Yesterday’s home defeat at the hands of Motherwell was a disappointment for all concerned at Celtic. Although the Hoops remain top of the league with a game at hand, this result is another blow for Ronny Deila.
Opinion from the Celtic fans has been varied but the supporter axe has been falling on Ronny long before now. This is by no means a unanimous viewpoint but if fans were to vote today, I think you would find the manager would be out of a job tomorrow.
I have mixed feelings about what is going on at Celtic right now. As a club, we are almost untouchable in Scotland.
That’s down to fan base, marketing, financial structure, business acumen….all of that. However, what the club don’t do is turn the screw and we are not untouchable on the park.
Celtic have downgraded since the Martin O’Neill era. There are many reasons for that, one being that Scottish football is not a lucrative or positive market place.
So the club have cut their cloth accordingly. That means living within your means and just keeping ahead of your rivals.
Without a rival such as Oldco and their unlawful spending, Celtic can compete on a relatively low-budget. This of course has its problems such as being able to compete properly in Europe.
I’m not laying that down as the sole reason though. There are other factors that have ruined our European campaign but that’s another debate.
Tightening your belt is good but do Celtic need to be so frugal or do they need to be more savvy? Poor signings have been seen far too often in recent years and that spells frugal more than savvy.
Yes, you can’t get every player right, but what kind of scouting network do we have now that allows for this? It certainly doesn’t seem to be pulling in the best under Ronny Deila and whilst not always getting it right may be partly true, I don’t think this is the type of excuse Peter Lawwell should be giving at a club AGM.
The problem Celtic have right now is that there is an “x factor” of sorts missing from the team. The big question here is does that come down to the coaching or is it a lack of quality on the park?
As I’ve said before, I think we have the basis of a decent squad though some individuals have been a let down this season. What we seem to lack is a spark in the team that can change games.
Despite the club’s reduced spending, you need a player who can inspire the rest of the team. To get that player, you might need to spend that little extra.
I don’t buy that this sends out a negative message to other team members. Yes it’s a team game but the best players deserve the better money particularly when they can produce something out of nothing and in big games and big opposition.
Let’s put to one side the transfer market one moment though and focus on the coaching. Is there something in that area that hinders us?
First of all, Ronny Deila is a coach. A coach with a philosophy.
He maintains that outlook and continues to do things his way. For the time being he has the support of the board even if support from the fans continues to drop.
The problem is that if your philosophy is not bearing fruit, what else do you have? It is a dangerous game to play if you cannot adapt.
Adaptation is essential in football but I question what else Ronny has in his locker. I’ve not seen much evidence of changing tactics which as I say, is an important part of the game.
Before we’ve even kicked a ball though I do wonder whether half of these players are properly motivated. I’ve talked about the support for Ronny Deila from the players even in the face of defeat.
That kind of back up for the manager deflects blame from him. But is that really the case?
If so then perhaps these players just aren’t capable of carrying out Ronny’s master plan. Do you believe that though?
I often wonder if you installed another manager to motivate the current crop of players, without making any further purchases what sort of reaction you would get in the team? That would depend on who that coach was of course but I do think about what difference we might see – better or worse.
Once more though, I will say that I don’t think Ronny will be gone before the end of the season. If the treble is still on, change would only bring further disruption.
We would have to be on the slide domestically for anything to happen now. On the flip side, the only guarantee that Ronny will be in a job next season is a domestic treble.
It will certainly take that for him to get another crack at Europe. Anything less than that and there will be long discussion to see where the club go from there.
To ensure that discussion is not necessary, some motivation and inspiration will need to be found within this playing squad. I never expected Celtic to go the rest of the season undefeated but losing at home to third from bottom does not inspire supporters…..it dents your confidence.
Celtic are at a crossroads right now. This team needs an enema badly and to realise that this treble is all we’ve got.
It is in the hands of the coaching staff and the players. They are all responsible and they must do their job.
If they need motivation then listen to the unhappiness of the fans. Have a look at Aberdeen creeping behind them once more.
Every team in Scotland will do their utmost, as they should, to prevent Celtic from winning. If that isn’t enough motivation I don’t know what is.