground up on us last season. A change has maybe come at the perfect time for us.

  16. CELTIC40ME on 23RD JUNE 2023 1:07 PM


    Why would we sign a player who’s just been relegated with Leicester playing for our new manager. We’d just be buying failure





    That’s utterly bonkers thinking. Good premiership players in Barnes, Maddison & Tielemens already (Villa) prove otherwise.




  17. TB,



    Looks a player and Rodgers was a huge fan of his workrate and skill level. May have legs.



    Jota on the left, Tete on the right?



    Yes please.




  18. Celtic 40me,


    Aye right.We can do better.Reasons for all the very good players at Leicester it seems to not play well,are unknown to me.Won’t stop mega offers coming in for their better players.


    When you see us interested in a bigger talent than Tete,let me know please.




    It’s easy to forget that we were successful and self-sustaining because of our player trading model long before it became fashionable. And when it was particularly unpopular as well

  20. An Dun – whether it was tactics or personnel, their mediocre midfield bettered ours in 3 games last season. Thankfully their forwards missed a few absolute sitters while gifting us goals at the back.


    A stronger midfield would have seen us cruising the games.

  21. TURKEYBHOY on 23RD JUNE 2023 1:20 PM



    We’ve signed a few in the last few years



    From what I’ve seen of them Kyogo, Hatate, Jota and CCV are all better Celtic players than Tete will ever be.



    I’ve seen a bit of him on the Telly. He’s the sort of player who looks like he should be better than he is. Quick but with no end product

  22. BRRB



    Edinburgh would have suited me, but Bo’ness Fair Day is on that day.



    Plans already made.



    I’ll still be pissed but will miss the fabulous company and craic.



    Enjoy and take care!

  23. Aipple


    Enjoy the windy city. Don’t know if you are a blues man like me, if so, Check out Buddy guy’s place. Always some ass kicking blues goin down




  24. BIG WAVY on 23RD JUNE 2023 1:17 PM



    At least they were starters, Tete was on the bench in a team that was fighting relegation.



    Leicester were terrible when he started – they drew one and lost six of the last 7 games he started in. Then the new manager came in and benched him

  25. CELTIC40ME on 23RD JUNE 2023 1:58 PM



    Previously benched/overlooked/unloved would have meant no Sutton, Larsson, CCV, Sinclair, etc etc…



    Holm’s Valerenga,Yang Hyun-jun’s Gangwon & Tete’s Leicester?



    All in relegation dire straits. Maybe that’s a filter on Mark Lawell’s clever spreadsheet.




  26. The returnof weeron on

    Serious question re player trading….



    Who should BR have sold, rather than keep?



    The worst player trading situation that I recall was in MON’s time. That team was allowed to decay completely. Hartson, Sutton, Lenny, Thompson, Agathe, Bobo were among the players whose value we didn’t cash in on. Not saying that we should have recycled all of them, but we ended up with nothing…



  27. BIG WAVY



    Chris Sutton won the golden boot in the Premier League two season before we signed him.



    Slight difference in pedigree

  28. THE RETURNOF WEERON on 23RD JUNE 2023 2:27 PM



    Boyata went for free and Ntchams value took a nosedive after we held on to him for too long



    It’s as much about who we signed as who we didn’t sell. BR seemed to be opposed to signing players for development rather than ready first teamers. At least that was the perception at the time, not helped by the hundreds of wingers comment

  29. bigrailroadblues on

    Phil 1.43


    Bo’ness Fair Day?


    You’ve got a great sense of humour big chap. 😂😂

  30. CELTIC40ME @ 10:31 AM,



    I know facts and accuracy are important to you so I’m sure you’ll welcome me pointing out that that’s not exactly what he said about structure and recruitment. For future reference :)



    Thank you, I’ll give it a further perusal to see what he meant.



    It just seemed to me he was very positive and even opTIMistic about our current recruitment structure – as we know it’s a bugbear of his.



    Hail Hail

  31. I think we should have got Boyota’s replacement in first then moved him on but the board was reluctant to spend that summer.



    So when the offer from Fulham came in for Boyota, Brendan quite rightly looked at his CB back options and said Boyota is going nowhere. Boyota went on to be big player for us in retaining the league that season.

  32. chicagobhoy1967 on




    If you are looking for ideas for pubs, breweries (most feature their own bars, some quite nice), etc., let me know. I can suggest a few in the city and many in the west and southwest suburbs.