Beat­tie: They have just signed the best man­ager I ever played un­der

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL - STE­WART FISHER

WHEN it comes to Bren­dan Rodgers, Craig Beat­tie’s tes­ti­mony is worth lis­ten­ing to.

The striker re­gards him as by far and away the best man­ager he has ever worked with, and that only be­comes more of an ac­co­lade when you con­sider that he also played un­der Gor­don Stra­chan, Martin O’Neill, Wal­ter Smith and Alex McLeish. The 32-year-old spent two suc­cess­ful sea­sons at Swansea City with Rodgers be­tween 2010 and 2012, a pe­riod that saw the South Wales club pro­moted to the Pre­mier League, and his ad­mi­ra­tion has only grown since.

“As big as Celtic are, I think it is a mas­sive coup get­ting Bren­dan Rodgers,” Beat­tie told Her­ald Sport. “He has got great ex­pe­ri­ence in the Pre­mier League and quite apart from ev­ery­thing else, at 43 he is still very young and am­bi­tious. He could have sat out and waited on a big job in Eng­land again but it shows you the am­bi­tion he has got that he wanted to get back in and man­age at a big club, and it re­ally is a won­der­ful sign­ing.

“With­out a doubt he is the best man­ager I have worked with and that is not be­ing dis­re­spect­ful to any of the man­agers I have worked with, be­cause some of them have been bril­liant, guys like Gor­don Stra­chan and Martin O’Neill,” he added. “But Bren­dan was the best. He is very thor­ough, very ar­tic­u­late, a great mo­ti­va­tor and a great man man­ager.”

So fast has the foot­ball world turned that you have to re­mind your­self that it was only two sea­sons back that Rodgers’s Liver­pool were within a Steven Ger­rard slip of achiev­ing the holy grail of the English top flight ti­tle. At An­field, he proved he was com­fort­able op­er­at­ing in a big club en­vi­ron­ment and work­ing with young play­ers and world stars.

“Bren­dan was great for me,” said Beat­tie. “He came in to Swansea and in­her­ited the staff he had pre­vi­ously and ev­ery­thing just clicked. His per­son­al­ity, the way he wanted to play, and his at­ti­tude just brought ev­ery­thing to­gether. Ev­ery­thing he did and which sub­se­quently got built on is still flour­ish­ing now in one of the tough­est leagues in the world.

“There aren’t many big­ger clubs in Europe than Liver­pool, they have just played an­other big Euro­pean fi­nal just the other day,” he added. “So he is well aware of how big clubs work and I am sure be­hind the scenes they have al­ready dis­cussed how all this will func­tion at Celtic. But with the qual­i­ties Bren­dan of­fers there is ab­so­lutely no doubt that he is go­ing to be a suc­cess.”

Beat­tie reck­ons he will deal com­fort­ably with Old Firm matches against his old Wat­ford col­league Mark War­bur­ton, while bring­ing Celtic back into the Cham­pi­ons League is the next step.

“He is very pas­sion­ate, but also very con­trolled,” said Beat­tie. “He has dealt with the rich­est game in world foot­ball, the play­off fi­nal, he has had the Ever­ton-Liver­pool der­bies, and the big game against Manch­ester United as well.

He added: “I wouldn’t say he is re­launch­ing him­self but if he can get the time to put foundations in place, it is ex­cit­ing.”

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