Tam McManus makes Brendan Rodgers claim

By Hamish Carton

February 27, 2020

Tam McManus says that Celtic were “one-dimensional” when playing under Brendan Rodgers, especially in Europe.

The Hoops earned back to back Champions League group stage berths under the Northern Irishman but he has arguably been outdone by his successor Neil Lennon despite him manging in the Europa League.

Celtic topped a notable Europa League group featuring Serie A title chasers Lazio and Ligue 1 high-flyers Rennes – taking ten points from their four matches against those sides.

Mikey Johnston nets against Rennes (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images)

That’s led many to believe that Lennon’s current side is outperforming Rodgers – and McManus tends to agree.

“I think they had a different style of play,” the former Hibs man said on PLZ Soccer’s The Football Show. (26/02/20)

“I think under Brendan Rodgers, Celtic were one-dimensional, there was pass out from the back.

“If teams pressed Celtic high up the pitch, especially with a bit of quality, they were catching Celtic out all the time.

“Obviously, the Barcelona games and the PSG games are two big examples of that.

PSG put 7 past us in Paris (Photo credit should read FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

“I think Neil Lennon’s Celtic team are more direct, they don’t just punt it forward, they get it up forward, they get it into the wings and they get it into the box.”

Celtic have shored up in Europe under Lennon

Celtic are certainly a more steady hand in Europe nowadays.

Under Rodgers, you always felt things were threatening to go wrong, with daft concessions often the order of the day.

Lennon has created a much more stubborn backline – with two men key among the change.

Fraser Forster is a terrific goalkeeper who has already helped win us matches both in Europe and domestically.

Christopher Jullien is also arguably a better defender than any from Rodgers’ time at the club.

Jullien was immense in Denmark last week (Photo by Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

The Frenchman seems to save his best displays for Europe, as has been shown in the likes of Rome and Rennes already this campaign.

We’ve only conceded more than one goal in one of our seven Europa League proper matches this season. And that was in the meaningless clash away to Cluj when Lennon fielded a second-string XI.

However, we’ve actually only kept one clean sheet in that time – also against Cluj.

Conceding just one goal per game isn’t bad going in Europe. But things could get a little bit nervy tonight if we don’t manage a clean sheet.

What do you make of McManus’ comments? And how will we get on tonight? Comment below and join our brand new fans discussion forum…