Brendan Rodgers was asked how his Celtic side would compare to Martin O’Neill’s in 2003 and believes the two teams are “totally different”.
Under O’Neill (2000-2005), who is currently the Republic of Ireland manager, Celtic won three Scottish Premiership titles, three Scottish Cups, one Scottish League Cup and a UEFA Cup runners-up medal.
Rodgers (2016-present) has won two Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups, leading Celtic to an unbeaten league campaign in his debut season in charge while winning back-to-back domestic trebles.
The Hoops’ boss believes the team of old were able to sign players of a higher calibre than him which may give them the edge in a comparison. In quotes reported by the Daily Record, Rodgers said to Celtic TV: “I just think in terms of where it was for Celtic then is totally different to where’s it at now.
“Celtic were taking players out of the top end of the Premier League. So that tells you where they were as a club in terms of finance and that sort of ambition really.
“Now we are not any less ambitious but, of course, the football economics have changed totally. It’s a different team, a different era that we are in, but we are no less ambitious. We look forward to working with the players we have here to gain hopefully another run of great experiences in Europe this season.”
The 45-year-old’s Celtic side are currently second in the Scottish Premiership with 10 points from five games this season, having beaten Livingston 3-1, Hamilton Academicals 1-0, Rangers 1-0 and drawing 0-0 with St Mirren.
They’re five points off leaders Hearts but there are plenty of games remaining to make up the deficit. Rodgers will be confident his side can turn things around given the success he’s enjoyed in Scotland so far.
Stats from Transfermarkt.