Murdo MacLeod: Celtic, record-breakers and brilliant Brendan
Celtic are just two games away from a famous unbeaten Ladbrokes Premiership campaign, and there’s no chance they’ll let the opportunity slip away from them now.
Every game they’ve approached, even towards the end of the season when the serious talk of going unbeaten began, they’ve come out on top all the time.
They’ve had tough games and yet they’ve been fantastic.
Brendan will keep the focus
Brendan Rodgers will make 100% sure his players are focused, and the cup final at the end of the year is the perfect fillip to maintain momentum, to carry on winning and get that unbeaten record.
They’ve got two massive games before the final, and they can’t take their eye off the ball.
But if you’re a football player, and there’s a record and a piece of history to be won, you want to be a part of that, to be part of something really special.
The amount of records they’re breaking – and are on course to break – is incredible. And don’t forget, a new manager came in last summer, this is his first season at the club.
And it’s not been easy. Rangers have come back into the top-flight, Aberdeen are strong, Hearts were great last year although they’ve dropped away a little this time, but these teams are hard to beat.
There’s always been a challenge, so if Celtic get 106 points and set a new record that would be fantastic.
It’s been a superb year
It’s hard to say what’s been the single highlight of the season, because it’s all been so, so good.
But what impressed me was that when Brendan arrived his target was to make the group stages of the Champions League.
And they did that, but they had a really tough group with Barcelona, Man City and Borussia Monchengladbach.
And even though they got beat 7-0 in Barcelona, none of that phased them domestically, and if anything, it helped them play better.
Rodgers’ didn’t let that distract them, and he continued to bring the team together, and it was towards the end of that Group stage when things really started to come good for Brendan.
Everybody started to play better, and I think that’s been the highlight for the Celtic fans.
Not Moussa Dembele and Scott Sinclair coming in and being top players, it’s the transformation of players like Scott Brown, who has had a fantastic season.
Craig Forrest has had a fantastic year too, Callum McGregor has been brilliant, so has Stuart Armstrong.
Brendan has got them all performing to levels that fans knew they were capable of, and that’s the highlight.
Brendan has been the single biggest change last summer for Celtic, without question.
You can bring in three of four players, as he has done, but you’ve got to mould them into the new team.
And that’s where Brendan has excelled. Look at Scott Brown, injuries didn’t help last year, but this season he is controlling games week in week out and he was more than comfortable in the Champions League.
We all know he has been Celtic’s top player, but Brendan has probably sat down with Scott last summer, set-out what he wants from him, and Brown is revelling.
Rodgers has brought fantastic man-management skills to the club.
We all talk about who is the best coach, but it’s not about that, it’s about who is the best man manager, and Brendan for me is the best, by a country mile, he’s been fantastic.
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