Over the weekend, Ronny Deila gave a number of interviews to the media in which he said his farewells to Celtic and to Scottish football.
He even managed to have a dig at our national sport along the way, saying that it was limited, that you had to do the same things over and over again, playing the same teams four times … it’s nothing we haven’t heard before.
But he also talked about Roy Keane, and quite fulsomely.
Perhaps he did the same about Brendan Rodgers and David Moyes and Owen Coyle and all the other names who’ve been linked with the now vacant manager’s seat at Celtic Park, but if he did then the press didn’t bother to write about that. I suspect he didn’t.
No, he talked about Keane specifically.
“So much of managing in this job is about personality because you need to be a figurehead too. You need a strong personality. He will handle all that pressure, to be a very good leader,” he said, during stage of the interview. Doesn’t that sound a lot like a guy who knows this is a done deal?
Why did he do that?
Perhaps he was asked specific questions about Keane but even if he was, the answers were too expansive. This was Ronny talking across various media, to various media outlets, and he mentioned Keane and more than once.
Does Ronny know something the rest of us (E-Tims aside haha) don’t?
Is it Keane, for sure? Has someone inside Celtic Park already decided it?
Has the Irishman agreed to come?
And if that’s true, what can we take from it?
What does it mean?
For openers, it’s likely to mean that Dermot Desmond has now assumed complete control over the process of picking a boss and is asserting himself as the dominant person at the club. As many of you will know, I’ve long argued that he’s the only person capable of re-uniting the institution with the supporters and of charting a new direction for Celtic.
Perhaps those reports of Desmond laying down the law to certain people are right on the money and if Keane isn’t official yet, I wonder if Ronny was briefed by someone who wants Keane in and who’s fighting his corner with others.
Is this, in short, an effort to “bounce” some reluctant board members?
Or is that chasing shadows on a wall?
I’ll tell you one thing; I don’t think Ronny was speaking out of turn. He thinks Keane is the man, not just the best for the job but the guy who’s got it. He’s clearly been speaking to someone inside Parkhead about the main candidates, and he concluded, rightly or wrongly, than the former Manchester United player is on his way to the club as boss.
We couldn’t even call this a surprise, far less a shock.
Whatever some of our individual misgivings, Keane, we’re told, was definitely offered the post two years ago, so someone inside Celtic thinks he’s a perfect fit for it.
I suspect we’ll get confirmation, one way or the other, this week.
But for now, it seems to me that Ronny might have let the cat out of the bag.