BRENDAN RODGERS returned to Celtic for his public unveiling on June 19 2023 and delivered a solid guarantee to the supporters.
The Irishman, who left abruptly in February 2019 for Leicester City in first time around, emphasised he will see through his three-year contract – unless, of course, he is “emptied”.
It’s a quaint expression for getting the boot, of course.
In his first stint, Rodgers made history with back-to-back trebles as he joined Hoops managerial legends Jock Stein and Martin O’Neill to achieve the silverware clean sweep.
He also led the side to a century of domestic trophies when they overcame Aberdeen 3-0 in the League Cup Final in November 2016 for the magical 100.
HOME BHOY…Brendan Rodgers on his return to Lennoxtown.
The Hampden triumph – which was emulated with a dramatic 2-1 Scottish Cup victory over the same opponents in May the following year – saw the team complete a thrilling campaign with their unbeaten record intact to earn the acclaim as The Invincibles.
Reflecting on his seven successive honours, the 50-year-old ex-Liverpool gaffer said: “I’m very proud and obviously very happy to be here, I want to say a massive thank you to Dermot and the board for taking me back.
“Everything feels so natural, I’m really pleased.
“The nostalgia is great, but it’s the past and, hopefully, from that period, what we achieved is set in concrete and will always be there.
“But I’m here again to win, look forward, continue with that mentality and to look to see if we can do something in Europe.
“There’s no doubt that happiness of being here played a huge part both professionally and personally,
“From a football perspective, we achieved and created history while I was here and the aim will be to continue with that mentality going forward.
PARADISE REGAINED…Brendan Rodgers is ready for a second stint at Parkhead.
“But also outside of the field, my family and everyone associated with me had great happiness of their time here, so that made it pretty straightforward in terms of wanting to come back. Our life outside of football was incredible and Scotland and Glasgow was amazing for us.
“So, from a professional perspective and from a personal perspective, there was a real happiness for us to come back.”
Rodgers continued: “It will be the first job that I’ve come into where the team and club is on a high. When I’ve gone into previous roles, it’s been different situations.
“So, I think Ange has done a fantastic job here over the last couple of years, culminating in finishing with the treble. It’s a fantastic achievement.
“What you have is a young hungry squad who, if they keep that mentality, then they can continue to achieve.
“And I think Europe is always a big factor for this club. Can we develop the team to do something in Europe?
“Domestic football is always important, it’s the bread and butter, being dominant here in Scotland, but, of course, it’s transferring that into Europe and seeing if we can achieve something in there.”
Rodgers went on: “What my commitment has always been is to attacking, aggressive football. In my last time here we were able to achieve that, especially playing so many games.
FANFARE…Brendan Rodgers addresses the supporters outside Celtic Park.
“So, I think my commitment is always to be an attacking team, to be an aggressive team and to be a winning team.
“That’s always the promise I make.”
Rodgers also took the time to address the supporters gathered outside the stadium.
He added: “When I left here four years ago it was probably one of the saddest days of my life.
“I went on to a different challenge, so I regret if anyone stood here or at home were hurt, as I know I hurt many people.
“But it’s that very reason I am here today. So, for those who are with me and always have been, let’s enjoy the journey.
“For those who I need to convince, I will see you here in May.
“Thank you very much for coming, Hail Hail.”
To be continued…