Celtic Boss Takes Aim At An Easy Target

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Today Ronny Deila rounded on the people he thinks are responsible for mounting disquiet in the Celtic Park stands.

He blamed the press. He’s not alone.

Some of our supporters think it’s the media’s fault we’re so poor.

They think it’s the fault of people like me too.

I don’t like our media. That’s not a secret.

I think some of them are useless, others lazy and more yet simply biased with agendas against our club. But even a broken clock is right twice a day and these people and their industry aren’t always wrong. The criticism is deserved, even if talk of Celtic being in crisis is overblown cobblers.

The reason I think the board should act now is that it forestalls a crisis before it has a chance to engulf us.

We’re currently top of the table, in two cup competitions and are the team to bet on when you claim the promo code.

I want to keep it that way.

But I’m also looking ahead to next season, and Europe, with no confidence at all.

If we get there, in this state, with this approach, we will be in crisis and out of alibis.

If we should fall behind Aberdeen and look like we’ll struggle, it will engulf us.

I understand why he’s pissed, and hitting out. But the more he does it, the more he acts like a guy under pressure and for all myself and others have written, and for all the media has said, he isn’t that, not yet.

He almost certainly retains the confidence of the board – although how much that’s the case won’t be known until the transfer window opens.

Frankly, they have a big decision to make.

If they believe in the guy, if they genuinely do, they need to give him the cash to bring in the players who will get this club to the appropriate level.

If they have doubts they need to think very carefully about the next move, because allowing him to sign more players in those circumstances is throwing good money after bad.

To be fair to him, Ronny isn’t the one constantly telling the press how he needs a bunch of new players to be confident of winning the title.

It’s the manager across the city who constantly exhibits that particular behavioural tic, and a guy whose budget dwarfs that of his nearest rivals by a factor of six or seven to one shouldn’t be behaving like that.

If I were a Sevco fan I’d be grievously concerned at his lack of faith in the current squad and in his own ability to get the best out of them.

Give Ronny this much; he has no self-doubts on that score.

More interesting to me was the implied criticism of the bloggers that comes across in his remarks, and it’s this that I want to talk about a little bit.

See, if there’s an area where I do have a little sympathy for his position, and feel a little stab of guilt, it’s in that area.

Because Ronny, and Neil Lennon before him, and to a lesser degree Tony Mowbray and Gordon Strachan, are in the uncomfortable position of being the first Celtic bosses of the New Media generation, and the latter too especially.

This level of scrutiny is unlike anything that has ever existed before, and football bosses aren’t the only people wilting under it. Look at our political class and the lamentable wailing some of them did over public anger at their decision to vote to drop bombs on Syria.

It was as if they suddenly discovered there were Other People Out There.

24 hour scrutiny is now the norm, and not just from the press.

Is it fair?

Christ, in many ways no it’s not. There’s a petition, right now, to have Ronny Deila sacked.

He’s the first manager in our history ever to encounter something like that from his own supporters and that’s a new kind of pressure, one no-one should be under.

On top of that, websites, like this one, and writers, like me, most of whom have never in their lives as much as stepped onto an actual club football pitch far less actually experienced team management – computer game versions don’t count – now routinely pontificate on tactical decisions, team selections and transfer policy as if we were experts on all these things.

Every bad decision gets highlighted somewhere, by somebody, and there’s not enough ink in the world to cover even one weekend of commentary on the forums.

The pressures of the Celtic job are unique to the last few incumbents of the manager’s office, and that definitely isn’t fair, and it’s been hard on them.

But it’s the way things are now, and people in the game (and some of those professions outside it) better get used to it right quick because it’s forever.

In the end, those who can hack it will dig in and grow a thicker skin.

Those who can’t will gravitate towards gentler professions.

So, sympathy, yes, to a certain extent.

But here’s the thing; the poor performances the team is producing at the moment aren’t my fault, or the fault of anyone on Twitter and no petitioner ever scored or prevented a goal.

If he can tell me how my shutting up would improve the team, or how my closing down the blogs would improve the central defence I’ll tell you what; I’ll do it tomorrow.

I’ll stay offline until the improvement is so profound and we’re so far ahead of the competition that it’ll no longer matter what I write or say.

If criticism is really what’s caused this malaise then I promise to do my bit to end it.

Otherwise, this was the manager, and the captain, taking a shot at an easy target, and there’s no easier one than the media, and I say that as someone with no love for that industry at all.

One last thing;

The media is spinning it that Scott said we’d go through the rest of the season unbeaten … he absolutely, positively, said nothing of the sort.

This is one of the reasons so few Celtic fans believe a thing they read from these people.

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  • Ac says:

    Yeah that’s right the media is in control of the training the tactics the signings of players oh wait that is the board and manager . I dont fully blame deila due to the staff he was given is useless as board don’t seem to want a successful team but his signings are useless and the 4 5 1 system at times just doesn’t work I want to compare it to Oneils and strachans 4 4 2 but different teams

  • benny says:

    I’ll listen to our Captains comments and believe him when he says that the criticism RD is harsh, he would know as he’s in the dressing room that that the manager apparently has lost , your now like a dog with a bone James

    • seeadler67 says:

      well said the article is just like the rest of the rubbish i have seen and read . Stop giving encouragement to those that hate us

      • James Forrest says:

        Why don’t you just go the whole hog with ignorance and unplug the TV, turn off the phone and stop leaving the house as well?

        Close your mind until your world view is the size of a pinhead if you like.

  • seeadler67 says:

    you cannot expect to lose players like the two centre backs with no consequences all teams go through bad periods we are not immune .To suggest bringing in Moyes and Stubbs is laughable one with a track record of failure and one as a player who could not get away soon enough .The abuse given to delia is a disgrace by people with short memories the idiot who has started his online petition is disgraceful and should not be allowed to attend games .
    Look at Alex Ferguson he was given time by Man United do not remember petitions being started against him do you . if you do not like what you see don’t go

    • John says:

      That’s the thing many supporters don’t like what they see one bit. Ronny can talk the talk but he can’t walk the walk. His comments that Aberdeen aren’t a threat to us in the league are arrogant disrespectful nonsense. Madrid 8 Malmo 0, that says it all

      • Robert McEwan says:

        I’ve looked at all the comments from Ronnie on celtic tv and for the life of me cannot find one single word where he says Aberdeen are not a threat, this must be newspaper talk

    • phillip parsons says:

      Good and loyal fans are entitled to their opinions We will not be silenced The Celtic chairman condemmed the on line petition to have lord livingston (tory peer) removed from the board He should go along with Lawell and Desmond and their puppet useless and clueless Delia Dont slag decent fans crowds are slipping at an alarming rate why?

  • Jim says:

    As the captain of the Titanic stood in the wheelhouse telling everyone around him ( as they dropped the lifeboats into the sea ) ” don’t worry everything will be ok ” this is what Delia has been doing for the past 4 months. He should be relieved of his duties with immediate effect. If not then I fear we are heading for the lowest attendances for some considerable time. He is clueless tactically, has no plan b, and at times standing on the touch line he resembles a rabbit caught in the headlights.

  • John Collins says:

    New Media? 24 hour scrutiny? Pressure? As far as I am aware Ronny Deila and Lennon have been paid several £K a WEEK to manage Celtic. They do not need foodbanks to feed their families. The pressure is on them for one reason and one reason alone: they are first managers in the history of the Club to have free shots at 3 domestic trophies a season without the challenge of Rangers (IL)/Sevco. They have had budgets in the region of £30M p.a. to clean up domestically. Both have failed to meet their targets. Lennon did qualify for UCL group stages which redeems him to an extent. Ronny has embarrassed the club in Europe and is taking us backwards.

    • Dennis Docherty says:

      £30 m p a are you having a laugh 3 domestic trophys without them who did we beat in the LC semi last season ?

    • Fj says:

      When where sevco removed from the Scottish and League cup over the last three years? Sevco has the second largest budget in Scotland but you seem to ignore this fact

  • David says:

    Stubbs ” could not get away soon enough” Seeadler67?

    He was with us for 5 years and only left when his boyhood club came calling. Get your facts right or shut up.

    • seeadler67 says:

      no i won’t shut up celtic stood by him when he was ill then he was off my opinion to which i am entitled to if you dont like then jog on

    • eebee says:

      To be fair David big Marc Reiper made Stubbs at Celtic, he was going no where till the big Dane arrived in my opinion, then he showed why we signed him by forming a good partnership with Reiper. He then was diagnosed with testicular cancer, Celtic stood by him then at the first chance he was off down the road to Everton, to be near his family,that’s football so we have to suck it up.

  • Duncan says:

    Many of those doing the scrutinising seem to be skating over the glaring factors that have contributed to a poor start to the Season.
    The Loss of Denaayer and Van Dijk has been massive.
    The injuries to Mulgrew Lustig Jozo and Janko in defence have seriously affected the transition and bedding in of their replacement.
    The subsequent poor form of both Lustig on his return and Izaguirre have only served to confound matters more as Deila tried to juggle the entire back line?
    In front of that we had the Injuries to Brown Johansen and Commons.
    The lack of form of Brown Armstrong and Johansen and the subsequent loss of dynamic and pace in the engine room as a result.
    Up in attack we have been solely reliant on Griffiths who thankfully has delivered but as we have seen this weekend both Cole and Ciftci are miles of being at it?
    Folk press included have skated past these factors as if they are not relevant to how we will produce on the Park?
    All of these factors have had a massive bearin on our season our defence is only now showing signs of settling down as both Boyata and Jozo get to know each others game.
    Kieran Tieney for me has been the upshot in all of this he has been the light an 18 year old with little game time has come in and shown the rest up.
    That’s how bad the rest have been.

  • Tully says:

    No mention of the parasites who downsize everything but their own wages .you try and manage a football team with these clowns running the show.big money to dumplings who are constantly losing to lesser teams and injury wrecks who are assist them.drunk neds whe spend moe time on treatment table .sack the board

  • Jim says:

    Alan…your enormous contribution to this discussion is awesome. This guy will be bracketed in the future up there with Macari, Brady, Mowbray etc:

  • Monty Burns says:

    The loss of Denayer & Van Dijk was a foregone conclusion and Deila had plenty of time to find suitable replacements before they left. A recent article also indicated that 19 players had been signed under his reign. It would be grossly unfair to expect every one of them to be a gem, but as a bare minimum, they should all be able to play football at a professional level — which is what they get paid extremely well to do. They haven’t been doing that. Is it the fault of the players? Deila’s team selection? His coaching? The formation he plays? The tactics he uses?

    Deila’s slavish adherence to his “system” (which seems to consist of playing 4-2-3-1 under any and all circumstances) and providing his mind-numbing philosophical insights into whatever crisis he’s stumbled into this time, just isn’t working.

    He points to the fact that we are still involved in all three domestic competitions as vindication of his methods. But any manager who has the budget he has, plus his personal team selection of the highest-paid players in Scotland, and almost no real competition, SHOULD be cleaning up on the domestic scene. Given the same circumstances, it would be reasonable to expect just about any football manager to achieve Deila’s current level of “domestic success”.

    If Celtic only win one or even two of the domestic trophies, what rambling explanation will Deila give for this continued failure to produce? Or will he simply justify more failure as “a valuable learning experience”?

    The true gauge of his success/failure MUST be his team’s performance in Europe — and he’s failed miserably because he’s in over his head. His appointment as manager was an error the Board don’t want to admit they made because, as always, they went for the cheap option.

    Get rid of him now, and allow a real manager time to put a team together for next season in Europe. If we stick with Deila we may not even get a game in the CL.

  • Steph says:

    As Delia attacks the press blaming everyone else for his failings ,trying to get onside by using the Celtic supports natural suspicion of all things MSM to deflect attention from the poor performances/results i am reminded that patriotism is of course the last refuge of the scoundrel .Have we improved even slightly under this mans stewardship?NOHave we at least played attractive free flowing football,playing the attacking Celtic way famous the world over?EH NO . Understandably after cashing in on talent brought through by the previous manager we at least are pulling our weight in Europe against minnows whos budget is a miniscule fraction of our own .At least there keeping the Celtic flag flying high eh? NOPE.They say there are parallell universes out there ,quantam physics or something telling us that alternative scenarios exist for all of us on other planes .Comforting indeed to know that tweedle dumm and tweedle dee are running a very succesful Celtic football club somewhere out ther in a galaxy far,far away .

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