By Danny Wright
Joey Barton has claimed that Brendan Rodgers has been a major factor behind the improvement of Scottish football as a whole after he took charge of Celtic in 2016.
Since replacing Ronny Deila at Parkhead, the ex-Liverpool boss has remained undefeated in domestic competition and last season won the Scottish treble.
Barton spent a miserably short spell in Scotland at the start of last season with Rangers, before he had his contract terminated after a training ground bust-up.
However he believes that he saw enough about the game north of the border to say that things have improved leaps and bounds since Rodgers has been in charge.
The ex-Newcastle midfielder also hailed senior Bhoys players like Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong and Leigh Griffiths for the improvement that they have had under Rodgers’ charge.
“There was a lack of belief, a lack of professionalism in Scottish football,” said Barton on TalkSport on Monday morning, as shown in a video on Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfast’s official Twitter account.
“And I think, it’s going to sound bizarre to say this, but I think Rodgers going to Celtic, you look at Scott Brown, he’s infinitely better than he was before.
“You look at the likes of Armstrong, young boy Tierney at full-back, Griffiths. They’ve all become much better and more confident because Celtic are now doing well in Europe.
“I think the Scottish national team has benefited from Celtic and Scottish football getting it’s act together, and I think it will only benefit them going into the next campaign.”
— Alan Brazil (@SportsBreakfast) October 9, 2017
Celtic boss Rodgers is yet to taste defeat against another Scottish side during his spell in Glasgow and has been widely hailed for the huge improvement he has overseen at the club.
Even with Rangers returning to the Premiership last term, the Hoops still had no problems in winning all that was on offer, and it seems that this campaign may take a similar path, even though Aberdeen are currently level on points with them at the top of the table.
In other Celtic news, Gordon Strachan insisted that he will issue a stern warning to this Hoops player.