Deila Still the Right Celtic Manager

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Since the start of the season, Celtic fans have been less than pleased with their team’s inconsistency. Ronny Deila’s head has even been called for the sack at times. Understandably, the performances in Europe have been painful to watch. But to get rid of a man who’s made Celtic play such attractive football in an impossible time for the Club would be a very naïve thing to do. Things are in fact starting to improve for the side and he is still the right Celtic manager.

Back to the top

After an incredible start by Aberdeen who won their first eight matches of the season, Celtic have pushed four points clear at the top of the SPFL this weekend- signalling what looks to be a return to power for the Glaswegian Giants. Perhaps better than the 5-0 win against Dundee United at the weekend was the emergence of 18 year old left back Kieran Tierney; who put in a Man of the Match performance. Equally as impressive was Jozo Simunovic who managed to score his first goal for the side. With the questions asked of the defence thus far, to see two new faces who were more than capable for the 90 minutes was a pleasing thing to see.

It wouldn’t be at all arrogant to state that Celtic should go on and create a gap now between them and the rest, and it’s something fans expect. But the real problem has been Europe. Not qualifying for the Champions League was saddening, as it’s something everyone looks forward to. The Europa League provided a tough but exciting group for the Champions, but the side have yet to register a win in the competition.

Defensive errors

Watching Celtic in Europe has been challenging at times. If we take the three Europa League matches so far, it tells of a peculiar story. For instance, take the first away game to Ajax. A 2-2 draw where the Bhoys could (and probably should) have took three points looked to have lifted the team for a while. The following European game saw Fenerbahçe yet again nick a 2-2 draw late on following an Efe Ambrose mistake- something said far too often. But all didn’t seem too bad at that point.

Thursday night however was a different story. Celtic looked the most likely to score in the first twenty minutes but as soon as Molde scored the side were deflated. As annoying as Chris Sutton can be when commentating on his former side, they weren’t quick enough and Deila did make wrong decisions. Kris Commons gave the team a lifeline early on in the second half, but to concede less than a minute later to write themselves off again left many fans speechless.

Something which caught everyone’s eyes was the attitude Commons showed when he got substituted. He was wrongly subbed by the manager, and Commons was wrong to react in such a way- as stated in his public apology. But it also showed how much passion he has for the club. He looked as if he really thought his side could get back in to the match with him on the pitch, which the fans perhaps didn’t.


Never-ending Cycle

The raising of the question that whether Deila is the right man has been quite fickle. Fans do have to realise that Deila and the team are in an unfortunate situation. There’s a huge gulf between the standard of football in Scotland and Europe. But there’s not much he can do about it. Whenever a player in the Green and White Hoops turn out to be a good footballer, they’re ‘too good for Scottish football’ and leave for better leagues. Whilst it is good to see former players do well, fans do ask themselves how good it would be if they had never left.

Something this season has already taught is that the league is suffocating Celtic. Sadly, it will be sooner rather than later until Nir Biton leaves for the Premier League, just as Virgil van Dijk and co. have done for the last few seasons. It’s understandable that players want to play at a higher level and Deila does a good job in bringing in replacements.

Another thing to state is that every single team in the Scottish League go out to defend against Celtic. This is something Deila can’t help because his side are better than the rest so they think by sitting deep they will damage limitation. This seems to, though, have its disadvantages in Europe for when teams attack at the side with such pace as the team literally cannot cope.

What next for the Bhoys

It sometimes seems as if the team which plays in the League is different to that in Europe. Celtic do have a good team, but the dead wood must go as soon as possible if they are to progress in the Europa League. A treble is something Celtic fans felt like they should have had last year, and this year the team are more than capable in doing so. Europa League progression, however unlikely it seems at the moment, is still not a million miles away either. If fans stop getting frustrated at situations Deila cannot help and get behind him instead, it may actually have its benefits on the Club. Faith goes a long way in Football.