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In Brendan We Trust – Lisbon Lion John Fallon

25 August 2023

Hello troops and welcome to another of my takes on all things Celtic. Here we are at the start of what we hope will be another successful season. Little did we think a couple of months ago, that we would have a new manager in place for the start of the season and undergoing a mini rebuild.

Well Ange is gone and Brendan is back. A new era begins. I don’t want to dwell too much on the circumstances of Ange’s departure, but would rather look forward to the future under Brendan Rodgers return to the club. I for one am delighted with the return of Brendan and I think the club have to be applauded for how quickly they made the appointment after Ange left.

I think we have got the best possible replacement. Brendan knows the club inside out and he  also knows what he has to deliver to keep us on top. He also is definitely a Celtic supporter. Ok he left under a cloud midway through the season to go to Leicester City but he did leave us in a healthy position.

Let’s not forget he also delivered two trebles and an undefeated domestic season. I think he a!so comes back a better more experienced manager, having managed in the English Premiership. I can understand how some of our support, especially the younger generation, may find it hard to except Brendan back but we have got to move on and get fully behind him for the coming season.

If you think about it, why would he give himself the grief of coming back to a club where some of the support don’t like him. He must have confidence in his own ability to know that he can continue to make the team winners. A couple of good results and performances and I expect the support to be fully behind him. He will bring his own style of play to Celtic which will definitely not be as intense as the high press WE NEVER STOP style of Ange.

Ange’s approach meant that he had to use all his subs during the ninety minutes as some of them would be knackered after an hour. If you think back to the last couple of months of last season the team were running on empty because of the high level of intensity Ange demanded of the players.

The team under Brendan will still be as fit as the previous two seasons but he will bring his own more refined style of play to the club. In his first spell at the club he had us playing some great football and I’m positive he will have us playing even better this time around. His experience of managing in England will have made him a better all round coach and the current squad can only benefit from that passed on experience.

The squad have had warm weather training in Portugal and Japan. How times have changed. Back in my day our pre-season was running round Celtic Park wearing black bin bags for a couple of weeks to shed a few pounds. Changed days indeed.

Winning the league is, as always the most important thing the team has to deliver and more importantly this season as the winners again go straight into the Champions League section. The money that generates keeps us well on top of the other MOB across the road and also gives the club the high profile it demands in Europe.

Domestically there is only one team I fear this season. That’s the team in the middle of the park the side-lines and in the VAR studio. They are strong in every area and have to be feared again this season. They played well last season as we seen on many occasions but just came up short at the end of the day. I’m sure they will be determined to play better this season ( B******S).

I fully expect the board to back Brendan with some big money signings. We have got to strengthen from a position of power. We need cover in the right back position. Alistair Johnston has been sensational since he came to the club but I don’t think Anthony Ralston is adequate cover when Johnston is out.

Ralston is an honest player but not Celtic class in my opinion. We are keeping the signing strategy going with signing young players on long contracts.

Jota has left and has got to be replaced. I think Jota was a bit over-hyped and not the superstar on the park as much as he was off the park. Don’t get me wrong he was a good player and you could see how the younger support hailed him as a hero in that wing position. But he was no Jimmy Johnstone.

Again it only shows that players are only two or three season heroes before they are off to pastures new and get the big money to go along with it. Have you ever seen a deal done so quick? Celtic £25million, yes please. Jota £192 thousand per week, yes please. Both camps happy, goodbye and thanks for the memories.

In the CL Brendan’s approach may be more measured than Ange’s gung-ho and even his own attempts at Europe in his first stint at Celtic. Time will tell.

In Brendan We Trust.

John Fallon has been writing for this Celtic fanzine since 2002. The original Holy Goalie has won every honour with Celtic and played his part in the greatest ever era in the history of the famous Glasgow Celtic. John is ever present at Celtic games home and away and at Celtic supporters functions.