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Celtic look to continue their dominance of the Scottish Premiership next season and will start as favourites to win it again. As usual, there is a distinct gap between what the club and the fans think of their success, and how it is perceived by the wider football public.
With zero in the way of competition domestically since Rangers were thrown out of the Premiership, Celtic have cruised to easy league wins while attempting to master the Champions League. Their prowess in Europe is the parameter on which they are being judged by those outside of the green half of Glasgow and it’s not going particularly well. We can expect two things from them this summer:
Rodgers, thankfully, is not the type who has incited any extra hatred around Celtic. He plays a good brand of football and keeps any majorly negative comments to himself. However, he is a very confident manager, perhaps more confident than he should be.
As mentioned before, the wider football world would judge his side on what they achieve in the Champions League and the judgement wouldn’t be a good one if it were done now. Even drawing in games such as the one with Manchester City is not too impressive. They do not have the harsh weekend games that City do before such contests and hence they will be able to give 100% during midweek.
Rodgers though, will give some big talk to the media over the summer and lead to Celtic fans’ expectations rising. The truth is that they are a very long way off being a regular last 8 side in Europe’s biggest competition and it may be wiser for him to keep his powder dry.
As if to further deepen Celtic’s European woes, they look likely to lose some key personnel before the summer is out. The best case scenario would be that of one or two of their possible major outgoings happening. In truth, it could be a lot worse.
Moussa Dembele has been attracting interest from all over Europe and if it continues, there will be little chance of those in charge of the finances at the club being able to resist for long. Kieran Tierney, now first choice left-back for club and potentially for his country too, could well be leaving Scotland and is a player who would almost be impossible to replace.
Midfielder Stuart Armstrong has been excellent this season and has yet failed to fully commit to the club, with an exit being a possibility. To complete the potential misery, Patrick Roberts would be going back at Manchester City and any effort from Rodgers trying to bring him back at Celtic would only be remotely possible.