Since Ronny Deila became manager I’ve met a Norwegian journo a few times who has been keen to discuss our manager’s progress. One of the points he’s continually made is about Stefan Johansen, who he insists is known as a creative midfielder in Norway, someone who regularly makes defence-splitting passes.
Until recently, we’ve not seen this, Stefan has played as a box-to-box midfielder. Something changed against Hamilton Accies two weeks ago. Celtic were inept in many areas but Stefan seemed particularly exasperated at the lack of penetration. He ran and harried, pushed and prodded. It was as though the general malaise around him afforded him the authority to take control of the situation.
Late in the game against Accies he bent double with his hands on his knees, the outward sign of exhaustion anyone over 40 who’s played fives is familiar with, but which you seldom see from professionals, as it’s a sign your batteries are empty. When fans see this in a player the natural reaction is to berate him but Stefan’s knees deserved to be held, he’d put more effort in over the 90 minutes than anyone I’d seen all season.
Saturday’s performance from Celtic seemed to come from nowhere; suddenly we looked like a team. Stefan’s newly acquired authority, which I think he acquired two weeks earlier, goes some way towards explaining why.
I’m loving the love being shown to the glib and shameless one today, especially the accompanying commentary, “are you a fan who is staying away from Rangers matches?”, “this Rangers support is already dangerously close to a full-scale rebellion”. Framing the debate like this is an explicit call to Newco Rangers fans to ditch their hard-up club.
I would like to echo this sentiment. Go find another sport, or take up a higher education class instead.
That’s easy for me to say, I care nothing for Newco, but at least I’m being honest about it. There are those prepared to drive the club into the Clyde in their attempts to grab control on the cheap – i.e. instead of buying shares on the open market.
Good luck to them. I’m sure Mike Ashley and the Easdales will be easily bullied.[calameo code=0003901718cdc4362fa2e? lang=en page=122 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]