Seven matches that prove the Celtic job is too big for Ronny Deila
By Decord reporter Spew Heevins
Ronny Deila on being asked for a quote for today’s Decord article
Ronny Deila may be the most inept Celtic manager since the hapless Liam Brady settled into the manager’s chair at Parkhead almost a quarter of a century ago.
Having won a mere two trophies in almost 18 months in the Parkhead hotseat and qualified for the latter stages of Europe only once in two attempts, the Parkhead powerbrokers are already considering where the club should go from here. Decord Sport considers the seven games that prove Deila is out of his depth at Parkhead.
4th July 2015
Celtic 3-5 Dukla Prague
The first signs that the wheels were about to come off the Deila Bus came in this calamitous pre-season friendly hammering at the hands of Czech minnows Dukla Prague.
Keystone Cops defending was the order of the day as the Hoops barely struggled to keep on level terms at half time, then conceded two sloppy goals early in the second to trail 2-4. A late Virgil van Dijk goal looked to have restored some respectability to the scoreline before an 85th minute goal for the Czech side completed the rout.
25th August 2015
Malmo 2-0 Celtic
Just 10 minutes into the first leg of this Champions League play-off tie, Deila looked to have finally cracked European football as Celtic raced into a 2-0 lead. The situation was far less promising by the end as they took a 3-2 lead to Malmo, but no one could have foreseen the horrendous collapse in Malmo as two set piece efforts from a distinctly average Swedish side sent the Hoops crashing out of Europe’s premier tournament before it had begun once again.
No Celtic manager should ever fail to qualify for the Champions League group stages, and Ronny Deila is the first to achieve that dubious feat, following the club’s heroics in that competition under legendary bosses Martin O’Neill, Gordon Strachan, and two-time Raily Decord Man of the Year winner Neil Lennon.
12th September 2015
Aberdeen 2-1 Celtic
Celtic desperately needed a win at Pittodrie, but once again Deila failed to deliver when it really mattered, an uninspiring Hoops side going down to a hungry and determined 10-man Aberdeen.
Celtic took the lead from the penalty spot on 35 minutes, but conceded a spot kick of their own early in the second half. The Parkhead side looked nervy at the back and every cross ball into their box created havoc in the defence. Dons’ last minute winner came when a Niall McGinn free kick was allowed to bounce in the six yard box as a static Celtic defence watched Pat Quinn slot home the easiest chance he will ever have.
No Celtic team should ever lose at Pittodrie and the excuses from the Deila apologists were now beginning to wear thin.
22nd October 2015
Molde 3-1 Celtic
Celtic headed to Norway on the back of two decent performances in the Europa League group stages – draws against Ajax in Amsterdam and Turkish journeymen Fenerbahce at Parkhead. There were high hopes of a successful run at this stage against group whipping boys, Molde.
It didn’t turn out that way, despite a bright start as the Hoops piled pressure on the Norwegian minnows. Two breakaway goals left them struggling and despite a Kris Commons counter pulling one back, Celtic conceded a third almost immediately to crash to a 3-1 defeat, their worst reverse in a cup tie since the 3-1 loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in 2000.
Losing to a Norwegian side is unacceptable for a Celtic manager and Deila’s problems were further compounded by a tantrum from star playmaker Kris Commons, angry at being substituted, which served to demonstrate that the hapless Norwegian has lost the dressing room.
5th November 2015
Celtic 1-2 Molde
A weekend win over Aberdeen had seen Celtic turnaround a five point deficit on the Dons to establish a seven point lead over the Dandies in third place, Hearts trailing in second place by 6 points. It was in expectation of fireworks then that the Parkhead legions turned up, expecting a revenge mission over the Norwegian minnows.
Things very quickly went pear-shaped as Jozo Simunovic limped off after only a few minutes. Deila unfathomably chose to replace him with on-loan Manchester Uniter starlet Tyler Blackett rather than the steady Efe Ambrose. This proved to be his undoing as Blackett turned in a lamentable performance at the back.
Molde took full advantage to inflict a crushing 2-1 defeat on the Hoops, which left them all but out of Europe after only four matches.
Losing at home in Europe is unthinkable for a Celtic manager and Deila had now ticked yet another unwanted box.
26th November 2015
Celtic 1-2 Ajax
Celtic went into this match without most of their first choice midfield due to injuries and suspension, yet still failed to take a point against a very average Ajax side, who are a mere shadow of their great team of the mid-70’s.
Callum McGregor gave the Hoops some hope with a fine strike in the opening minutes, and the impressive Keiran Tierney continued to impress under the tutelage of the hapless Norwegian, but once again calamitous defending cost the Parkhead side dear.
With the game tied at 0-0 going into the final minutes, and Celtic having been desperately unlucky not to have grabbed a lead, they were caught on the breakaway by a quick-thinking Ajax to concede a late, late goal that condemned them to European oblivion.
This match demonstrated Deila’s naivety once again. Rather than settle for a point, as the great Celtic sides of old would have done, they chased the winner and it cost them in the end.
No Celtic team should ever go out of Europe in the group stages, especially when they have been drawn in one of the weakest groups in the history of Europe’s second tier competition.
December 19th 2015
Celtic 1-2 Motherwell
Christmas came early for the Steelmen as Celtic gifted them an unexpected three points with some shocking defending and a display devoid of energy, invention and urgency.
After an uneventful first half, things seemed to be going to plan for Celtic as a Nir Bitton strike gave them an early second half lead. Motherwell quickly hit back as the Celtic defence struggled to cope with high balls in the windy conditions and a penalty kick allowed them to complete the comeback to snatch a 2-1 win.
No Celtic manager should ever lose at home to Motherwell and this shocking defeat must surely sound the death-knell on the hopeless Norwegian’s tenure in the Parkhead hot-seat.
Deila may have won the SPFL Premiership title in some style last season. He may have come within a dubious refereeing decision of a tilt at the treble in his first season in charge.
He may have taken Celtic to the last 32 of the Europa League and a creditable showing against Inter Milan in February this year.
His defenders will point to the improvements in players such as Nir Bitton, Leigh Griffiths and Tom Rogic, and the emergence of an exciting young talent in Keiran Tierney under his tutelage.
They may point out the Parkhead side are a point ahead in the SPFL Premiership with a game in hand and a League Cup Semi-Final against Ross County to look forward to.
But the evidence of these seven games is damning.
The Hoops have lost an incredible seven times this season, five of them to second-rate European opposition who would struggle in the SPFL Championship.
It is bad enough that the Norwegian flop has failed in Europe, where all Celtic managers should be judged. They have also unforgiveably crashed to defeat twice on league duty, something unheard of since the dark days of the 1990’s.
The bare minimum Celtic fans should be expected to accept with Rangers still enduring their enforced absence from the top flight, is the Treble every season and an unbeaten record domestically. Deila has conspicuously failed to deliver.
The real test for any Celtic manager is obviously Europe, where Celtic were traditionally one of the continent’s top sides. Under Deila, Celtic have plumbed hitherto unknown depths in UEFA competition. Never before in over 50 years have they been so abject on the continental stage.
Looking across the city at the incredible transformation Mark Warburton has worked on resurgent Old Firm rivals Rangers, the Celtic support know they are being short-changed by the Norwegian flop. For the sake of all that is holy, Celtic must end Deila’s Parkhead hell now.
Odds on new Celtic manager:
Owen Coyle 4/1
Alex Neil 7/1
Mark Warburton 10/1
Mark McGhee 12/1
Neil Lennon 20/1
Jose Mourinho 150/1