Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has managed to insult the Celtic fans again as he provided a warped analysis of his 2019 walk-out.
The Hoops supporters still aren’t over Rodgers’ betrayal. He left the club in the middle of a crucial title run-in as we looked to secure eight in-a-row. In addition to that, he took the vast majority of his backroom staff in what initially threatened to put our title chances in danger.
Neil Lennon came in to steady the shape and the league was secured that year. But it also led to Lennon’s permanent appointment and a gradual decline of the club’s standards over the next 18 months. We all know how Lennon’s spell ended, and that was a direct symptom of Rodgers leaving us so suddenly.
Yet the Foxes manager still appears to be incredibly delusional when analysing his departure. He’s been speaking on the Robbie Fowler podcast, where he covered his controversial 2019 departure:
“It may not have been ideal to leave, and I can understand any grievance towards me going away because I know the Celtic supporters and I know there’s not another club like it. But I know in my heart that from the first day I walked into Celtic I gave them my life. I gave everything to Celtic – my ambition was to improve the club on the pitch and off the pitch.
“When that moment came that I felt I couldn’t do that – yeah I could’ve gone on until the end of the season – but there was an opportunity for me to come to Leicester and see the players here for the last 10 games and prepare for the following season. That period gave me a real opportunity to do that.
“And that worked out quite well for both. Because Celtic stayed on course to win the treble which they did and they won it by the nine or 10 points I had when I left. I was able to come into Leicester, and pick up a good feel for the players and establish a culture here. And that would provide us with a good base to go to the next season.”
Brendan Rodgers happy to forget the knock-on effect his Celtic departure had; fans every right to still be furious
Yes, the league was one. Yes, we managed to secure the treble and much of that was indeed down to the advantage Rodgers had built over Steven Gerrard’s Rangers. Had he not done that before he departed, nobody knows how that season could’ve ended.
But Rodgers is conveniently forgetting what came next. A decline of epic proportions in playing quality and general standards at the club. An acceptance of mediocrity became the norm as our new boss consistently praised dismal performances.
Rodgers can talk all he wants about the legacy or base he built at Celtic. But it’s no use if you leave the door open for someone to destroy it. That’s what he did with his walk-out. There was no smooth transition for Celtic. We rushed to get Lennon in the door and made him ridiculous promises that should never have been offered.
All of this has led to 10-in-a-row being lost. All of this took a turn the moment Rodgers decided to drop everything and leave for Leicester. He managed irreparable damage to our chances of securing the 10. And yes, whilst this season can’t be put on him solely, he played his part. He was supposed to be the man who led us to the 10 in the first place – it was certainly a drum he was happy to beat whilst he was here.
Even if he had left in the summer, Rodgers would’ve departed with our best wishes. Because he would’ve been staying to see the job through whilst allowing the club to prepare appropriately for his departure. In the end we got desperate, panicked, and gave Rodgers’ incredible team to an underqualified manager.
But it all would’ve been avoided had the Leicester manager just showed some class and waited only three more months. That he couldn’t says plenty about him.