Elite-level. Definition: superior in quality, rank, and skill.

One cannot claim to know Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers's musical proclivities. He must like the sound of a good Stradivarius though. Nothing else can explain 'Box Office Brendan's' conduct in the last weeks of the Scottish Premiership season.

The Northern Irishman has not only played the Scottish media but his opposite title rival Philippe Clement like the proverbial fiddle.

Celtic's 2-1 victory over Rangers at Parkhead on Saturday all but sealed the Premiership deal for the defending champions. The soap opera that is Scottish football saw many cast doubts over Rodgers's Return to Kerrydale Street last summer. He cared not a jot.

Back in June at his unveiling he famously uttered these words on the steps of Celtic Park: "For those that have been with me and always with me, let’s enjoy the journey. For those I need to convince – I’ll see you here in May."

So, it was perhaps apt that in the wake of another Glasgow Derby win - his 13th out of 17 - Rodgers took the opportunity to get a few bugbears off his chest. He was always going to have his say. However, like the elite-level operator he is, he could not have timed his moment to drop his truth bombs any better than a Kyogo Furuhashi trademark run to the front post.

His qualities as a top-notch coach came to the fore just when Celtic needed it most. Experienced. Knowledgable. Superior in quality, rank and skill. There is a reason why Rodgers is an elite-level football manager.

Not only that Rodgers sounded off when he was more or less in an unassailable position. When he was asked what it said about his team's mentality to bounce back, especially after being doubted for most of the season, Rodgers let rip.

READ MORE: Brendan Rodgers in blistering attack over his Celtic work ethic

He said: "It is part of the game. I mentioned in an interview beforehand that from a personal and professional perspective, there will be doubt. From a personal perspective, I was surprised in a way that somebody (Chris Sutton) said Brendan Rodgers was going through the motions earlier on in the season.

"Now I get to work between 7:30 and 8 am every day of my life. I leave the training ground between 6:30 and 7 pm. When I get home, I have my dinner and then I will flip open the computer and look at more football. If that's going through the motions I want to know what every other manager is doing. What is every other manager doing if I'm going through the motions? From a personal level, I've been treated like a novice since I've come back here like it's my first job.

"However, my principal objective is to make sure that Celtic win. Part of that is a part of the criticism and I understand that, but it's the mentality of the team that's most important to me. And you can see from where we were, with injuries, how we've progressed, how we stayed unified, how we stayed together, and how we then get to this point where we're nearly crossing the finish line. We don't just want to cross it, we want to sprint over it. We've got two games to go, plus a final, and that is our mentality."

Many involved in football ought to have known better. Novices don't win titles. Wily, old campaigners do. Born winners do. Rodgers is a born winner.

How he had primed himself for this moment in the Celtic Park media room. God knows Rodgers of all managers had earned the right to be treated with respect, especially in Scotland. He deserves better.

Speaking of skin, it was Rodgers who got under the skin of Clement so much that when the truth be told Rangers were never really going to win the derby in Glasgow's east end to keep their title hopes flickering. 

Celtic Way:

Welcome to the House of Fun, indeed. Two words triggered the Belgian. He wound him up like a cheap watch when he used the phrase 'have fun' as he looked ahead to the derby after the 3-0 win over Hearts last weekend.

Clement bit down on the bait dangled by Rodgers and accused him of being disrespectful. The mind games worked. Rodgers had his peer exactly where he wanted him and as the pressure cooker intensified it was Clement who couldn't stand the heat.

Contrast Clement's pre-match Gladiator guff with Rodgers's 'Our measure is us' approach to the biggest game of the season. Both men were poles apart. Off the park, Rodgers had won the mind games hands down. Rodgers knew what he was doing. He had poked the proverbial bear. All his men had to do now was deliver on the field.

Rangers looked like a team that did not believe they could win in G40. It manifested itself in an own goal as well as a sending-off for midfielder John Lundstram and the concession of a penalty.

If Rodgers hadn’t been the Celtic manager this season, the defending champions may well have blown the title.  He was dealt a poor hand in terms of last summer's recruitment as well as injuries to key players at critical junctures in the season and he still prevailed.

He improved players - think Matt O'Riley and sixth-choice centre-back Liam Scales - beyond all recognition. He won three games against Rangers and was a Rabbi Matondo wonder goal away from completing a green and whitewash over them in the league. He crucially won the big matches when it mattered most.

He was judged more harshly than any Celtic manager before by sections of his own brethren simply because of the cloud under which he had left the before.

He wasn't given all the necessary tools to do the job. Sure, it wasn't pretty at times, yet he came through in the end.

READ MORE: Why managing Celtic has been the measure of Rodgers dreams

He had nothing to prove managerially but it was his love for Celtic that made this campaign a redemption shot in his eyes. Well, he has been redeemed and only the hardest of Celtic hearts would begrudge him this moment.

Incidentally, it was Rodgers's 150th victory as Celtic manager over both of his spells. This one would have tasted sweeter than all the rest.

As Rodgers opined: "I'm loving it. Not many people get the chance to come back, so I'm very privileged to get the chance to come back. What I did the first time, I want to build on, and I love the football club, I love the life, and there's a lot more for us to achieve here. Hopefully, there can be another 150 wins. That's the plan."

There was no Jedi mind trick at play here. The siege mentality stuff is the oldest managerial football trick in the book. Rodgers united the so-called dysfunctional Celtic family in what he deemed 'the most challenging season I've had as a manager'. That tells you all you need to know.

He ignored the outside narrative that he felt was constructed by the media about his group of players by not being united and together. He said: "There's a story been written about this group, so we will write our own story."

Celtic and Rodgers did write their own story.

Celtic Way:

Rodgers kept up his end of the bargain as it turns out that he will see the Celtic faithful again on the Parkhead steps in May complete with the Scottish Premiership trophy.

Only a brave person or a fool would bet against the Northern Irishman doing the 'double' on May 25th at Hampden Park in the Scottish Cup final. Not bad for a 'novice'!

He played them all like a violin. It was the end of a perfect Celtic symphony.  That's why when Rodgers does reappear on the Celtic Park steps he will be perfectly entitled to perform 'the emphatic and declarative gesture signifying the conclusion of a performance of note' - the mic drop!