Brendan the dominator

It is perhaps worth taking a step back this Monday after the fireworks of a cup final.

First off the most important thing is that a young man who was injured at his work is reportedly doing much better than initially expected.

Gary Mackay-Steven was motionless for a very long time yesterday.

The last time I experienced that feeling I was in the press box in Lincoln Financial Field in 2012.

Dylan McGeouch was similarly still for an awfully long time.

He disappeared from view as the Philadelphia paramedics crowded around him.

One of the reporters, who thought he had a better view than the rest of us stated: “they’re doing CPR!”

We all fell silent.

He was mercifully wrong and the young Celtic midfielder was ok.

In the presser afterwards, no one wanted to ask Lenny anything else.

The fact that Celtic had just played Mourinho’s Real Madrid mattered not a jot.

So a speedy recovery to young Gary.

Professional football is a contact sport and aerial duels require bravery of the highest standard on the field.

In his time at Celtic folk who know about the game told me that if Gary could physically develop then there was definitely a player in there.

They also said the same about Ryan Christie.

Importantly Brendan concurred.

That is why he isn’t an Aberdeen player now.

Indeed, in the summer transfer shambles after the Double Treble losing Ryan Christie on a permanent basis to the Dons might have proved to have been even worse than losing John McGinn.

A source close to Brendan had told me that since he joined Celtic in 2016 he had been looking for a deep-lying playmaker.

Several times he had come close to signing such a player but had been thwarted at the last minute.

The injury to Scott Brown forced him to shuttle the versatile Calum McGregor further back in central midfield to cover for the crocked captain and CalMac The Quarterback was born!

He has proved to be the player that Brendan has tried to sign on several different transfer windows.

When Stuart Armstrong left the building Rodgers lost a powerful Number Eight who could burst forward and score goals.

Ryan was seen a Number Ten and therefore, at best, an understudy to Rogic.

Yesterday Brendan spoke of the “football gods” smiling on young Christie.

Well if they exist they are also looking kindly on the man from Antrim.

At the moment, everything else being equal, he has one choice to make in central midfield and that is who to pick alongside Christie and McGregor.

It is, in only a few weeks, a remarkable turn of events.

If you had said to the thousands who turned up to greet Brendan in the summer of 2016 that in December 2018 the manager would have scooped up the seven available domestic trophies then few would have bought that.

Winning a treble is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

It isn’t the league that trips you up, but the cup ties and usually the fixtures that are away from home against a dogged opponent.

The first hurdle this season on the way to a Treble Treble is out of the way.

Like Ryan Christie, Brendan seems to be flying.

Since he arrived at Celtic Park what he has achieved domestically is full spectrum dominance.

That state of affairs does not look like changing anytime soon.

Have a great week!

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion