Why Scott Sinclair and Celtic are the perfect fit
The 27-year-old English winger is a very talented football player, and was highly rated after his spell with Swansea City at the start of the decade, scoring 28 goals in 82 games for the Swans.
However, a disastrous spell at Manchester City left Scott Sinclair’s career in serious jeopardy, in the same way the financial giants destroyed young English hopefuls Adam Johnson, Jack Rodwell and almost Raheem Sterling.
Last season, Sinclair got his escape from the Sky Blues after having spent a season on loan at Aston Villa, but if anything landed himself in an even murkier situation at the drowning Villa, but it did allow him time on the pitch to contribute to his team and perhaps more importantly prove his worth.
After Aston Villa’s relegation to the Football Championship, the man from Bath made the move north to Scotland, signing for Celtic after finding the net on two occasions for Aston Villa in one season.
Six games into the Scottish league season, Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic have only dropped two points and already have a four-point buffer to Aberdeen in second, with new signings Moussa Dembélé and Scott Sinclair contributing heavily to the Hoops’ continuation of domination at the top of Scottish football.
So, what is it that makes Scott Sinclair and Celtic such a good match?
To understand it is important to look back at Sinclair’s history, and in particular his relationship with Brendan Rodgers with whom he has teamed up with in the Scottish capital.
Sinclair’s first club were Bristol Rovers, where he stayed for just one season in 2004-2005 before joining Chelsea for an initial fee of £200,000. The speedy forward stayed with the Blues all the way until 2010, but was sent away on loan to several clubs from 2007 onward, including Plymouth Argyle, QPR, Charlton Athletic, Crystal Palace, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic.
Chelsea was the first time Sinclair worked under Rodgers, with the Northern Irishman working as Jose Mourinho’s youth and then reserve manager. Despite not playing a great deal for the 2011-2012 Champions League winners, Sinclair did have some key moments, including setting up Frank Lampard’s 100th Chelsea goal, but all in all his time in West London mainly taught him resolve, jumping around from various clubs waiting for his chance to shine.
That chance came in 2010, when Brendan Rodgers signed the winger for Swansea City as he looked to get the Swans promoted to the Premier League.
Rodgers duly did so, and Scott Sinclair was one of the key men in Swansea’s success, blossoming a special relationship between manager and player, with the player recently commenting how he feels Rodgers believes in him and gives him confidence.
Sinclair’s goal-scoring ratio in the Championship winning 2010-11 season was more than a goal every two games in a season which saw him net his first career hat-trick, and he kept on impressing the following season in the Premier League, scoring on eight occasions.
This was enough to persuade Manchester City to come in for the forward, but things didn’t really work out in Manchester, with Sinclair making just 19 appearances in a Sky Blue shirt.
Aston Villa provided the platform to re-impress, but the whole team was totally sapped of confidence, so instead of gaining plaudits for his own individual performances all the focus was on the team’s woeful defending and incredible slump.
A chance to link up with Brendan Rodgers once again was too good to miss, and after impressing in pre-season, Sinclair has now scored six goals in Celtic’s first six league games, scoring in all of them and looking like the bargain of the century at just £3 million.
To return to the original question after that history lesson, the main two reasons Sinclair has proved to be a revelation at Scottish champions Celtic are Brendan Rodgers and resolve.
Sinclair has been his most impressive at Swansea and now Celtic, teams which the former Liverpool manager has been at the helm of. It could be argued that Sinclair’s upturn of form compared to last season is because of the ease of the SPL compared to the Premier League and this in part is true, but Rodgers has proven to be able to get the best out of the Englishman. And everyone knows a player plays much better when he is full of confidence.
The second reason – resolve – mainly stems from his frequent loan spells when at Chelsea and frustrating time on the bench at Manchester City. He now has the sincere urge to prove himself, and has a manager who believes in him right behind him.
This links to why he suits Celtic. Sinclair brings with him plenty of experience from the various tiers of English football, and is a goal threat particularly when on the break with his pace and dribbling ability. Celtic tend to dominate teams, and Sinclair has the ability and composure to beat a man and keep hold of the ball. He is a perfect wide option for the Bhoys who like a deep squad to cope with European competition.
Scott Sinclair has certainly made a difference in just one month at Celtic, and could either be on the way back to the Premier League or to becoming a club legend at Celtic. But either way, Celtic fans will be glad they have got him.
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