Scott Allan: Rodgers wanted to play me in front of a back four at Celtic

By David Walton

October 17, 2019

Scott Allan’s career at Parkhead certainly didn’t go how any of us would’ve liked.

The Hibernian midfielder spent a total of four years contracted to the Hoops after being signed by Ronny Deila. However, despite the real promising talent he had, he only managed 17 appearances in green and white.

It was a poor period in Allan’s career. He was farmed out on loan to the likes of Rotherham United and Dundee during the Brendan Rodgers era. But only after things apparently took a bizarre twist.

Scott Allan didn’t make the Celtic impact he should’ve (Vagelis Georgariou/ActionPlus/Corbis via Getty Images)

Allan was speaking today with PLZ Soccer in a one-to-one interview. As he spoke with Peter Martin, he touched on the crazy Rodgers idea that effectively ended his Parkhead chances.

“From early on in pre-season I had a good impact on Brendan Rodgers. He took me into his office many a time and said ‘I want you to stay here, you’re part of the plans’. I think he said to the press at times that I wasn’t going out on loan.

“Then after one pre-season game he wanted to play me in front of the back four. So he kind of seen me in front of the back four as opposed to behind the striker or further forward in the midfield.

“I know myself that wasn’t my best position. I’m at my most dangerous in a three in midfield or in behind the striker.”

Two sides to every story, but Allan would have a right to feel upset

Rodgers clearly had his reason if this was the case. However, there are always two sides to every story, and Rodgers may have a different recollection of events.

Allan ended up becoming a forgotten man at Celtic (Peter Fitzpatrick/Action Plus via Getty Images)

But if this was how things panned out, it comes across as a crazy decision. Allan has always been a number 10 in behind the strikeforce. It’s well-known in Scottish football that his best traits involve operating in behind and playing through balls to the front men.

Allan is all about cutting open opposition defences. Playing in front of a back four would totally rob him of any chance to do that at Celtic.

Allan didn’t go into detail about what happened after that. Whether he dismissed the idea or not would’ve been intriguing. However, clearly it didn’t work out due to the quality in front of him in those positions.

Brendan Rodgers has been accused of trying to change Allan’s position (Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images)

When Rodgers came in, Allan would’ve had the likes of Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, and Stuart Armstrong ahead of him respectively. Yet you can also switch things around and say he wouldn’t have had the game time as a number 10 either.

Tom Rogic was the main man when Rodgers arrived, whilst Armstrong was always the replacement if necessary. Allan still had plenty of work to do if he was going to be a regular in the number 10 spot. But, regardless, this still comes across as a wild decision from our former manager.