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The nostalgia trip Celtic embarked on as Brendan Rodgers opens up on THAT title prophecy

There's an element of control freakery to the art of successful football management. It’s not a choice. It’s a non-negotiable necessity.

The man in charge must, at all times, enjoy the complete respect of those under his command. They have to believe in his instructions and buy into his methods because, without this unswerving faith, they cannot be trusted to meet his demands. And without trust, there can be no control. Then there’s the fine margins, the meticulous attention to minute details which often becomes an obsession. Without scrutinising all of it and being on top of every single aspect, so the level of risk rises accordingly.

And there’s not a control freak anywhere in the world who feels comfortable at being reduced to the fate of a hostage to fortune. All of the above might help explain why Brendan Rodgers has described his first season back at Celtic as the most challenging of his entire managerial career.

There have been testing moments within it, when it may have felt as if circumstances were being left to chance. When, for example, Rodgers could hardly move around his Lennoxtown HQ without seeing another one of his key performers hobbling in or out of the treatment room. At a time when a new manager on the other side of the city was building what appeared to be an unbreakable momentum.

Had Rangers hit the front and managed to stay there then Rodgers might have been pushed so far out of his comfort zone that he would have lost control of his own destiny. And that thought might have frightened the life out of him. But, when the heat was being cranked up, Rodgers stuck rigidly to his principles. Crucially, so did his players.

Which is why a calming sense of authority returned at the critical moment in this