Deila, Lennon, Le Guen and George Weah’s many cousins


Back in October 2011 I was for calling an end to the Neil Lennon experiment.  During the previous season he lost the league after a late collapse, while exiting Europe in August after defeats to Braga and Utrecht.  That season Sion’s insistence in not playing by the rules allowed us a backdoor ticket to the Europa League but we were 10 points behind Ally McCoist’s Rangers.

Subsequent events proved there was not enough evidence on show to judge the Neil Lennon era early in his second season.  Neil pulled things together, finished a credible third in the Europa League group and never looked back.

Ronny Deila has already made mistakes in his Celtic tenure but does anyone seriously believe he has had the opportunity and resources to build a team?  Of course not.  He needs to sort out the many cousins of George Weah who have arrived recently from the genuine John Guidetti’s.  He needs players who can pass the ball with reasonable accuracy but most of all he needs players of courage and attitude.

I would probably be singing a different tune if we still had Rangers to contend with, long-term development objectives are important but the short-term need to win the league remains absolute, but we don’t, which means short-term targets remain well within grasp.

The memory of Rangers’ many mistakes in the years before liquidation offers another lesson.  They sacked Paul Le Guen six months into a badly needed overhaul project.  Le Guen was appointed months before he took up the reins and had enough time to watch his new team and scout transfer targets, but even that wasn’t enough to ensure a smooth transition, as he found the Weahs living in Austria.  Le Guen was decrying his as a heretic by a club incapable of change.

Despite the tiredness after Thursday and a plethora of injuries, Celtic had enough resources to swamp a tiny football club yesterday.  That we didn’t, suggests Ronny has a big job on his hands.  From the frustration shown by Scott Brown and Stefan Johansen at their team-mates yesterday, I suggest he builds his recovery around these two.

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  1. The Battered Bunnet on

    They went to sea in a sieve, they did,


    In a sieve they went to sea.




  2. What disappoints me so much is our inability to pass to a team mate properly.


    The number of times we over hit, under hit, pass at waist height or head height is remarkable, Broonie is the worst offender but he is not alone.


    I remember Strachan describing a player as having ‘soft feet’ I know what he means, our passing right now is atrocious. Oh for someone with soft feet.


    We had a corner in injury time, big Gordon was up at the far post, Vic on the penalty spot and Tonev failed to even hit the near post, that’s criminal at any level.


    Sort that out and we’re back on track.


    Incidentally, what are the boo bhoys hoping to achieve?



    On another topic, I’m hearing from pals of mine who voted NO and are now regretting their decision. Tax breaks paid for by the unemployed and low earners another war (oh they love wars do Labour and Tory) and backtracking on the Vow. Can’t say you weren’t warned!

  3. the unthank road on



    A lot of common sense, sans emotion. Chuck it mate, it will never catch on here!



  4. Paul


    A good, straightforward and rational post. It kind of looks out of place on here .


    Hope the run went well.



  5. What is the Stars on



    Utter nonsense



    The man is not a football manager in the proper sense of the word



    Its only a matter of time before he goes


    The longer he stays the more damage he does



    He was a disgraceful appointment

  6. KevJungle – MURDO MacLEOD’s Title Winning Boots 4-2 LEGEND



    12:10 on 6 October, 2014



    The biggest problem at CP just now is that, PL wont bring in a football person onto executive / ‘bored’ level ie: someone who will smell a racket / fiddle a mile away.


    Someone who will ask questions about the persistence in the continued pursuit of a signing policy were – foreign agents – seem to be big players.


    A signing policy were what? 2 out of 20 are successful?


    Ach, efff it….bye.





    The four players who we signed from Israeli clubs all came via the same agent Pini Zahavi.We don’t actually have a scouting network. We have a fax machine which we respond to when agents hawk their players to us.Occasionally we get a rough diamond who we sell on when they are polished up. Mostly, we just buy crap.

  7. Agree Deila needs to be given time but Stefan Johansen has had enough time to show that his passing is slack, tackles are weak, is as slow as a week in the jail.


    And he’s built like Willo Flood to boot! Apart from that…



    El Mad.

  8. Snake Plissken on

    So Actual Rangers should have kept Le Guen when the players wouldn’t play for him?



    Well I’d have said so too but then I am a Celtic fan.



    The same issues around fitness and diet Le Guen had at Rangers appear to be manifesting themselves at Celtic now.



    This only ends one way.

  9. Paul,


    Ronny’s ‘theoretical’ approach to football will be his undoing. There is only one thing that is important in football: Winning the next game.



    Had he focused on that, he’d have had 15 successive wins upon which to build some incremental change. His approach to change is that of AVB. Failure at Chelsea. Failure at Spurs.



    Beyond his diving in and changing something that he doesn’t understand….his philosophy of an expansive game, with players spread out as far apart as the possibly can be…well, Brazil against Germany. Except, you don’t need to be Germany. The Accies will do.



    People continually berate Johansson. This guy was decent last season. A midfield of 3 meant that he always had a team mate within 15 yards. Now he has to try and pump hollywood passes to players some 40 yards away. No wonder he looks crap all of a sudden. Also, with a 3 man mid, he could make those runs beyond the strikers, knowing he was covered.



    Just count how often possession changed yesterday. With no team mates close by, we got pressed out of possession after 3 passes. It happened on thursday night too. And against St Mirren. And Motherwell….



    Without winning the midfield battle, we won’t win many games.



    You talk about him not having had time to BUILD a team. He inherited a team. He has dismantled it. He has had plenty time to make it worse.



    I hope I am wrong, but this will end in tears.

  10. Paul,



    “He needs players who can pass the ball with reasonable accuracy”….Neither SB nor SJ fall into that category.



    It is abundantly clear that the appointment of this backroom team was a massive gamble and it has unsurprisingly failed. It is only a question now of “when” not “if”.



    It would be unforgivable of PL if he compounds the error by delaying the inevitable and allowing matters to slide even further backwards.

  11. Paul67



    Ronny is persisting with playing two holding midfielders and relying on wingers, who in my opinion he keeps playing on the wrong wing, to provide the service.



    This leaves a glaring whole in the middle of the park. Hamilton exploited it well in the second half yesterday.



    He’s a young manager who’ll make mistakes. In my opinion he’s not learning from them, that’s the worrying aspect.

  12. RD’s first signing was Jo Inge Berget. He was not foisted on the manager likes others may have been. Berget is without doubt a cousin of George Weah. RD is part of the problem and defo. not part of the solution.

  13. Build team around stefan and brown ?



    Our awful midfield is reasom we are doing so bad.. Love broony , great engine ,attitude and can break up attacks but sadly when played in centre mid he breaks up our own attacks alot.



    We have seen him shifted from RM to CM and vice versa loads of times under lennon.. He is twice the player on the right.



    Surely kayal biton and henderson deserve chance in middle.



    With lustig and matthews injuryed id try this team












    Scepavic guidetti






    When lustig back switch to 442 or try him on right side back three.

  14. I’m in favour of giving RD a chance. He does however, need to stop playing Berget for any length of time.



    Lennon and others said players like Samaras could cost them their jobs. In one way yes, but he could also help build thei reputation.



    Berget on the other hand has nothing to bring to the party but a lot of running around pretending to be a footballer, pretending to be closing players down with absolutely no intention of putting his head and limbs where it sometimes hurts and where you actually make a difference in a game sometimes. He’s probably great in non contact small sided games when he has time on the ball but he’s too scared to wear the hoops.



    A decent career in a different league with a smaller club is Bergets destiny. Go det it son. Just stay away from our first team until you do.

  15. Proudbhoy – it is hard to escape the conclusion that we need more bodies in midfield.



    I’d happily see that formation used domestically. But I’d like four at the back in Europe, 5 in the middle and one up front.

  16. Last season I thought we were onto a winner with Stefan Johansen however I’ve thought so far this season he has failed to deliver. He did hit a cracker of a pass from right to left yesterday but was caught napping a few times.



    Saying that I’d agree we should build around SJ and SB, if we are playing a 4-2-3-1 then for me we need to get the 3 and the 1 right!


    A fit James Forrest would fill one of the spots and from what I’ve seen so far I’d likely play Guidetti at the top… however the over two positions are even more crucial to get right. Maybe playing Wakaso on one wing? We’d then need a creative midfielder who is also prepared to graft. I love KC and he has played brilliantly at times for the Hoops but I don’t think he’s right for that role.



    I think RD still has time, but over October/November but the Board need to have a plan B in the drawer if we find ourselves off the pace or no signs of improvement. All I say is successful teams don’t change their manager twice a season however sometimes the writing is on the wall e.g. DiCanio last season at Sunderland!!

  17. What is the Stars on

    Its like waiting in the old bread queues in Moscow or Warsaw while reading the Pravda editorial waxing lyrical about the workers socialist paradise in which you live.



    Any one who thinks Ronny Delusional is a capable football manager needs their head examined

  18. m6bhoy – I’d posted that before I saw your contribution. What Ronnie sees in Berget baffles me.



    Maybe he underestimated the quality needed at Celtic, even for our inferior league.

  19. Paul – did Peter Lawwell help you write that leade?






    As someone pointed out earlier we don’t just have 5 teams above us with infinitely less resource we have 5 teams above us with virtually ZERO resources. 5 clubs who can not afford to BUY players.


    RD was a cheap option . Buy Cheap pay dear.


    The guy isn’t working… The evidence is there to see.


    There is such a disconnect between those who lead the club and those who follow club I fear we are on a very dangerous path.


    Your take on it smacks of party line straight from PL and co…


    Some objective analysis required here. PL and co needs critical friends not just yes men…

  20. Eyes Wide Open on

    I think a lot of the reaction after yesterdays shocking defeat has been over the top and at this stage I am in complete agreement with Paul67.



    To help Ronny achieve the long term objective I think we might need to freshen up the scouting network and delete a significant chuck of the current shortlist because the shortlist was compiled based on a different footballing strategy.



    If this is someone to work alongside John Park or if its someone to replace him then so be it.



    We have bought players (possibly bar Deneyer and Guidetti which sounds like it came from Ronny Deilas previous relationship with Man City) this summer from the same shortlist that served up Pukki, Boerrigter and Balde and its looks like largely producing the same results.



    Finally I think Deila has handled the media quite well from day 1, however could someone from Celtic’s PR dept have a word and tell him that in the immediate aftermath of a home defeat against the likes of Hamilton Accies, to NOT mention the words ‘we are improving’ because that just riles people (in a similar fashion to WGS’s praise of Gary Caldwell immediately after he gifted the opposition the goals that won them the match!)

  21. What is the Stars




    13:02 on 6 October, 2014




    Its like waiting in the old bread queues in Moscow or Warsaw while reading the Pravda editorial waxing lyrical about the workers socialist paradise in which you live.





    Or reading the Daily Mail and thinking it’s all the fault of the immigrants, single mums, ethnic minorities and people on welfare.



    What was that JC said about the log in our own eye?



    I know that’s not what you meant but I couldn’t resist.



    WITS, I hope you are wrong about Ronnie.



    Hope, though is running out and the evidence for his retention is increasingly circumstantial. As it was when Neil led us to failure against Ross County and Utrecht.

  22. Scott Brown is a personification of Celtic over the last few years.


    In my opinion not withstanding challenges in his personal life he was a weak link in our team, 100% perspiration 0% inspiration.


    He is now our best player and I’m glad he has gone ballistic with team mates but never ever should any Celtic team be built around him. He is the antithesis of the ‘Celtic way’..


    We need better players and a better manager…who understand winning with flair and who understand what Celtic are all about.

  23. build a team….if it wasn’t so ludicrous I’d laugh.



    desmond and lawwell are stiffing us big time and you want a team built with what?


    loan players who have been bombed out their clubs for being rank rotten or players we have no chance of signing long term (I use that in a 2-3 yr timeframe) because if a bid came in for Gordon in January, liewell would run him out the club too.



    the team that romped the league last year, this one horse league where we are the one horse, is sitting in sixth place. SIXTH. let that sink in.



    ach just carry on…as long as chips are off the menu.

  24. 13:02 on 6 October, 2014



    Its like waiting in the old bread queues in Moscow or Warsaw while reading the Pravda editorial waxing lyrical about the workers socialist paradise in which you live.






  25. What is the stars



    Long time no speak. Hope you are well mate. Must meet up for a beer soon. Dont have your number though. I’ll get your E Mail off Paul67 and we can arrange to meet.



    P.s. agree re Ronnie. Disastrous appointment. He clearly looks out of depth in my opinion.



    Hail Hail



  26. Paul,



    You have your view and, perhaps, it is a more informed one than my own. However, have you considered that short term decisions determine short term goals. Specifically, I mean the short term goal of winning the league this year. Probably we shall win the league but RD’s on field decisions are going to make it more nerve tingling than it needs to be.



    IN the Inverness game, the decision to make so many changes backfired. On the game on Sunday, there were many decisions that were plain wrong that, finally, affected the result. The wrong tactical formation to begin with; the sub of Guidetti; not subbing Commons; keeping Wakaso on as long as RD did; playing the same out of position. All of these contributed to the historic loss.



    Sadly, these failures in decision making are not isolated to the games that we lost. The result against St Mirren was also a squeaker.



    I am afraid poor short term decisions on the field will destroy short term goals such as winning something. Then where does that leave the long term goals?



    Now I know context is important, but the quotes in the Daily Mail that RD is not worried about the loss to Hamilton are really worrying. Does he have no self awareness at all of the influence that he is having on the results achieved by Celtic?



    I support RD’s aim to “modernise” the culture at the club, but without appropriate results on the park he will fail and accelerate the financial decline of our club, through missed revenue opportunities in key competitions and declining crowds.



    From CL group qualifiers to average SPL team in a few months is a heavy yoke to shrug off!




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