Celtic Was Right To Commemorate Ronny Deila Yesterday. We Owe Him A Lot.

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Yesterday, there was a bit of a Twitter spat over Ronny Deila, after the club had sent out a tweet commemorating his two years in the job. I find it all a bit puzzling if I’m being honest. Why would any Celtic fan have a problem with this?

What we know already is that some of the websites out there just love to create controversy where there is none. Some of them highlighted a selection of Celtic fans who responded negatively to the club’s message of thanks.

These people are welcome to their opinions, of course, but I hope they are proud to have made some click baiters day.

The truth is, the club was quite correct to honour Ronny.

Not only did he serve us faithfully and well for two seasons but he delivered three trophies including two leagues whilst he was at it. In case it’s escaped the attention span of the few, that’s three more major honours than Sevco has won ins eight years of life. Ronny should be regarded as a hero.

As I’ve argued previously, Ronny Deila brought us a lot of changes that Rodgers claimed as his own, including the focus on the overwhelming fitness of the first team squad. Ronny made a number of players, like Callum McGregor. He changed our tactical approach.

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In the 1951/52 season, SFA chairman George Graham tried to stop Celtic from flying the Irish tricolour flag over Celtic Park, leading to a bitter stand off between him and the club. Which Scottish club backed Graham over his stance?

As important as anything else is the way Ronny handled adversity at Celtic Park, and there was a lot of it, from negativity in the press to the shocking way some of his own players – Kris Commons in particular – behaved. Ronny’s response was dignified and classy.

So to was the manner in which he handled the news – and it could not have been easy to hear – that he was to move on at the end of his second campaign. Did Ronny down the tools? Did he spit fury at the board? Did he complain about mistreatment?

He did none of those things. He acted with enormous professionalism.

There is a decency and a respectfulness to Ronny which means, in my view, he merits the same. Even if he’d been a terrible manager – and he certainly was not; in many ways he was a very good one – he would have been entitled to those things.

Ronny Deila was a great servant to Celtic, and you have to recall too that for a diabolical piece of refereeing he would almost certainly have gone on to win a treble before Brendan Rodgers even arrived; you have to wonder what our history would look like had Ronny managed to achieve that. It all might have been very different for him.

For all that I am glad he left when he did – because we did get Rodgers and all that followed – I have never believed either that Ronny was a bad appointment or that he did a bad job. But for the changes he made and the things he brought to the place, I doubt we’d be in the healthy and happy position we are right now.

The club was right to pay him tribute.

On the day we unfurl that tenth flag, all of us will get to show our appreciation to the man.

And I firmly believe that Parkhead will give him the ovation he deserves.

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