These past two months have been a hard slog for Ronny Deila. At the same time, its been tough for Celtic supporters to watch.
In August I decided that I wasn’t going to get worked up about Celtic’s early season form and I said as much in my Celtic circle. With the team being developed I wasn’t going to get too upset too soon so would just let Ronny Deila get on with it.
As October approaches I look back on the campaign so far and what Deila has had to endure. A new manager at a big club, new players, some uncertain futures to contend with, late arrivals and the weight of expectation firmly on his shoulders.
The Champions League, now forgotten for another season. The Europa League, our fall back (and probably better suited for now) competition now under way.
Throughout this early stage of the season, Deila has had injuries to contend with. On top of that, he hadn’t played a single match at Celtic Park until Celtic’s thirteenth fixture (friendly and competitive) which was a home tie against Dundee United, a 6-1 slaughtering of Jackie McNamara’s current league leaders.
Following those opening two league victories, the first being a 3-0 away win over St Johnstone, Celtic hit the skids. After the Legia Warsaw reprieve, a major distraction, Celtic received a further blow at the hands of Maribor and failed to reach the Champions League group stage.
League form suffered, with one defeat away to Inverness and a draw at Dundee. After the international break Celtic bounced back with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen at Celtic Park.
Then came the Europa League and with it, an away draw. Something I would have settled for before kick off.
Then Motherwell visited that weekend and earned a draw. It wasn’t pleasing for the home crowd as the boos rang around Celtic Park.
With fans questioning Deila’s rotation of players, frustration was beginning to emit from sections of the support. The game against Hearts was important for Deila’s treble chances and this game had been mooted as a make or break tie.
It was a convincing performance by Celtic and one that Ronny Deila must now build upon. Saturday’s early kick off against St Mirren is another vital one for Celtic for consistency purposes if nothing else .
As the season has progressed there appears to be less disruption for Deila. The transfer window has been closed several weeks, new players are bedding in, European fixtures confirmed etc etc.
What we need to be mindful of as ‘supporters’ is that Ronny Deila is trying to develop a team as he sees it. He’s had to do that with no end of disruption along with an expectation of instant success.
It’s not to say that Ronny, his coaches and the squad are out of the woods just yet. There is however, a calmness and focus now that Deila can see which players he has and what they are capable of.
Now all he needs is our support. He’s says he has done tinkering with the team and that’s fine, I had no problem with him doing that at this point in the campaign.
A lunch time victory on today would go down nicely along with the last two results. It would also give Deila a positive boost ahead of next Thursday’s Europa League match against Dinamo Zagreb at Celtic Park.
Lets take the fight to Paisley.