Mavericks. Characters. Call them what you will.

If you know your history, then you will be well aware that Celtic have had their fair share of players who fit that description and bill down the years. Alexandro Bernabei is about to add his name to a list that he does not want to be anywhere near, certainly not under Brendan Rodgers' watch.

Legend has it that 1967 European Cup-winning Celtic boss Jock Stein had spies in almost every public bar in Glasgow. Publicans allegedly had the batphone to Stein and they were under strict instructions to call him whenever Jimmy 'Jinky' Johnstone set foot on their premises when he should otherwise have been preparing for a match. 

Stein had to administer numerous boots up the backside and public spats and rows with the man voted the Greatest Ever Celtic Player. Billy McNeill had to contend with the likes of 'Champagne' Charlie Nicholas and Frank McAvennie during his two stints as Hoops boss in the 1980s.  Nicholas and McAvennie were fond of the bright lights in big cities like London and Glasgow. The strike duo also had a penchant for exploring the clubbing lifestyle and scene off the pitch - allied to their scoring prowess on it - it led them into more escapades than they'd care to remember in their respective careers.

McAvennie was habitually late for training on Monday mornings during Celtic's Centenary season in 1987/88 when he continually missed connecting flights from London because he was dating glamour model and page three girl Jenny Blyth whom he met when he was starring for the then English Division One side West Ham United. That relationship led to Macca famously hiring a helicopter to shuttle him to Barrowfield to make Celtic training and not incur the wrath of McNeill as he continued to rack up the club fines for tardiness and ill-discipline.

Scott Brown fell foul of Norwegian Ronny Deila after he was pictured worse for wear on a team night out slumped on the ground with a kebab just days before the League Cup final against Dundee United at Hampden which Celtic won 2-0.  What Brown did off the pitch never really affected his performance on it and unsurprisingly, Deila was able to forgive and forget his skipper very quickly for his one-off misdemeanour.

Neil Lennon was left to mop up £3 million defender Boli Bolingoli's mess after he was hit with a five-game ban for flouting coronavirus protocols nack in 2020. Two of the five matches were suspended pending any potential future breaches after the full-back took an unauthorised trip to Spain at the beginning of August, which caught the club and Lennon unaware.

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Bolingoli did not quarantine on his return, breaking government rules on travel and the then 25-year-old risked exposing his Celtic team-mates and coaching staff to COVID-19 as he returned to training at Lennoxtown. To make matters worse, the Belgian then came off the bench in a 1-1 draw with Kilmarnock, spreading the risk to the Ayrshire club's players and staff. Bolingoli never really recovered from that and departed last summer.

All of these players knew exactly where they stood with their respective bosses as the law was laid down in no uncertain terms to them. This brings us rather neatly to the latest maverick or character at Celtic.

Step forward Bernabei. The diminutive Argentine has not covered himself in glory at all since his £3.5 million move from Lanus in the summer of 2022. He spent the night in a police cell after being accused of getting behind the wheel whilst drunk and was said to have been more than twice over the limit in Glasgow city centre in August 2022 after the Hoops’ 5-0 win at Kilmarnock.

The footballer allegedly told police that he did not drive. He also had to answer a separate charge of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner at Lola’s nightclub also on Bath Street after acting aggressively and shouting and repeatedly refusing to leave the premises despite being requested to do so.

Ange Postecoglou was the Celtic manager during that time and he protected his player as much as he could but he made just 19 appearances, mostly from the bench during last season's treble-winning campaign. He'll be lucky if he reaches that target under Rodgers this season.

Bernabei took a leaf out of the book on how not to win friends and influence people especially your new manager when he incurred the wrath of Rodgers for sleeping in for a team meeting. That solitary act alone will have been seen as disrespectful to the badge and club he represents notwithstanding his manager and teammates.

Rodgers' punishment was swift and decisive, as he axed Bernebei from the matchday squad ahead of last Saturday's 4-2 Scottish Premiership curtain-raising win over Ross County at Celtic Park. The 50-year-old chose to make an example of Bernabei as he bombed him from the Celtic squad as a matter of discipline.

It's the new look Celtic. Only this time Rodgers has come back armed with a ruthless streak, He wasn't joking when he said "Let's get to work", at the end of his first public address. Elite-level managers tend not to let bit-part players get under their skin when it comes to flagrant abuse of the rules.

Bernabei flouted the rules. Team meetings are sacrosanct for Rodgers. The player let himself, his manager, his teammates and his club down. There is very little in the way of extenuating circumstances or excuses that he could have offered his manager for missing a vital team meeting ahead of the first league game of the season.

Rodgers is no slouch when it comes to dealing with ill-disciplined individuals. Just ask the likes of Steven Caulker and Leroy Lita, who got it tight after a night spent going off the rails in Tenerife when he managed Swansea, or Raheem Sterling who copped it during Rodgers' spell at Anfield after famously interrupting him as he lectured the winger on his attitude in a clip that went viral on social media.

Hama Choudhury and Ben Chillwell at Leicester were all bombed from the squad for failing to comply with instructions on the field and missing training respectively. Rodgers is certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to making the big calls.

It was former Celtic defender Eric Sviatchenko who revealed that it was Rodgers who issued all members of his staff with a little green book when he took over the first time in 2017. Rodgers' green and white bible was a manual on how best to conduct yourself as a Celtic player on and off the pitch as well as a definitive guide for the team on tactics, training, shape, philosophy and style.

The Dane said: "Brendan Rodgers had come to Celtic armed with an elite mentality as a manager. I remember on day one he gave us a PowerPoint presentation on what life was going to be like representing Celtic as a player both on and off the field under his management style.

"He issued the players with a book about Celtic's playing style and what he would expect of us. I remember the book going down well with all of the players and that was one of the main reasons why it was such a fun period to be at the club.

"Monday might be speed day, Tuesday could be agility day and Wednesday was tactical day. Everything was covered in fine detail. The Celtic players were never in any doubt as to what was required of them when Brendan was the boss. It all made perfect sense and the players knew exactly what they were doing. It was never a lottery. It had a purpose and meaning all the time."

Assuming the green and white bible has been updated and reissued as the blueprint for success, then Bernabei's behaviour would have been viewed by Rodgers as unprofessional in the extreme. A lack of punctuality is unacceptable in this instance.

The Celtic boss has set an impeccably high bar in terms of standards at every club he has managed. He won't tolerate anyone falling below it. Why should he? Rodgers is starting to bare his teeth and show his mettle. To be a successful manager in the modern-day game, Rodgers has always had a cold, calculating, ruthless streak running through his veins.

He has delivered a message to Bernabei and the rest of the Celtic squad with his treatment of the player for that matter. Successful and elite-level clubs will not be infested with indiscipline. This is law and order. He is fully committed to the Celtic cause. Bernabei's moment of ill-discipline was a major red flag and could well - in the long term - spell the end of his Celtic career.

Time will tell on that score.

Unequivocally this was Rodgers' way of saying to every Celtic player: "Don't fuck with me!"

Rodgers' feet have been firmly planted under the managerial table.

Bernabei may well see himself as a maverick or a character but some among the Celtic faithful will view him as a chancer after his latest escapade.

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Unlike Jinky under Stein, Nicholas and McAvennie under McNeill and Brown under Deila, Bernabei is not the fulcrum of this particular Celtic team. He is cutting more of a Bolingoli figure at the club right now and he faces an uncertain future at Parkhead. Perhaps Rodgers is acting on the three-strikes model and you are out of the door. That's certainly two big black marks under Bernabei's name within the space of 12 months.

The defender would be well advised to keep his head down and do everything he can to curry favour with Rodgers and get him back onside. For those who cared to doubt it, Rodgers is most definitely back. Those who step out of line like Bernabei will deservedly get the book or Celtic bible thrown at them.

Bernabei fought the law and the law won. You don't 'Clash' with Rodgers. He is the law. He is the boss.