TOM ROGIC was known as ‘The Magic Man’ to former Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers.
The Australian playmaker had the habit of scoring crucial goals in big games and no-one will forget his shimmy through the retreating Aberdeen defence before plonking the ball between keeper Joe Lewis and his near post as the Hoops claimed the Scottish Cup at Hampden in 2017.
Rogic’s matchwinner arrived in the fading moments of a dramatic finale as Rodgers’ side sealed the domestic treble in the manager’s debut campaign at the club.
Four years on, the only magic trick conjured up by the 28-year-old midfielder appeared to be a vanishing act.
Rogic was a bit-part player for the Hoops in a wretched season that saw an inexplicable collapse that brought the end of Neil Lennon’s managerial reign at Parkhead in February with John Kennedy taking over for the last 10 games.
The Aussie made only 11 Premiership starts, scored one goal – against St Mirren in the 4-0 win at Paisley in February – and couldn’t even make the squad for the run-in to the term as it limped to a sad conclusion.
THE ONE AND ONLY…Tom Rogic lashes the ball goalwards against St Mirren at Paisley on February 10 to claim his solitary strike of a dismal season.
CHEERS…Tom Rogic looks reflective as he is congratulated by Stephen Welsh and team-mates after his opener in the 4-0 win.
However, Rogic, who still has two years to run on his contract, must be hoping for a change of fortune with the arrival of Ange Postecoglou, his former international gaffer.
The new Hoops chief had admitted he is looking forward to working with the player again – but is making no promises.
Postecoglou, speaking at his first media conference, said: “Obviously, I know Tommy very well. I had him in the national team when I was manager. He’s an extremely talented player. He’s one of those players people are happy to pay to watch because he can turn ordinary moments into something special.
“My understanding is that he’s had some problems, particularly with his body, over the last period. I think that’s probably been his biggest challenge, even when I had him in the national team, consistently trying to get him to a certain level from his body point of view.
“I haven’t had a good chat with him yet, so I’ll certainly be doing that with him and the rest of the players. Does he fit into the style of football I want to play? Absolutely.”
CUP WINNER…Tom Rogic races away in delight after clinching the Scottish Cup and the treble against Aberdeen in May 2017.
Postecoglou added: “Tommy knows me better than anyone in that dressing room. He knows I treat everyone the same. I set us off in a certain direction and the ones who want to be part of it are part of it. The ones who maybe can’t be or don’t want to be will fall by the wayside.
“But he’s certainly someone I’m looking forward to working with again. I’m hoping we can get him fit and playing the football I know he’s shown here at different times. I know he can show it in my style of football because he’s already done it with the national team.”
Rogic is not 29 until December and these are years in his career where he should be at his peak, turning in consistent performances on a weekly basis that emphasise his quality and authority.
If one man can set him back on track, it just might be Postecoglou.