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