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Ronny & The Media: An Exercise In Double Standards

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Ronny Deila

Last night, as Celtic was moving forward, and with us Scottish football, Chick Young got into a bizarre debate on Radio Scotland over the respective merits of Ronny Deila and Derek McInnes.

Chick, who’s mouth often boldly goes where his brain has never gone before, told the studio audience and the listening public – when people wanted to concentrate on the achievements of Ronny and this Celtic team – that McInnes is the best manager in Scotland.

This behaviour is baffling and could only have come from someone not fully engaged with reality, or worse; someone who was flagrantly denying reality to arrive at a set conclusion.

Chick is a strange dude.

For years he’s been the one member of the BBC Sports team (at least since Traynor left) who has falsely claimed to be a supporter of one of the “wee teams.”

Quite why he bothered I don’t know, as it is utterly obvious to anyone who listens to him for longer than five minutes that he’s complete infatuated with all things Ibrox.

At times he has gone so far, so blind in his devotion, that other members of the panel have openly mocked him for it, and that includes the aforementioned Traynor who was famous for his own equally ludicrous insistence that he supported Airdrie.

(Which, of course, is why he devoted the final column of his career to batting for the club that helped put them out of business, and then went to work for their resurrected corpse.)

Chick’s opinions are occasionally of the barmy variety, but there’s something about his expressing this view at this moment in time that needles me.

It is indicitive of a wider contempt for Ronny that runs through the Scottish press like red through a stick of Blackpool rock.

Today Graham Spiers has penned an article saying that our manager has still not proved himself, and that his “real test” will be getting us through the next round of qualifiers.

Last week another of the hacks said that losing to Qarabag would be “a sacking offense” as if it was us, not them, who’d spent £30 million last season.

All this questioning of our manager and his credentials … his ability … it’s tiresome and in light of the love being poured on a guy across town, a guy in his fifties with no achievements in the game and precisely eighteen months coaching experience, it is loathsome.

I don’t expect these guys to pander to our club and our manager.

The club on the other side of town do enough of that for ten clubs, even banning hacks who don’t toe the line.

What I do expect is some consistency, some intellectually honesty.

I’ll say this for Chick, although I disagree profoundly with what he’s saying he at least has some moderate basis for which to do so.

McInnes is clearly a good coach, a very talented guy who is going to do well in the game.

He has a Championship trophy to his name and a League Cup.

He’s won things. He’s achieved.

I just don’t think he’s close to Ronny’s level, and I say this because not just because of what he’s achieved in Scotland but because Deila has won a title with an unfancied club.

I would be willing to forgive Chick for his view if I actually thought he believed it himself, instead of simply letting his prejudices run riot.

He was ranting, like a nutjob, during the last Champions League round as well, all told, saying the team were “rank rotten” and that Deila had gone backwards.

His colleagues didn’t agree. Some of them are able to see what Ronny has got.

They thought the Champions League performances so far were the signs of a maturing coach, who was more understanding of the unique demands of that competition, and that stage.

They praised Ronny whilst Young flayed him alive.

That just comes across as bitter and bitchy and biased.

Chick is a raving loon of a commentator.

The guy doesn’t have enough brains in his head to start a game of marbles.

Even his fellow anchors don’t take him seriously, but it grates somewhat that the taxpayer is funding his barmy behaviour.

Spiers isn’t so annoying, but you often get the impression that he’s a little too in love with himself to see things clearly.

His assertion that Ronny has still not proved that he’s got the stuff is frankly mad, and the fact he actually went out and found someone from Norway to echo his doubts proves that he was looking for evidence to support his own case rather than building a complete picture.

See Spiers doesn’t get off here the way Young does.

Cause I’ve been reading him for a long time and he’s definitely not a halfwit.

He writes very well, and on occasion quite brilliantly.

His book on Paul LeGuen, for example, was journalistic excellence and so I know he’s fully capable of giving a balanced, and complete, picture of a manager.

He could have spoken to a number of the top journalists over there, for example, many of whom would have praised Ronny to the heavens.

He could have spoken to some of the leaders Ronny addressed in his spectacular motivational speech, the one I recommend that everyone track down and watch on YouTube, before coming to Celtic Park.

He could have spoken to some of those players – like Johansen – who have had their careers monumentally enhanced by his impact.

Ronny was an abysmal (and so far still unexplained) refereeing decision away from the Scottish last season.

If he’d reached that the chances are very good indeed that he’d be a first season treble winner.

When he led the team into the European campaign last season he did it when he was in the door five minutes, with players he didn’t know and who’s skills he wasn’t sure of.

No manager – no manager anywhere – could have led our club through those games securely with so much uncertainty and change behind the scenes.

The media assumes we’re stupid; that we blame Ronny for that.

Most of us understand what happened.

Furthermore, some of us look at the present squad and, although largely satisfied with the progress he’s made in building his team, see the profound lack of above him at the club.

When Nadir Ciftci is “ A” for getting you to the Champions League group stages then you know they’re not exactly bending over backwards to give him what he needs.

Being blunt, if we fail to get through to the Champions League groups I will certainly apportion a large part of the blame to other people at Celtic Park.

People are going to say I’m paranoid, that these are the words of a guy who doesn’t like any opinion that conflicts with his own.

But I’ve already acknowledged the undisputed talents of McInnes; that man has earned the respect of the comparison, at least.

But the depth of their bias shines through when you consider the same media that has been casting aspersions on the skills of a man who was a league and cup winning manager at Strømsgodset before he won a double at Parkhead are the same people wetting their pants over Mark Warburton, who is the very definition of an unknown quality, having been in management for less than 24 months and who is already in his fifties.

This guy, by the way, didn’t arrive in Scotland via AC Milan.

He came from Brentford, and his relative “success” at that club has to be viewed in the context of what is the craziest and most unpredictable league in Europe, and one which throws up a new hero every year. It should also be noted that they got shot of him and there was no queue of clubs at the door to offer him work.

We should know how volatile the English Championship is, and how even winning that league does not a make.

We appointed a guy who did that, and that little experiment ended disastrously at St Mirren.

Their double standards are shocking.

For years Ally got a free ride, now Warburton sweeps into the place with no scrutiny whatsoever.

In the meantime, Deila has to bleed for every morsel of praise.

And they question his ability?

They’d do better pondering on their own.

(I wrote about the media in my last article for On Fields of Green too. Check it out here.)

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15 comments

  • Paranoid Timdroid says:

    I don’t think Spiers was too far off the mark.

    Ronny done the minimum expected of him last season. He won the league and a cup, which given the disparity of resources in the top league is exactly what I would expect of any manager.

    He took us to the latter stages of the Europa League, albeit with a lot of luck involved in qualifying. Again, latter stages of the Europa league, or bottom of our Champions League group if we are unlucky with the draw, is roughly where we should be.

    Less than that is a poor job. More than that is a good job. Right now Ronny has done OK. Not great, not badly, but still with a bit to prove.

    • BRIANBORU says:

      Glad u mentioned it Mr T . The same folk that are pissing themselves laughing at deluded huns are claiming Ronny has proved himself in Europe and Biton is worth £10m when the reality is that he’s probably 3rd choice in our midfield. I hope and pray it all goes great for the fans and Ronny but I think plenty have jumped the gun . HH ????

  • Daniel Rafferty says:

    I stopped buying or reading any of the rags that print this crap dont listen to the bbc

  • Tyneside No1 says:

    The only way for any Celtic manager to shut the SMSM up is to keep on getting results.
    The more we win the more frustrated they get. Forgive me for being a tad blase but I dont give a jot what they think , do, or write about anything Celtic.
    Personally after the way the season started last year I had doubts but give Ronny his due , the turning point for me was the Inter at home tie when there was so much energy in the team or maybe it was Aberdeen away with ten men or maybe anyway every one will have a memory.
    Just keep sticking it to them . Hail Hail

  • campbellj06 says:

    Views generally expressed in Scotland’s so called MSM (I suspect on-line is now the main stream) maintain a blue rimmed bias that is legendry – simply not taken seriously outside Scotland.

    Young is a clown and a bigot, Spiers is clever but also a bigot (well a Rangers man ato heart – not always the same thing I accept). Both demonstrate a simple facet – all commentary has behind it an individual’s perspective. When you fundamentally don’t like an institution and what it stands for you will only very, very grudgingly give it’s leaders praise.

    My advice is always to read or listen knowing where they are coming from. As for Young – I’m surprised you can still listen to him and the other quisling apologists on any matters Scottish football related!

  • chorley bhoy says:

    watched the game last night Celtic were much too good for Karabag with a little luck could have scored 3 or4. Chick Young what a laugh every Tim knows the score with him and his ilk. HH

  • Hugh says:

    Panaroid Timdroid

    I feel it’s wrong to assess Ronnie purely on what trophies he won last year and state he only achieved the minimum expected on the trophy front.

    The measure in my view is as much about, are we progressing as a team and are we looking at the long term.

    In my view he has certainly shown that he is looking long term and we are making real progress. A perfect example was last nights game where I expected us to tire and Quarabag to get more of the game late on , the opposite happened, I should have had more confidence.

    Again this season I do expect the league title and are optimistic on CL qualification, this alongside further progress as a team on fitness and performance is success as far as I am concerned.

    I loved Lenny as our manager and was disappointed to see him go but given the chance would Ihave him back instead of Ronnie, mmm, not sure I would.

    • eric says:

      Me too really upset when Neil left , Neil was tic through and through , RONNY just another coach in my book .

    • Paranoid Timdroid says:

      I agree that measuring him purely on trophies is wrong, but when you are manager of Celtic that is the first thing you need to bring to the table.

      I think he talks a good game and I think we are making strides on and off the park with regards to our attitude to training and what is expected of our players. On the field we still have enormous room for improvement and that is something that has to be seen by the end of this year.

      So far Ronny has won 2 trophies out of the 3 he is realistically expected to win every year. Last year I was happy to write off Europe because new managers always struggle in Europe in their first season with us. Last season I expected that more so given how radical a change we were making on the coaching side.

      He has done enough to suggest he can handle the job, but he has to do more to prove that he is a good manager. The signs are positive, the domestic results from January onwards were good, and performances have been improving, but we need to show that we can perform well consistently on top of getting the results, and he has to take us into the CL this season or at least the last 8 of the Europa League or questions will remain about whether he is the right guy to take us further forward.

  • Andrew says:

    It baffles me that you would allow the views of Chick Young of all people to irk you. We all know what the guy is, even though he would attempt to have you believe otherwise.

    We know the score with Ronny Deila. If the world at large sees it differently then that’s their view/problem. Move on.

    What did intrigue me in the little radio session which I also heard was Richard Gordon’s assertion as an Aberdeen supporter (his candour on that matter is partly why he earns my respect) that he would in no way want Ronny Deila to be the manager of the Dons. Sadly he didn’t enlarge on why.

    Ronny Deila has nothing to prove to me. Those who think the verdict is “not proven” – ring any bells? – are just people who either (a) have no good words to say about Celtic or (b) are afraid to express an opinion just in case they might ever be shown to have called it wrong.

  • Larsson7 says:

    I want our club in the Champions League proper,to say to all the Bias Media GRFUY,I was right behind Ronnie from the start,Neil Lennons time was up,we needed something new,changes have been made at Lennoxtown for the better,the pressing high up the park,work rate etc,Ronnie has done all this,it’s nothing new,look at the work rate of the Barcelonas,the Athletco Madrids.And finally in years gone by,we would have lost last night.that,we did not is all down to Ronnie,the playing,and coaching staff.end of rant. H H

  • John mckay says:

    Actually had to listen to second half on radio,the commentator was an absolute disgrace you would have thought Celtic never crossed half way line.Watching the recording later the bhoys played as well as ive seen them away in Europe for a long time.He was actually commentating on what he hoped would happen disgraceful

  • HoopNo7 says:

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion but some opinions are not worth listening to.

    Chick and Speirs love the sound of their own voice but they are not as stupid as you think. How else would they have generated so many comments on here? The simple answer is dont listen, dont react and dont comment on these fools… Your wasting your time and energy!

    As for our team, its nice to see Ronny is turning things around after a shaky start and the players are responding by working hard for each other. On a personal note, there is a much better feel good factor around CP this season so far. I expect it will remain this way for some time to come! HH!

  • eric says:

    Yes no comment for these hacks , then they will get the sack lack of interest.

  • Glenboig bhoy says:

    The game is up for our so called journos.

    When the sports writer of the year is a self confessed plagiariser and prints off the radar stories with not an iota of truth what does that say about the rest of them.

    There is no limit to the absolute piffle that they print. Makes you wonder who is actually paying their wages.
    Spears assertion that Whyte was outed by the MSSM is as off the radar as it can get.

    The RTC blog and others, and even the then RFC board, we’re well aware of Mr Whyte ‘ s modus operandi from the off.

    I fondly remember the photos of Whyte and his cronies striding along Edmiston Drive accepting the warm welcome from the fans who had been primed by the media and fed a considerable amount of bullsh*t by Jackson and his cronies.

    Can’t help think that the famous Ian Archer quote about Rangers fans being a constant embarrassment and sometimes a complete disgrace is an apt fit for what passes as journalism in Scotland.
    Looking forward to the Malmo challenge ahead and a two fingered salute to the majority of our media who would like to see Ronny fail and Celtic not qualify for Champions League proper, and the £20m windfall that will produce.
    That £20m which will further increase the gap on and off the field between us and them.

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