A lot has been said about Brendan Rodgers’ return to English football, the former Liverpool boss turning his back on the possibility of a historic ‘treble-treble’ with Celtic to take up the reigns at Leicester City.
Celtic fans have made no secret of their thoughts on the move. “You traded immortality for mediocrity” read the message as they unveiled a banner prior to their match against Hearts.
South of the border, the reaction has been very different.
The news of Rodgers’ appointment came as fans were making their way to King Power Stadium for the home game against Brighton and Hove Albion. He was in the stands and received a warm welcome when introduced to the crowd.
Excitement and optimism is rife amongst Foxes fans again. Rodgers not only has a wealth of Premier League experience, but also a reputation of improving young players – a perfect fit for Leicester’s young squad and ambitious hierarchy.
While predecessor Claude Puel did some good work introducing youngsters to the squad, his style of play, team selection and substitutions often left the Foxes faithful perplexed.
Endearing himself to fans more in one week than Puel did in just over a year, Rodgers has had an instant impact off the pitch. It will take time for the impact to be felt on it though, the stoppage-time loss against Watford demonstrating remnants of the previous regime’s foibles: conceding early and game management being two of the most prominent issues.
While the timing was far from ideal for Celtic, the move couldn’t have come at a better time for Leicester or Rodgers. With the club virtually safe from relegation and the fans on side, it gives the former Swansea and Liverpool manager time to assess his team over the remaining games of this season in preparation for next term.
By making the move mid-season rather than in May, Rodgers will have a slight head start when it comes to summer business and his plan will be to make sure Leicester hit the ground running in August.
Follow Amie on Twitter @AWils1884