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Comment & Opinion | Sport

Opinion: Ronny Deila had to go but the Celtic board must get their next move right

Celtic manager Ronny Deila [Picture: Getty]
Celtic manager Ronny Deila’s time is officially up at the end of the season [Picture: Getty]
SUNDAY’S defeat to Rangers has been examined from start to finish hundreds of times already, so I’m not even going to go there. Rather, let’s look at where we go from here now that it’s been confirmed Ronny Deila will leave Celtic at the end of the season.

I Tweeted on Tuesday that the club should address what we all knew was inevitable, and they duly made an announcement within 24 hours. Maybe the board were reading my Twitter feed!

Celtic Football Club today announced that Celtic Manager Ronny Deila has decided to leave the Club at the end of the season. Ronny has already led Celtic to a League and Cup double last season and is currently aiming to deliver Celtic’s fifth consecutive Premiership title.

I have to say, unfortunately for Ronny, I think it’s the right decision, and I can’t imagine any fan of the club saying any different.

Being dumped out of Europe so early on this season meant Celtic had to focus on what was on offer at home. Surely the league should never have been in question? Yet it was up until recently.

Then there was the League Cup in which Celtic were played off the pitch as Ross County marched into the final.

So, after that, all that was left was a double. Awaiting the draw for the Scottish Cup, Rangers were in the mix and of course they were drawn against us. What followed was weeks of anticipation by the media, building up to the game, and then ‘bang’, another competition Celtic were knocked out of.

With just the league left, Celtic must be delighted right now that Aberdeen aren’t really looking like a threat of any shape anymore. Since we’re eight points ahead with five games to go, I’ll go on record as saying we will win the league, but it’s nothing I’m getting excited about.

Fans are not happy with Celtic right now, nor have we been for the last few months in particular, but Delia will see out the season and already we’re wondering what the next step is for next year.

It’s hardly surprising he’s going; we can’t have another attempt at Europe with this set-up and I include many of the squad in that statement, not just Deila. I’ve said that all season, as below.

Ronny has been hung out to dry by the board and I’m sure any fan that knows how it works behind closed doors knows that too.

One argument that annoys me to no end is the “he has lost the dressing room” talk. It’s a ridiculous point – these lads are all paid (and well paid at that) to play for Celtic, there is no excuse for “downing tools” because you don’t like the manager.

In any other society, if an employee who dislikes their boss just didn’t bother with work they would be shown the door before long, simple as that. There are a fair few players at the club who are hailed as heroes, but have proven time and time again their time is up at the club too – we don’t need any more baggage.

Next season is what Celtic should have their eye on now. With Deila off in a matter of weeks, Celtic need to set their targets high.

When discussing managers, I tend to disagree with so many other fans. Everyone has their own idea as to who would be the ideal candidate and they may have valid reasons.

Roy Keane, David Moyes, Brendan Rodgers and Mick McCarthy are names that have been batted about already.

Being Irish, you either like Roy Keane or you don’t. After 2002, I was in McCarthy’s corner from day one, so if you were to ask me if I’m happy with his name being associated with Celtic, you may think I would be against it, but I’m not.

One thing about Keane I applaud him for is his passion. I can guarantee you if this current squad had have come in at half-time on Sunday 1-0 down against Rangers to Keane as the manager, I would put my life on it that we would have come back out and won the game.

Then there is Moyes. Yes, please! I would take him in a heartbeat, but finances will prove to be the major issue here, whether he’s a Celtic supporter or not.

Brendan Rodgers doesn’t fill me with any great excitement, but if he was to become the new manager I would get behind him. And then there is McCarthy, who I think would be an excellent appointment.

Fans online have mentioned a return for Martin O’Neill, but with Ireland heading to the Euros in June he won’t want to take his eye off the ball. Ireland was one managerial job O’Neill always wanted, so I can’t see him giving it up anytime soon, even after the Euros.

Also, another thing to note with O’Neill, would be the financial backing he had during his stint at Celtic. That sure as hell won’t be the case this time round. He is a clever man and I can’t see him walking into this position with his eyes closed.

The next few months and weeks in particular will be a very important time at the club. Here’s hoping the board get the appointment right, so that the fans get what they deserve.


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