The arc of redemption was complete for Brendan Rodgers at Tynecastle on Sunday afternoon.
As the small band of 576 travelling supporters chanted his name – at the same venue where they once unveiled banners regarding the manner of his exit from Celtic – there was a sense of Rodgers being firmly back in the fold as he saluted the crowd in the aftermath of a comfortable win over Hearts.
The dissenting voices that were aired when he emerged as the successor to Ange Postecoglou this summer have, as expected, fallen swiftly by the wayside at the presentation of a winning team.
The long and short of it is that if you put a winning side on the park nothing else matters.
But as one reconciliation takes place another is brewing as Celtic prepare for this week’s UEFA Champions League tie against Atletico Madrid with the board and a significant section of the club support on course for another difference of opinion.
There was a strong support for Palestine during the win over Hearts with the same expected on Wednesday night in a move designed to show solidarity with the people of Gaza but which may well land the club in hot water with UEFA.
In amongst it all, it is difficult not to have some sympathy for the position of Liel Abada, the club’s 22-year-old Israeli winger. Taken under the wing of Nir Bitton when he first arrived at Celtic, Abada finds himself in an intolerable position.
Bitton fell foul of the Celtic support when he took to social media to expressed his anger at what he percieved to be a pro-Hamas banner which was unveiled just hours after the terrorist attack in Israel on October 7th. ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘Victory to the Resistance’ banners were held up by the Green Brigade Ultras at Celtic Park in the immediate aftermath of an attack that was the catalyst for the hell that is currently playing out in Gaza.
The pressure on Abada from his international colleagues and community can only be imagined at the minute with the fact he is injured and out of the immediate spotlight perhaps innoculating him from an element of what is going on.
How it plays out when he back playing remains to be seen.
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