From the moment Celtic lost to The Rangers at Hampden, it was clear Ronny Deila had to go. For many this was an accident waiting to happen and on this occasion they were correct.
I never held the view that Ronny should have gone before now but many did. I was prepared to give him time to prove himself.
After last seasons positive turnaround, Ronny had proved some people wrong. He didn’t qualify for the Champions League or even win the Scottish Cup but he delivered a League title and League Cup as well as making it to the last 32 of the Europa League only to lose out to Inter Milan.
That was enough to give us a good footing for the current season. As it transpired we seemed to lose our footing somewhere along the way.
A second failed attempt to get into the Champions League group phase was the last straw for many supporters. As hard as that was to take, I was prepared to see where we were come Christmas.
Not just in terms of Europe though. Domestic matters were equally as important.
By then, a treble was still on the cards and had that been achieved, Ronny was almost assured to be here for next season. Only a catastrophic error would seal his fate.
Again, this wasn’t enough for many supporters. They wanted the Norwegian gone by the time the festive period was upon us.
A dire style of football, stuttering performances in the league and a dismal showing in the Europa League was too much to take. There was deep concern about the future of the club and more importantly the following season.
And so, having suffered defeat in one cup competition, exiting a second to the team who succeeded your old rivals, it was the final nail in the coffin for Ronny Deila. The catastrophic failure had occurred.
What many had warned about came to fruition. Had he won the treble or a double we might not be talking about this but now we are.
As a supporter I was one of the few to afford Ronny the time to prove people wrong as he did last season. On the back of this recent low point there was no way to redeem himself.
I have no regrets about my opinions on Ronny though. I still like the guy and wanted him to succeed.
Was there less of a challenge in Scotland with the demise of our old rivals? Did the club cut back because of this?
Should we have achieved more despite the circumstances? Was Ronny appointed because we weren’t prepared to pay the money whilst there was no real rival in the league?
It’s all very possible. And yet, more could have been done even if he wasn’t the right appointment in the first place.
Ronny’s selection by the Celtic board was a left field one. It was also one I agreed with even if it did strike me as a bold one for our club.
He was unknown to us and what we read and googled about him was new to us. This was an experiment by the club which failed to deliver.
A high pressing game was at the forefront of the Ronny’s coaching philosophy. There was also the 24 hour athlete mantra.
Both fan and media have hung onto those words like an American to their constitution. Whilst a new health and fitness lifestyle was being rolled out at the club, we never quite saw the game play we were promised.
In Ronny’s near two years at the club we’ve seen a whole host of players come and go. Bad buys, ineffective loanees and our best players slipping through his fingers have contributed to Ronny’s downfall but that was happening before he arrived as well.
Our scouting has been nothing short of shocking recently. When we’ve procured someone decent it’s been more of a relief than a victory.
In the end though, the buck lies with the board. They hire and they fire.
They sanction the money and they recruit the personnel. The question is, who claims responsibility for these string of bad buys and appointments?
Allan McDonald, the man Fergus McCann installed as CEO toward the end of his five year rebuilding of Celtic was a man who took responsibility. After the failure of John Barnes and Kenny Dalglish, McDonald fell on his own sword like a man.
He felt he had let the club and the fans down. Are Peter Lawwell and co any different?
McDonald only did it once and he walked. The same people have been making the same errors since Tony Mowbray’s appointment.
So whilst Ronny Deila may have been out of his depth, there remains an issue within the club’s structure. We may be unable to pay top dollar, but we can do a lot better.
The question of who succeeds Ronny is a huge one. I don’t think the club can afford to be prudent this time around.
Celtic have lost ground in Europe again. On the plus side, I do think there is core within this team that can form the basis of a future squad.
I’ve already made a case for or against each player at the club in an earlier blog. What needs to happen now is someone who can come in and turn things around starting next month.
That means going back to basics, assessing the squad’s capabilities and forming a new bond. I always felt there was a motivational issue and that the problem ran deeper.
Perhaps Ronny did want to leave earlier than now but was denied as some have suggested? Might that account for the way things have been this season?
Who knows? That’s purely conjecture.
The bottom line is that we need to move forward. The club cannot afford to leave any stone unturned.
A new coaching team is of the highest importance but as I have already mentioned, Celtic have other areas of failure. From Lennoxtown to the boardroom, everyone is accountable.
If the club want to keep moving forward, they’ll have to start looking inward. As for today, lend your support to bring home the title.