Brendan Rodgers lost his job in Liverpool after a few disastrous months to start the 2015-2016 season. Yesterday, the Welsh manager announced his return to the Premier League as the new manager of Leicester City. And although more than three years and a few intermediate seasons of outrageous management success have separated the old Rodgers from the new, it is not entirely clear that anything has actually changed.
Rodgers' shots at Liverpool and the abrupt termination of his tenure left his career in a strange place. He still had the reputation of being one of the most promising coaches in Europe, mainly thanks to the shock race that he, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling almost defeated before Steven's striker Gerrard takes his place on the right when the Reds enter the final. But his representative also lost much of his glow in the dark campaigns that followed this miracle. Overqualified for mid-term Premier League positions in which he could have remained in the day after being fired, and under-qualified for elite positions like the one in which he had just been put, The limbs in which Rodgers found himself made his choice of fascinating hiring.
Rodgers made the curious decision to run away from the EPL and even the European major leagues by signing with Celtic of Scotland. It was a strange and risky choice, but not completely devoid of reason. In Scotland, Rodgers could theoretically rely on his attack and dominance-themed playing philosophy, within a club whose player talent far exceeded all national competitions. which would be much harder to do in a Newcastle, for example. trophy after trophy, reinforcing his reputation as a true winner of things. This reflection indicates that it is better to prepare a big job in a big league to accept a "big" job in a small league rather than the other way around. It's risky to see that big European clubs can easily ignore the success of a responsible club coach in a single-club country like Scotland, but it's not crazy.
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Rodgers' time in Scotland was as good as he hoped. Celtic has absolutely dominated its Scottish competition, with the flair and mastery that Rodgers has been led to impose. In each of Rodgers' two full seasons, the Bhoys won the national triple, winning the Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup. This season, Rodgers has allowed the club to win a triple triple, which allows them to win the league again and to have already raised the League Cup this season. In addition to doing nothing important in the leagues of the champions and in the Europa League – a legitimate disappointment, since one of the attractions of the Celtic coach was the opportunity to prove itself in the European game, but modest, since Celtic is not realistic. Hold on to this exponentially better competition: Rodgers accomplished almost everything he intended to do when he chose Scotland as a destination for his career rebuilding.
But did it really make a difference? It's hard to say. In many ways, Leicester's work that Rodgers has just done is very much like the kind of work he could have done right after he was sent back to Liverpool. With Foxes' proven commitment to investing after their incredible title win in 2016, Leicester is now part of this group of decidedly middle-aged clubs that should never have to worry about the future. a real fall of relegation, but who can not dream of challenging the Europeans. places. The most plausible title that Leicester can aspire to win any season is The Best Of The Rest. It's a great job, of course, and in this still nascent mega-Premier League era conferred on all league clubs via the massive deal on television broadcasting rights, you could argue that Leicester what it takes to build such a talented and talented team even better than most of those Rodgers had at his disposal in Liverpool.
But is this really the jump that Rodgers had hoped to have joined Celtic? And was it worthwhile to leave his stronghold in Scotland for the kind of work he could have always done, which would probably have been available to him a year or two later? The timing of its release from Celtic makes all this even stranger. Rodgers was legitimately liked by most Celtic fans who recognized that he played a critical role in their league, but were happy to have it anyway. The caliber of the player that Rodgers was able to attract with his track record of promising players and their sophistication, his impressive tactical and strategic sense, his star power, the guaranteed trophies – all this made Rodgers an idol worshiper in Glasgow, even though the world knew that he saw the concert only as a stepping stone.
How and when it will go will probably encroach on some of that goodwill and prevent it from ever being considered a true Celtic legend. Rodgers was on the cusp of creating a kind of iconic dominance that forever marks the image of a coach in the club's collective history. The highs themselves would probably have been enough to do it. And if Rodgers had stayed a few years later and had managed to retain his series of championship titles from the 2020-2021 season, he could have been the man who had overseen Celtic's 10th consecutive league title, this which would be the longest series in Scotland. football history. Instead of achieving one of these feats and asserting himself as the greatest coach of Scottish history, he decided to leave the middle of the season to take a position at a club whose he will never be able to equal success.
Rodgers' explanation that he had left Celtic for Leicester was that he thought "take the club as far as possible to Celtic.
Rodgers came to Scotland to win everything he won so that his work caught the attention of the most important clubs and persuaded them that he was ready for another attempt in the big leagues. Rodgers delivered the winner, but given the way his name was never mentioned in the rumor as a possible option for vacant executive positions in cities like Arsenal and Chelsea or even Everton and West Ham, Europe's did not notice or did not value this work all that highly.
Because of this, Rodgers probably figured out that he could not move directly from Celtic to elite and that he would need a new intermediate stop before going back to the top performing positions. In this case, Rodgers probably thought that when an ambitious and mobile club, like Leicester, called, the moment was probably as favorable as that of spending a day in Scotland. But in this case it was because Celtic had taken Rodgers they could, and not the opposite.