Brendan Rodgers playing to Celtic galleries as Rangers legend Kris Boyd says ‘That’s just not you’

Rangers legend Kris Boyd
Rangers legend Kris Boyd -Credit:SNS Group

Kris Boyd has accused Brendan Rodgers of playing to the galleries this season as he told the Celtic boss: 'That's just not you'.

Serial trophy-winner Rodgers can put one hand on the Premiership title if he masterminds another Old Firm win at Parkhead on Saturday. But Rangers legend Boyd has been unimpressed by the Northern Irishman's conduct during his second stint in Glasgow and claims Rodgers has been desperately trying to appease the fans who never wanted him back in the first place.

Without referencing any specific comments, Boyd reckons Rodgers "changed his tune" when Philippe Clement overturned a seven-point deficit and moved Gers into the driving seat in the title race. And while Rodgers now has Celts on the brink of three-in-a-row, Boyd believes the 51-year-old has shown a different side to him. By the same token, Boyd says he's also been left baffled by Ibrox gaffer Clement's reaction to his dugout rival's remarks about "having some fun" in this weekend's powderkeg derby.

The Sky pundit told the Scottish Sun: "We have seen two sides to both Old Firm managers in this title run in. In his first spell as Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers was simply a class act. But this season he’s been playing to the galleries far too much for my liking. We’ve also seen Philippe Clement exhibit signs that he’s feeling the heat for the first time. Now we’ll see which boss handles the pressure at Celtic Park — and gets their hands on the Premiership title in the coming days.

"Rodgers had a degree of class about him with the way he conducted himself last time. He was never one to gloat. He’d never rub anybody’s nose in it when he won a game or lifted a trophy either. But with the pressure on? The Parkhead boss has been absolutely desperate to tell the club’s supporters what they want to hear.

"He’s going to get away with it, too. Barring a very dramatic collapse, Celtic will be champions this season, and Rodgers will be lifting that Premiership trophy for a third time. The fans he wanted to appease will stand and applaud. But I’ve listened to things Rodgers has said and thought to myself several times, ‘That’s just not you’.

"He wasn’t like that when he first came back. Rodgers was brave enough to say he didn’t have any regrets over the way he left Glasgow for Leicester in 2019. But when fans started to ask questions about results and performances, he changed his tune. When Rangers clawed their way back into the title race, he showed a different side to him.

"Rodgers tried to create the narrative that Celtic weren’t getting nearly enough credit from the press and pundits alike. Some supporters bought it — but the smarter ones could see it for what it was. Rodgers largely succeeded in currying favour with the fans who refused to welcome him back to the club with open arms, though.

"It’s been a shame to see him behave that way but pressure does different things to different people. Clement didn’t put a foot wrong when Rangers were winning. But the defeat to Ross County and draw with Dundee brought bizarre comments from him which raised eyebrows too.

"OK, he didn’t want to throw any of his players under the bus, I get that. But in the cold light of day the Belgian must know what he said was wrong and didn’t cover him in any glory. The way Clement reacted to Rodgers’ comments about “having some fun” in today’s Old Firm derby was also alarming for me.

"I can understand why he was irked. But managers sometimes need to take the moral high ground and completely ignore attempts to rile them. For me, that’s what Rodgers was doing last week. You can now see what’s going to happen. Whoever comes out on top at Celtic Park this lunchtime will talk about how it was all just a bit of fun. I didn’t think Clement looked too clever over-reacting in the way he did. The comments from Rodgers and the Gers boss are just tit-for-tat, though."