As a Celtic fan you have first hand knowledge of how it feels to support the club. So what sort of experience do you have when you’re a player at this moment at Celtic Football Club?
In previous blogs I’ve stated that the manager has criticised the players in the face of defeat(s). The players have backed that claim by stating they hadn’t performed well enough.
What’s going through my mind though is are all the players of the same opinion? I know the first season for Ronny Deila saw a few players dropped for varying reasons but now we’re in season two and I’d be interested to know what the real mood is currently.
The one thing I can say without a shadow of a doubt is that with the exception of Kris Commons’ dugout explosion in Norway, there is a sense of uniformity when talking to the media. As a squad, players have put their hands up to errors, missed opportunities and poor performances.
Not that I would expect a player revolt but I don’t get the sense that the players are unhappy with the coaching. In fact many players have spoken positively about Ronny Deila and the impact he has had on their careers.
Unless the Celtic PR machine are putting on a front, I’d say that European results aside, it’s a happy camp. Now that either means that our squad are so average they can’t see the bigger picture or they believe in the current set-up and we can’t see the bigger picture.
Ronny continues to speak positively and remains unshaken in his belief that he will lead Celtic to greener pastures. In basic terms of course that means the Champions League.
With two failed opportunities under his belt now, Ronny can at the very least look at both campaigns and compare and review. He also has two Europa League campaigns to analyse as well but that all depends on whether he’s prepared to look at his mistakes or just pursue each game with the same plan regardless.
You see for Ronny his philosophy is about playing the game in a certain way. All of the time.
In Scotland you might get away with that because you’re Celtic and generally untouchable. In Europe though, Celtic are much further down the food chain.
As supporters we know that, but we want to be in the respected hierarchy of the game. To do that sometimes you have to make sacrifices.
When you compare Martin O’Neill’s style to Gordon Strachan’s it is easy to spot the difference. Martin wanted Celtic to play the Celtic way (and he had some excellent talent) whilst Gordon would play the way which was most likely to get a result with less individual talent.
We all know which style of football we preferred out of the two. We also know who did better in the Champions League – and no I haven’t forgotten about Seville!
My point here is tactics, adaptation, personnel, resources, motivation and the big one – experience. Not just experience in the squad but on the coaching team.
Ronny has had a run in management for seven years so he isn’t new to the role but his assistants are. What he did with Strømsgodset didn’t happen overnight, it took time.
He imposed his philosophy over a period where it finally paid off after a few years. That was with a club who hadn’t lifted a title in over 40 years.
I’m not suggesting that we wait forever. However, what if that change of gear comes next season?
Many including myself have already debated whether Ronny should get another bite at the cherry. Or even if the board fancy taking another risk.
For the most part my personal view has been to review things at the end of the season. At the same time, I’ve sought assurances over what will change to improve our chances of getting into the Champions League from what we’ve seen these last two summers.
The financial situation is not going to change between now and then. Two seasons without Champions League cash has made certain of that.
Are we waiting on Ronny Deila suddenly changing direction with his philosophy? Well no because he is being given the opportunity to do at Celtic what he did with Strømsgodset because Celtic have few better options.
That is why I think he will be given longer. It’s not so much about the individual purchases.
For me it is about nurturing an entire set-up. Currently this grooming isn’t winning over fans or getting good European results.
All I can say is that if Ronny is here next season it isn’t just about improving from this season. Its about failing to improve in Europe from his first year in charge.
Yes, we’re not even halfway through the current season. We’ve dropped out of Europe earlier than the last season though and that’s a step back.
With the treble still available it has to be a priority to take all domestic honours. There will never be a better time to get it and let’s face it, this could be the turning point for Ronny Deila’s Celtic career and the kick-start required to see him into next season.
Yesterday, Hearts drew with Motherwell and Aberdeen beat Ross County. Celtic have a chance to widen the gap to 7 points with a victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the Caledonian Stadium.
John Hughes’ side aren’t in the same vein of form as they were last season. That doesn’t make a 12.15pm kick-off in Inverness any more pleasing though, particularly in light of Celtic’s Euro exit.
Now it’s time to forget about Europe and concentrate fully on the league and cups. Time to move on.
In the moments after publishing this article, I discovered that Anthony Stokes vented his dissatisfaction on Twitter at being dragged up to Inverness only to discover he’ll be sitting in the stands. Being the most excluded senior player in the entire squad, I guess I can write him up as one player in opposition to Ronny Deila.