Brendan Rodgers continued to further enhance his Celtic legacy with a 1-0 win over Rangers this afternoon in the Scottish Cup final.

The Irishman, who returned to Glasgow at the beginning of the season after a poorly timed departure in his first spell at the club, had a lot of work to do in mending his relationship with a number of supporters who were apprehensive about his appointment, to say the least.

But objectively looking at his appointment compared to Enzo Maresca and Kjetil Knutsen, he was the best manager to succeed Ange Postecoglou given his previous CV at Celtic and with Leicester City.

Put simply, if it weren’t for his emotional connection with the club, growing up as a boyhood Celtic fan, the Hoops would not have been able to attract a manager of his standard in the modern era of football, where finances are sadly valued over history.

Rodgers may not have gotten off to the best start to this season, exiting the Scottish League Cup in August and failing to stay in Europe past Christmas.

However, considering the Hoops were just a win against Lazio at Celtic Park in October away from qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League, the Irishman has quietly gone about his business in style.

A league and cup double is a more than respectable first season back at Paradise, especially considering that at points it seemed like injuries would cost them dearly throughout the season.

However, Rodgers simply has the winning touch against Rangers, with his only defeat coming in a 1-0 derby loss at Ibrox in December 2018.

In that match, Mikey Johnston had to play upfront due to an injury crisis highlighting that defeat as simply a write-off.

Rodgers has proven time and time again that against the best opposition, his side’s patient, possession-based football is the difference-maker.

Fast forward to today, the Irishman goes into the summer transfer window in position of incredible strength, having already qualified for next season’s expanded Champions League, which includes eight games against eight teams.

Rodgers’ toughest task in his second spell will undoubtedly be rebuilding the team in his image.

He still hasn’t put his final imprint on the starting 11, and with Joe Hart retiring, the Irishman will look to bring in a new number one, a task that proved difficult for Neil Lennon previously.

This means that Celtic will have to spend big on a new goalkeeper but also spend wisely on an experienced one.

Matt O’Riley very well may depart in the summer window for a club record fee and if so, will depart Celtic with everyone’s best wishes, as he has the potential to go to the very top of world football with his all-round midfield play bordering on world-class.

Leaving Rodgers yet another conundrum over whether to sign Paulo Bernardo permanently or look to find a new midfield talisman.

The Irishman’s links to English football have previously led to speculation over Coventry City midfielder Callum O’Hare.

Rodgers will also look to sign a new striker in the summer, whether that be match-winner Adam Idah remains to be seen.

However, it appears that if Rodgers had the final say, he would sign him permanently, meaning the Celtic board must go and get Idah.

Other positions in the squad will come under scrutiny, such as out wide, centre back, and left back.

While there are respectable starting options, the Celtic boss will hope to take things to the next level with new signings.

This is where he needs support from above, and if he receives such backing, I wouldn’t put it past him to make a real good crack of it in the Champions League.


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