Black Friday

One minute you’re lifted up and within moments you are dropped to the ground again. Celtic’s failure in Europe is a mental and physical drain on my energy levels.

In fact, I don’t even think I can discuss the mistakes, errors or bad luck today. Generally, its the same story as before – squandered chances, lack of concentration…etc…etc.

Each time I’ve watched Celtic in Europe this season my disappointment has stooped further. No improvement from last season and no sign of better things in the future either.

With those two facts stamped on Celtic’s passports what can we expect to change before next season? Coaching staff, players and boardroom have all been individually blamed for our current woes but what’s the next move?

Option 1. Sack Ronny Deila.

This is the obvious solution for many but it does seem unlikely right now. Peter Lawwell backed him at the AGM last week as you’d expect.

Europe alone has been poor. Worse than last season in fact.

Unable to maintain a lead, keep a clean sheet, concentrate for the whole match or find another gear to step things up. Things have gone backwards not forwards.

Ronny maintains his stance that things will improve. It’s rather bold considering the obvious factors in all of Celtic’s European results – tactical naivety, inability to adapt within the match, struggle in the face of adversity.

With a domestic treble still on the table I believe he will be allowed the opportunity to make that happen but it remains to be seen if he can. What I don’t know is if Celtic really are behind him for another European campaign or if they are just keeping the peace for now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Neil Lennon was given a third shot at Europe. It turned out to be his best and this was where he peaked as the season that followed, Lennon’s fourth, was his last.

Unfortunately for Ronny, he has had two golden opportunities to get into the Champions League. The teams that stood in his way were average and totally beatable but those opponents carved Celtic up.

Ronny has a philosophy and I get that but sometimes you need to adapt rather than persist, particularly when your philosophy is not showing signs of working. If he totally believes that next season we’ll be in the Champions League, I would like to know how that is going to be achieved and what changes will be made because you can’t just convince people based on your say so.

I more than anyone else would love to see Ronny Deila succeed and at the same time would love to be wrong but I’m finding myself believing that he has his limitations. A coach with a philosophy seems to be why he was hired in the first place but to manage and take the team forward is a skill he may not possess.

Option 2. Spend Better.

The board have been criticised over the years about not spending when required. I’ve agreed and disagreed with some of these debates because lets face it football supporters just want to see good signings without any really idea about finances.

In recent years though, Celtic have been buying some real donkeys. I won’t go through any of these but a lot of money has been wasted.

Peter Lawwell stated at the AGM that the market they can afford to shop in is a hit or miss one. I argued that one superb player for more money would be better than cheaper gambles.

A friend pointed out that with a more expensive signing comes a higher salary. It’s a fair point and Celtic are unlikely to sustain high salaries, in fact it is the reason for moving on some of our rising stars I’m sure.

Having said that, Celtic do need to be more bold in transfer market. They also need to do better on the scouting front because it simply isn’t good enough.

As Chris Sutton said last night on BT Sport, whoever is buying the players needs to be doing a better job. If Celtic want to punch a hole in the Champions League again they’re going to need some influential players who can change the game at the highest level.

I’ve not had much time for Sutton’s comments in the past but I can’t argue with his passionate venting on TV last night. The difference with what he is saying now is more about timing than anything else and it is time for action at the club.

The club have regressed so far, we are a shadow of our former selves. The business may look great but the football is not.

Option 3. Stick With The Plan.

Even although we haven’t improved since last season the only other thing Celtic as a club can do is stick with the same formula. Coaching staff, players, philosophy, transfer policy……the whole shebang.

This seems the most likely thing to happen. If Deila was to go, of his own accord or getting pushed, I don’t know who’d replace him.

In terms of money we outspend any other club in Scotland already. That just gets Celtic into Europe and keeps a buffer between them and the rest of the SPFL.

If there is to be no shift in with the club in its current set up, then they will have to pray that this bears fruit next season. The tough part will be keeping the supporters on board because right now people are losing faith if they haven’t already.

Last night I discussed with some mates about which names would go into the hat if Ronny left. The usual suspects came up but in all honesty I can only see Celtic going lower down the market.

You can forget guys like David Moyes or the recently appointed at Blackburn Rovers, Paul Lambert. This job comes with financial limitations so candidate options are even more limited than the player market we are currently in.

Personally, I don’t think there is a coach in Scotland that could do a job at Celtic. Paul Hartley has been on the rumour mill before but that’s more by default than any ability he has if you ask me.

Another foreign coach would be the only way forward. Failing that, you are looking at a coach from the lower leagues in England which to be honest is not my cup of tea.

The names that cropped up last night though, aside from Paul Hartley were, Roy Keane, Neil Lennon and Jackie McNamara. The financial limitations were said to be the reason behind Keane turning down Celtic and also the reason for Lennon leaving so whether either would be interested in returning to the club is up for debate.

Jackie McNamara left Dundee United with a whimper after being relieved of his best players. You could argue that the club didn’t help replace those players but of the three that Celtic acquired, we’ve yet to see them do a convincing job under Ronny Deila.

The one name that didn’t come up in that brief conversation was John Collins. When he was hired I imagined he would be the back up guy should Deila fail.

In all honesty I don’t know if he would be deemed as culpable as Ronny. On the bench during games most of the activity is between Deila and John Kennedy.

Would Celtic offer Collins the head role if Ronny left or would he go with him? It would be interesting to see how that one would play out.

Whichever way you look at it, the market is narrow and when you consider that, it is understandable why Celtic opted for Ronny in the first place. He may not have been first choice but he was the best on the table I’m guessing.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

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Pressure from above and below

Saturday afternoon coughed up a few surprises in the Scottish Premiership. One of these would result in the first managerial casualty of the season.

Jackie McNamara has had a difficult start to the season. Yesterday’s defeat at the hands of 10 man St Johnstone appears to have marked the end his tenure at Dundee United.

Take nothing away from Tommy Wright’s players because they have shown some grit and determination when you least expect it. For Jackie, it has not been so productive on the pitch.

If only he could have pulled off the kind of result John Hughes did over Derek McInnes’s Aberdeen. That may have only delayed the inevitable because after nine games, one win, two draws and six defeats his time is up.

For a team who have sold quite a few of their best players in the last couple of years, it isn’t hard to work out what has gone wrong. It is one thing to sell your best players to bigger clubs, but you have to replace them as well.

Celtic are no different when they’ve sold Hooper, Foster, Wanyama and more recently van Dijk. These guys made a bigger name for themselves in Europe with Celtic and that bought them a ticket to England, but it is Celtic’s responsibility to bring in guys of the same potential.

You’d be better placed to ask a Dundee United fan if their club have done that. Personally I don’t think they have, but the difference between Dundee United this season compared to last is a whopping 14 points who were also sat at the top of the Scottish Premiership this time last year.

Since then, Celtic took three of their best players off them. How much of that was reinvested?

John Hughes pulled off the result of the day with a 2-1 win over Aberdeen. His Inverness side have also suffered a bad start to the season compared to last but Saturday’s result was a real shot in the arm.

Beating the unbeaten moved them up into eighth place in the Scottish Premiership on 10 points. However, they are still 7 points worse off from the same stage last season.

Elsewhere, Martin Canning’s Hamilton side got a win over Gary Locke’s Kilmarnock, pulling them up into fourth in the league on equal points with Hearts. Having had a couple of spells at the top of the league last season, it is familiar territory for Hamilton.

They should make use of the early misfortunes of Dundee United and Inverness. These were the three teams occupying the top three positions for the first quarter of last season.

Jim McIntyre’s Ross County and Paul Hartley’s Dundee played out a high scoring 3-3 draw. That result allowed Hamilton to skip into fourth so Ross County move down one place to fifth whilst Dundee remain in sixth.

Motherwell notched up only their third win of the season at home to Partick Thistle. That enabled Stephen Craigan’s side to move up to ninth but for Partick it is yet another day of woe.

Alan Archibald has yet to win a match this season. Having earned only three points via three draws, will he be next on the managerial casualty list?

For Celtic, they had a hard time trying to break down Hearts at Celtic Park. With home advantage and umpteen chances at goal, Neil Alexander and his defenders did their job well in earning a point.

Given that Hearts had three straight defeats going into this game, you can forgive them for not coming out to play. A more deadly Celtic attack may have broken through the barrier the Edinburgh club put up though.

Efe Ambrose’s red card at the end of the match was necessary. Anyone who has played the game will know that was the correct thing to do and I have no beef with him about it.

Sam Nicholson may have been able to score, he might not have. In those dying minutes though, it was a red card that saved a potential mishap.

Ronny Deila might be frustrated but with Aberdeen losing, Celtic still moved a point closer to top spot. With results like these, this makes the Scottish Premiership much more entertaining.

Many will still assume that Celtic will win the league. Even so, there is pressure from above and below.

Who says Scottish football is boring?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

Random comments of a “Scotsman”

I read Craig Fowler of the Scotsman’s comments today about Celtic signing Nadir Ciftci. I was drawn in by the “Celtic get their way as always” remark.

Do they aye? I’m not sure that is the case.

Why would Ciftci, Armstrong and Mackay-Steven come to Celtic? Because they are the only club in Scotland that is capabale of affording them and offering a step up from their current club, with no disrespect to the work done by Dundee United or their staff.

There is no money in Scottish football. Celtic are the only viable move for the best players within Scotland.

Does that constitute Celtic getting their own way? No, it doesn’t because put simply it is the only way.

Yes, these players could have gone south as many do but how many clubs down south can match Celtic’s stature? A few and mostly because of money but none of which would be willing to buy those players.

That is your answer Craig, but like a poor journalist (if that’s what you are) you have instead used the goading tactic which many in your profession have resorted to. You can argue that Celtic have over-raided Dundee United but all is fair in love and war.

Had Celtic’s old rivals been anything other than the walking dead these days you might be writing (in truth or lie) about a bidding war between the two. Unfortunately for you and your colleagues in the media, you can’t write about that kind of scenario these days because it simply isn’t reality.

Personally, I would take it or leave it regarding the signing of any of the three players. If they left now, they would not be irreplacable however, I am glad that they remain in Scotland because they are good players who have my backing as a Celtic fan.

Is that a bad thing that they came to Celtic? No, but you have made it sound as though Celtic are bad guys for stealing another Scottish club’s players.

The fact is that if it weren’t for Celtic, Scottish football would be wiped off the map. Celtic have put a lot of effort into ensuring their future in the game continues to thrive whilst their old rivals squandered the whole lot and got away with it.

The Scotland team continues to do a good job under Gordon Strachan, the first decent national manager for some time. Most of his squad, if not Celtic players, are generally from the English Premier League or Championship.

So I ask you again are Celtic getting their own way as usual? Celtic do business to the point that they are unlikely to make a move unless they pull it off.

That isn’t getting your own way. That is doing your homework before you commit.

They don’t always get what they want. They just don’t advertise everything they do until it is a done deal.

That is why the Scottish media write rumours about players Celtic are ‘supposedly’ interested in when in fact they don’t have the inside track on the story at all. I’m sure Celtic watch more players than currently play full time in Scotland, but not all are going to be drafted.

To be astute in business does not mean getting your own way as usual. It means laying the ground work first and even then, Celtic won’t always get it their own way.

Ciftci, Armstrong and Mackay-Steven make their own decisions. They chose Celtic so deal with it.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie Mac

Progress and Silverware for Deila

Celtic kicked off a busy weekend of sport on Friday night. By Saturday, they had won the title without even kicking a ball.

After beating an uninspiring Dundee side 5-0 at Celtic Park, it was a case of sitting back and seeing how the Dundee United v Aberdeen match turned out. The Dons failed to keep the title challenge up by losing 1-0 to Jackie McNamara’s side and in doing so, gift wrapping the title for Celtic.

It would have been a huge match to have gone to Pittodrie next weekend and tried to seal the league there. Though I can’t imagine any Celtic player or official is too disappointed that the hard work put in this season has paid off whilst they were on a rest day.

Celtic are champions for the fourth successive season. For Ronny Deila, it could be the first of many.

The best thing about this seasons title is that it did not come easy. It has been a season of change and improvement under new leadership.

In the early days of Ronny Deila’s tenure it was about preparation for the long road to European qualification. Four friendlies in nine days before taking on KR Reykjavik in a Champions League qualifier was the initial task for Celtic’s new head coach.

He overcame that first hurdle home and away before falling at the next. We all know the story of the Legia Warsaw ties.

They left a scar on proceedings for the months that would follow. Any further slips by Deila would be referenced with the matches against Poland’s champions.

Even with a second bite at the cherry, Celtic came off the worst. They lost to NK Maribor at home after earning a draw away in the first leg.

For many Celtic fans this was unacceptable. It was a closer affair than the Warsaw results but the outcome was an unhappy one for the support.

The European story didn’t end there though. Another opportunity was secured by parachuting into the second tier of European club competition.

Far from the arena most football fans desire, the Europa League was probably the best option for a team in transition. This wasn’t the view shared by all Celtic fans but it was most definitely mine.

The Champions League is where it is at but in my opinion it was too early for Deila and his plans. It may have brought big cash, but it may also have delivered further humiliation.

On the domestic front Celtic had won their first two matches but would drop points in four of their next ten games. That and the games at hand scenario left Celtic in an unfamiliar position in the league table.

This also left many Celtic supporters in no doubt that Ronny Deila should be shown the door. Despite that opinion, Celtic stuck by Deila and showed no sign of disenchantment.

When Celtic players spoke of Deila in interviews, they too demonstrated support of his methods. A lot of tinkering was being done with the squad as the head coach was getting to know the personnel and their strength and weakness.

Again, this made Deila unpopular as he was leaving out guys like Kris Commons, a fans favourite. What many of the Celtic support were lacking though was patience and seeing the bigger picture.

It wasnt as though Celtic were in a drastic situation. They were still in four competitions.

What I had read about Deila and his methods was fascinating. I knew that there would be a lot of work going on in the background, even if the supporters weren’t seeing it.

That was why I was prepared to hold fire until Christmas and see what would come of the work being done behind the scenes. Whilst some of us waited patiently, the media attacked and mocked with some fans buying into what the media sell to them.

Enduring that has he did, only made me respect Ronny Deila more as he handled all who opposed without offering an opinion. I watched the media goad him and some fellow supporters call for his head but I was encouraged by his focus on raising standards even if it wasn’t on show just yet.

In Europe, Celtic were earning points in the Europa League and keeping in with a chance of making the last 32. Then came a game that would be pivotal in  Celtic’s domestic progress.

That twelfth game of the season up at Pittodrie was significant as Celtic rose to the task. A 2-1 away win over Aberdeen finally put Celtic at the summit of the Scottish Premiership.

It had taken a dozen games to get there but it was a breakthrough for Ronny Deila. Despite going into an international break after this, it would be a spring board for the rest of the campaign.

I knew there would be points dropped as the season continued but the hard graft was beginning to pay off. Changes began to take place in the team and there were positive signs that the players were beginning to tick.

The end to 2014 saw Celtic lose and draw their final two games of the year but things were still on the up. A last 32 spot against historical rivals Inter Milan awaited us in February and the league title was anything but the foregone conclusion it had been for the last two seasons.

At last Ronny Deila was beginning to see some of the hard work he had put in pay off. Positive player attitudes were now growing within the squad.

Kris Commons, Nir Bitton and Leigh Griffiths were three of the best examples of players who had knuckled down. Commons signed another contract after it looked as though he was on his way out, Griffiths made himself a serious contender for first choice striker admist former favourite Guidetti whoring himself to any club but Celtic and Bitton embossed himself as a regular starter for midfield.

The tide was turning and even though all were not aboard the Deila bus, the silence was deafening. Where were the Ronny haters now?

With a treble still on the cards and Europe still on the fixture list, 2015 was looking pretty good. The additions of Stuart Armstrong and Gary Mackay-Steven from Dundee United made Celtic an even stronger unit.

As the weeks rolled by and the results came in Celtic were purring along nicely. Exiting Europe at the hands of Inter Milan by a very narrow margin was tough to take but Celtic pursued that first trophy of the season.

Having disposed of Rangers in the semi final, Celtic took on Dundee United in the final of the League Cup. This came amongst a run of four straight fixtures against the Terrors and despite having to replay a Scottish Cup quarter final, Celtic emerged triumphant.

With the first of the silverware already residing at Celtic Park, Ronny Deila set about obtaining the remaining two. That required focus and determination which Celtic had plenty of by this stage in the season.

The league was taking care of itself but the Scottish Cup offered a different challenge altogether. The semi final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle would throw up one of the major talking points of the season.

As we are now aware, the farce that surrounded that ‘honest mistake’ cast a shadow over the reputation of Scottish footballs already deplorable standards. The fact that Celtic asked for clarification on the match referees actions demonstrated just how bad the media are in Scotland with their personal criticism of Peter Lawwell.

The negative press levelled at Celtic is nothing new but they should have focussed more on just how catastrophic an error it was. An error missed by not one but two match officials each with a clear line of sight.

No matter, for Celtic went about their business in a professional manner for the rest of the game. Despite that incident and Celtic’s own red card, I take nothing away from Inverness or their Scottish Manager of the Year, John Hughes.

The treble was not to be but the double is now in the hands of Celtic. With three games remaining it has been a challenging season across four competitions.

Celtic have emerged from early season trauma to cross the finish line with the most important of domestic silverware, the Premiership title. Ronny Deila, who was back in his homeland for a family celebration when the Aberdeen result came in must have been ecstatic.

He has proved the doubters wrong and the best thing? Ronny’s just got started.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie

Comfortable at the top?

I’ve noticed over the last week several comments about Celtic winning the league comfortably. To be honest, I was somewhat baffled by this general view.

We all know how the Scottish game is viewed by outsiders. I’ll put those football ‘experts’ to one side for now and talk to those who actually watch Scottish football.

This season has been anything but a foregone conclusion. Credit must go to the teams who have been a thorn in the side of Celtic.

Aberdeen have put in another fine season and although the gap has widened since the turn of the year, are still a mathematical threat to Celtic’s title chances. However likely or unlikely that threat is, this season is not finished.

Despite failing to take any points off Celtic on any of their three meetings this season, Aberdeen have mounted a challenge. Had Derek McInnes overcome Ronny Deila in any of the three previous fixtures, that gap would be much smaller.

In behind the Don’s are Inverness Caledonian Thistle. John Hughes has had a great season and despite ousting Celtic from the Scottish Cup in controversial circumstances, it has been a decent innings for the Highlanders.

So much so, they overtook Jackie McNamara’s Dundee United. With some of the best talent produced in recent years, there is no doubt they were weakened by Celtic when the double swoop for Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong happened.

That is football though and there is only one club in Scotland who can afford to buy the best players from other Scottish clubs. If Celtic don’t buy these guys then they leave the country and quite possibly journey into obscurity.

How many players have gone south and disappeared into the lower leagues just for a better pay day? I’d much rather they were improving the game in Scotland but then I suppose that makes me a hypocrite because I left Scotland for the south for a change in life as well!

Having said that, Dundee United, ike most Scottish clubs need that money. They don’t have the fan base or infrastructure that Celtic do and as Ronny Deila said yesterday, this money is beneficial to Scottish clubs because it won’t come from any other avenue in the game right now.

Producing young talent is the best hope for Scotland’s clubs. Retaining it is the hardest part, though I digress!

To suggest that Celtic have or will win the league comfortably is doing a disservice to the clubs who have all taken points of Celtic this season. Hamilton Acccies put in a good start to the season, sitting at the summit for a number of weeks if memory serves correctly.

They are one of only six clubs in the Scottish Premiership that have taken points off Celtic this season. Dundee, Dundee United, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Motherwell and St Johnstone make up the rest that pack.

Can you imagine if Aberdeen had managed to do the same? It might be a lot closer by now and to be fair they are already 6 points better off now than they were at the end of last season.

And that is the difference when you are aiming for glory. More often than not, you must be able to beat your biggest opponent to get in front of them.

That formula doesn’t always apply of course, particularly if you only play each other twice a season. In Scotland, losing all four matches against one opponent is technically a 12 point gap.

For that reason alone, I have always argued that playing each other twice in a larger league would raise competition in Scotland and improve the game as a whole. Unfortunately, the stewards of our game pander to a different audience as well as their own needs and in doing so drive our game into the ground.

Having said that, I am pleased with the challenge put in by some of the club’s this season in Scotland. There is still a need for investment though if anyone wishes to tackle Celtic season on season.

I’m hoping that with Hearts back in the top flight next season, they’ll make as good an effort in the Premiership as they did in the Championship.  Sure, it was a walk in the park for them, but they did so after learning a serious financial lesson and going about rectifying that with a positive approach.

So with four games left, 12 points up for grabs and an 8 point gap have Celtic ‘won’ this league as comfortably as the media have suggested? I don’t think so.

Celtic won last seasons league by a wapping 29 points to second placed Motherwell. Aberdeen came in third, 31 points behind Celtic – what a contrast for each of those clubs this season.

To win the league comfortably you have to be out in front with the kind of form that demonstrates you are in no danger of losing the title. Well I’m sorry but that was last season and I don’t think I’ve carried anywhere near a similar feeling in this campaign.

For starters Ronny Deila has battled hard to get his players up to the standards he believes in and by doing so lost some of our more fickle supporters. It took a while for Celtic to get to the top of the league due to some inconsistency and players fulfilling a different potential not to mention other teams starting the season well.

Eventually Celtic turned a corner in terms of team play and results, but there have been blips and poor performances since then. Right now, some players are beginning to look tired as well.

There is no guarantee Celtic won’t slip up in any of these last four matches and put their fourth-title-in-a-row chances in jeopardy. The question is, will Derek McInnes’s Aberdeen players stumble or will they aim to close that gap further?

Hail! Hail!

Stevie

And now the split

Very rarely has the SPL/SPFL league split at the tail end of the season had much significance. In fact I think it may only have made an impact on one or two occasions.

This season, the five remaining fixtures will provide a tough test for the the two title challengers. Before the demise of Celtic’s Glasgow rivals, there were always two clubs battling it out.

Sometimes, one was having a rather bad season, sometimes both teams would take it down to the wire. Then there would be those occasions when the league was decided before the split.

The concoction of such a format was to enhance the level of opposition. I suppose you could say there might even have been a desire to make things more entertaining as well but I think I am offering too much credit to the grandmasters of Scottish football.

Still, this seasons Premiership title has not been decided. As last nights 2-1 away to Dundee demonstrated, Celtic will not be thumping their way to another Premiership trophy without experiencing some challenges.

My question is, are the players beginning to feel the pressure or perhaps even the exhaustion of a hard season? Despite bad refereeing on Sunday against Caley Thistle, not all of Celtic’s players were at the races that day.

The same can be said of last nights performance as well. Though I have to say that Efe Ambrose put in a decent performance throughout the match.

I’m not the first to offer praise for the Nigerian defender. He has let us down on countless occasions but he deserves some credit for last night (I think!).

Dundee made things a little nervy for Celtic when they pulled back a goal. It was another sloppy one for Celtic as far as concentration in defence goes but it wasn’t a disaster.

Celtic avoided that and to be fair could probably have had more goals in this game. They played the entire match on the front foot, but the players are looking a little tired to me.

The motivation for the squad though is five tough games and the prospect of the league title. Two matches at home and three matches away.

With seven points between Celtic and Aberdeen, the Don’s have never been in as good a position at this stage of a season since the 90’s. They’ve got there on merit and they remain a threat to Ronny Deila’s hopes of winning the title in his first season as manager.

The Hoops will need to pick up points on the road if they are to have any chance of winning this title without any assistance. Tannadice is the first port of call this Sunday and that will be a tough one.

Jackie McNamara may have slid on the title challenge but United are more than capable of unsettling Celtic. The Bhoys will need to be on their toes.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie

To the sword

Going into the final of four straight encounters against Dundee United, its hard to imagine this one will slip past quietly. The matches have been laced with battles on and off the park.

With the red card count currently at six, there must be odds on a seventh. Two of those were rescinded but I’m certainly not hoping for any more.

This spate of fiesty encounters have brought an dirty element into the game this season. You can be sure that Jackie McNamara is at the heart of it as well.

Celtic must keep their eye on the prize though and that is three points today. Three key players are back in the frame after Wednesday’s 4-0 victory.

Stefan Johansen returns from suspension and Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong are eligible for league duty after being cup – tied for the last three ties. Johansen is a major boost for Deila but the width and pace of the former Dundee United duo has been sorely missed these past few games.

Their introduction to the squad has been a success for Deila. The transition into the team couldn’t have been any smoother particularly when you see how they eased into the Europa Cup matches.

Celtic’s gain has been United’s loss and the latters petulance has been shown in these recent games. McNamara says the pressure is beginning to show on Ronny Deila’s face but I would suggest the opposite.

Ronny has whethered the storm and come out fighting this season. Its one reason clubs, fans and the media should show more patience when making early judgementsin players or managers.

This season isn’t over and only one trophy has been decided. If Jackie McNamara believes the pressure is all on Deila he is mistaken.

The question McNamara should be asking himself is where do I go from here now that the club have sold all our best players? Not, playing mind games and getting your players to get into dirty tackles.

I expect better from the ex-Celt but I expect more from Ronny Deila and so far he’s been doing just that. Time to put United to the sword.

Hail! Hail!

Stevie