Players and manager with common purpose


Could someone remind me the last time we heard rumours that Ronny Deila had players rebelling against him?  I heard it often, and put it to the club, but was told the players had bought-into the changes, then underway and largely unproductive.  I think we got our answer after the full-time whistle yesterday.  This is a group of players and manager with a common purpose.

Celtic are now top of the league, a point away from qualifying from the Europa League knock-out stages, and are beginning to look like a team, but the results are largely secondary to the transformation.  Even if Virgil’s 90th minute winner hadn’t arrived at Pittodrie, progress is evident.  The fragility and lack of cohesion which marked so many of our performances until early last month has gone.

Success has many fathers so it’s difficult to know exactly what’s behind the improvement.  Scott Brown’s return from injury helped enormously, as did the return of Mikael Lustig and Adam Matthews (although I thought Adam had a torrid time with Niall McGinn yesterday).

The blossoming of Stefan Johansen has to be the most striking element.  He has without doubt been the most improved player this season and an early contender for end of season awards.  By any measure, he had no right to score his goal yesterday.

The return of James Forrest, who yesterday played his fourth game in eight months, will give the squad an extra boost before the final two Europa League group games.  If he has fully recuperated from the problems which blighted him throughout this year, he’ll give fresh impetus to the pacey product Ronny is trying to hone.

You can get copies of Caesar & the Assassin, Billy McNeill and Davie Hay’s accounts of managing Celtic from Jock Stein’s departure until the appointment of Liam Brady, signed by both Billy and Davie here.

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  1. HT, I read earlier Minx will start to wear Lippy to games due to your stardom:-)



    Will you follow suit or stick to a wee bit of mascara?




  2. Paul


    ‘By any measure, he had no right to score his goal yesterday.’



    Are ye shure about that? One pundit in the studio yesterday described it as ‘a gift.’ ;-)

  3. prestonpans bhoys on

    I’ve not seen the game yet but will later on.



    Can anyone tell me the time HT’s on the telly again —so that I can fast forward past it :0)

  4. Paul67



    I’d heard from a player that not everyone had bought into Ronny’s philosophies. Yesterday’s post match celebrations would certainly point to a change in position.



    It was brilliant to see and was huge appreciated by the travelling support.






    I’ve not read back, however, I’m more of a foundation and blusher guy :-)

  5. Paul67



    Ronnie is a likeable chap and i have never really thought the players have fallen out with him.



    But he is still making strang choices.. James foresst starting yday after so long out ?



    Charlie mulgrew in centre mid ?



    Brown playing every 90mins since his injury ? ( i think)



    I hope the next few games will see biton kayal and henderson get a run in midfield and griffiths and scepovic more time up top.

  6. “It long since stopped being about remembering the dead. It’s about dividing the living”.


    Powerful line James.


    Ironic that those who profess to care the most are the very ones who do somersaults to evade paying their taxes for the upkeep of “their” armed forces. Take that to the bank ( or put it in the deceased club ad).



  7. HT



    See for someone who complains to Focus about them filming supporters, ye don’t half like getting yer coupon on the telly. :-))

  8. doctor whatfor



    12:17 on 10 November, 2014





    Ha thats true.. Never a sending off.



    Hopefully we argue it and along with tonev hit the sfa with a double girfuy

  9. Paul67, agree re-Stefan and have said it here, he has the attributes to play behind the striker in the centre of the 3. He has the engine to get back abd make us 3 in midfield when needed and has an eye for a pass.



    Right gotta get back to it now.

  10. proudbhoy



    On a serious note, I don’t think that yellow cards are appealable ( I’m not sure that appealable is a word btw). So this is the rout mibs have to take in the future. Forget straight reds that can be appealed. Go for 2 yellows. Jist watch.

  11. Does anyone else remember when the media were spinning stories about Stokes and Ronny not getting on? I had almost forgotten, but I remembered after our goal when Stokes and Ronny celebrated by having a massive man hug. It went on for ages… not the sort thing you’d expect from someone who doesn’t rate the manager, as we were told.

  12. doctor whatfor



    12:23 on 10 November, 2014





    Think your right.



    Right bedtime.

  13. So Henrik has left his managerial post at Falkenburg.


    Any truth in the rumour of him taking up the role of striker coach at Celtic?


    Or is that just bampottery talk?

  14. doctor whatfor



    It is strange how often it happens:-)



    I didn’t complain as such. I was very polite and not in the least aggressive. I simply asked who made the decision to search the Celtic support prior to the game and why it was so thorough.



    I also asked if they had evidence of video footage of the Aberdeen support as I could only see filming of us.



    It wasn’t confrontational and they were quite helpful.

  15. dr ramesh and the love potion on

    I believe it has been many things coming together that have helped the team improve. Time has helped the players and manager get to know each other, winning has helped the confidence and unity. There are also individuals who really seem to have made a difference, Brown and Lustig for their will to win, experience and drive, Guidetti for his personality and general keenness, and Ronny. In the early weeks Ronny looked like he was in the middle of a tornado and didn’t know what to hold onto. Ever since the last international break he has looked determined, focussed and confident in what he is doing. That has been translated into the team playing with more focus and confidence. Players are adapting to their roles and some are beginning to shine. It won’t be long before others click with the plan. We still have one very obvious weak point in the squad and that is a mobile defensive midfielder who can recycle the ball and protect the back line. Kayal lacks discipline, Mulgrew is too slow and Biton too lethargic. Henderson, whilst talented, is not ready for a sustained run in that position. Diarra? That could be an interesting signing. With Brown and Johansen released from more defensive duties I believe our high pressing will begin to work properly. If Forrest can stay fit and if Wakaso and Stokes can keep gradually improvingg then I think we will begin to provide the 3 strikers, Guidetti, Scepovic and Griffiths, who are all decent but they have lacked service.


    I’m getting more excited by the week. Seeing a new team and philosophy being built is refreshing.

  16. hamiltontim



    I really wasn’t being serious. I am confident that you would not have been confrontational or impolite. These questions should be asked. However, you be careful because some of them are capable of making something out of nothing and may choose to present your harmless behaviour as something else.


    Hail! Hail!

  17. tommytwiststommyturns on

    I thought HT was more of a polyfilla type of guy…! :-)



    With Johansen looking much sharper in this advanced role, as compared to his previous holding position, does this mean cheerio to Kris in January? I hope he stays, but the price/duration has to be right for both parties.




  18. jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/ on





    There was more noise at the Swansea V Arsenal game during the minutes silence!! Saying that those morons embarrass CFC imo!! If they dont want to observe the silence they should stay outside the ground.

  19. tommytwiststommyturns



    12:39 on 10 November, 2014



    I would love commons to stay but I’m loving Stefan johansen in the forward roll his closing down at times is emence and he’s full of running HH

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