Short-termism in the dug-out


I’m delighted for Alex Neil at achieving promotion for Norwich City just a few months after joining and transforming them.  Alex was groomed for the Hamilton Accies job by former boss Billy Hamilton for years before being given the position as a 31-year-old two years ago.  Billy would talk him through training games, “Reds are being overrun, would you do to change things?”  I listened into some of this, but in football it’s never apparent what’s being absorbed and what’s slipping through the cracks.

Lots of credit has to go to our former commercial head, David McNally, who took as Norwich chief exec six years ago, in the wake of departing Neil Doncaster.  McNally spent much of season 2013-14 dangling the Sword of Damocles over Chris Hughton, before sacking him with relegation looming, then sacking his replacement, Neil Adams, whose only previous coaching role was as a Norwich youth coach.

Fresh from having to admit a mistake in appointing an inexperienced manager, it was unfathomable that McNally gambled on Alex Neil.  Last season Neil got Accies into the play-off final against Hibs, where they lost the first leg 0-2 at home.  At that stage his achievements were no better than could be expected, but Terry Butcher was master tactician at opponents Hibs.

Ahead of the second leg Butcher spoke to his players about post-match celebrations.  The only thing anyone at Hibs could celebrate after the game was Butcher’s resignation.  Six months of spectacular overachieving with Accies this season was enough for McNally to see something special in Alex Neil.    It was a breath-taking gamble which worked.

Norwich’s gamble has echoes in our own, in appointing Ronny Deila, but Celtic had a bit more form to judge.  When I asked a Norwegian journalist about Ronny last summer he actually compared Stromsgodset wining the league to Hamilton Accies winning the SPFL.  Ronny had six years, not six months, of pretty spectacular form to study before Celtic made their offer.

Ronny and Celtic know they are working to a medium-term plan and that short-termism isn’t going to get in the way.  Such planning is a luxury in football, and isn’t something Celtic enjoyed when they were caught in an arms race with a liquidation-bound opponent.  Norwich might just have learned enough self-awareness to know that next season’s target shouldn’t be survival, it should be medium-term development, even if that means accepting the short-term pain of relegation.

I read yesterday that Real Madrid have sacked a manager every season they failed to win a major trophy since Alfredo Di Stefano’s side finished second in La Liga, and were losing finalists in the Copa’ Liga, Copa del Rey and Cup Winners’ Cup, the latter to Aberdeen.  Medium-termism at Real is counted in weeks, not seasons.  Being intolerant of short-term failure is incredibly wasteful.

Alfredo was sacked a year later.

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  1. Livibhoy



    You’re probably right about the cost of Boruc. Would have been nice to see him come home.


    Not sure about a replacement for Zaluska, maybe just give him another deal for a year?

  2. LiviBhoy 09: 58 from previous thread obviously



    Someone (I think it was thunder road apols if not) said they admire when people say what they wanted to but more eloquently(or something like that)



    your post made me feel like that……….exactly what I would like to but could never write




  3. What is the Stars on

    We should sack ronny


    It would be a sign that we are as ambitious as Real Madrid


    Please discuss

  4. leftclicktic on

    Worth a wee repost


    Till later all








    09:58 on 26 May, 2015




    I had a wonderful day at Celtic Park on Sunday.


    I met a lot of my family, cousins, etc before the game and a few friends so didn;t make it round to CQN corner.


    Me and the wee man left the house at 9.30am in Edinburgh and picked up my mate and his Bhoy in Livi and then onto the game. We were there early because my cousin had my dad’s tickets from the previous home game.


    I met up with him and his son who had driven from London to be there on Sunday. This Bhoy was born in London and has lived there all his life but if he is asked by anyone who he supports he says Celtic. No 2nd team or any other club in his heart just Celtic and he drove up Saturday and back Monday just to see them lift the trophy. I love that kid for that.


    Entered the stadium and my Hoopy daft son was able to watch Hoopy lumbering up as I took in the wonderful surroundings. I can just stand and drink that pre match atmosphere for hours. My wee Bhoy’s favourite player is Hoopy so we spent a lot more time than I would have liked at the front before we were able to take the great climb up the stand to our seats near the rear of the lower teir of the North Stand. We have quite a wonderful view of the playing surface and of course the ever mischievous Hoopy to keep the Bhoy occupied.


    The atmosphere was excellent. I watched some excellent football whilst LB Jr tucked into a full packed lunch box of sausage rolls and cocktail sausages.


    We really played some decent football on Sunday and Scepovic must have taken some tips from the bold Harald because they are similar in style. I thought he took his goals fairly well. He drifts in out and out of the box and seems to have a good knack for losing his marker. To be fair to ICT they looked like a side who had the cup final on their mind but some of their lads were playing for places.


    I noticed that when Griffiths and Commons came on they had noticed the weakness of the replacement keeper from the sidelines and hit shots from distance that he never looked like saving. Griffith’s strike in particular was superb.


    The final whistle finally arrived and although it seemed to take an age they staging wasd finally assembled and the team rentered the arena. I read yesterday that someone said wives and family should be kept back to allow the players to enjoy the moment and I must say I agree. There was not really any lap of honour until Efe decided to get it underway. The rest were too busy milling about chatting to their families.


    Enjoyed the lap of honour by both the youth squad and the first team. The fireworks and the streamers were superb.


    I waited until the stadium was almost empty and from block 201 made my way inside the ground towards the GB area. Passed the padded seats and picked up a couple of free programmes that had been discarded or forgotten about and LB Jr played fitba with a couple of stray glass wine bottles that had been left under a couple of seats until I stopped him. Crazy stuff.


    We posed for a few self taken pictures at the half way line. I believe they are called Celfys or something.


    Up to the GB section where the Bhoys were packing up after a hard days graft and if anyone has never seen these Bhoys after a game then you will have seen more effort put in than some of the players on the pitch. The sweat is lashing out of them!


    Out of the ground and off for the journey home.


    We arrived back in our street in Edinburgh bang on 5pm. My wee Bhoy exhausted by the excitement of the day slept almost the whole way home and I listened to a bit of Radio Scotland and Radio 5 Live. Why Radio Scotland decided to remember the helicopter Sunday matchday is beyond me anyway my mind was going over the whole day and I must admit I have been at many matches probably in excess of 500. I have been to many cup finals won and lost. I was at Seville. I hav seen us win the league many times. I have seen us knock Barcelona out of the UEFA Cup at the Camp Nou. I have been at many great Celtic perfomances. Sunday is up there in my top 10. I just loved every minute of the whole occassion.


    Me and the Bhoy climbed the stairs to our flat with me carrying him as he was still in a deep slumber.


    When I took him into the living room and he snuggled into my wife. He awoke and said ‘I have had a nice day mummy at Celtic Park with daddy.’


    Melted my heart. I am tempted just to get a season ticket. The Bhoy has his for next season.


    I was elated on Sunday. I am still elated. It was special and it was something I want to replicate.


    If I can do the 10 payment deal and get a seat near the Bhoy I will get one.



    There’sabuzzabouttheplace CSC




  5. thomthethim for Oscar OK on

    Repost for leftclicktim.



    thomthethim for oscar ok



    11:25 on 26 May, 2015





    10:23 on 26 May, 2015


    thomthethim for Oscar OK


    dont know how many times I have watched this :))))



    Jimmys Winnin Matches FULL Documentary








    Thanks for posting this link.


    I don’t often say this, but it is essential viewing for anyone who wishes to understand the calibre of man who is working with Ronnie.





    Long term strategy is only seen to be a success because the incumbent is sacked before long term failure becomes apparent.



    In relative terms,Dario Gradi may be compared to Alex Ferguson. Ally McLeod at Ayr is another example.



    However when the success wanes,the previously successful incumbent is judged by his recent failures.



    Jock Stein and Brian Clough,possibly the two greatest managers in British history-purely a subjective view-found that out.



    Arsene Wenger may be next.



    Alex Neil has performed miracles at his two clubs. Now he needs forty points of grinding slog.



    I hope he gets them.

  7. Paul67 & my friends in Celtic,



    I totally agree with the sentiments in your new article.



    Imo Alex Neil is manager of the year in both Scotland and England in the same season.



    Remarkable achievements.




  8. That’s was a great read from RD, he doesent seem to like negativity around him or any of his players, ergo, he prob. Tells them to keep an open mind if any of them come in here :))

  9. timmy7_noted on

    I was in Murcia at the weekend with a crowd of mates golfing and generally eating and drinking too much.One of us forgot his golf shoes and was contemplating buying a pair at the Roda golf shop however I had my shoes in a Celtic bag which resulted in guy approaching us to talk about Celtic.He was a big Tim and like us was planning to watch the final game in a pub in Los Alazares.He then incredibly offered to loan his golf shoes to my mate which considering we had only met minutes before was very generous.So the point of this story? We never thought to ask him his name so if you are a CQN’r thank you very much and I hope you picked up your shoes at the pro shop.



    When you are a Tim no matter where you are you are never alone,quite amazing.



    Cmon the hoops.



    By the way if you are ever in Los Alcazares do not drink in the Celt bar,we thought it would be a good place to watch the game and we spent a few quid there on Sunday.Turns out its a hun infested den posing as an Irish bar,avoid at all costs.

  10. thetimreaper on

    Young progressive managers are sought after. Mourinho changed football management forever. He made people believe that young managers can do it. 10 years later and they are everywhere.

  11. leftclicktic


    I walked around Celtic Park on Sunday for about 20 minutes and never saw anyone with a petition? I had signed it three weeks ago, but I did get a Ronny Roar badge ;))

  12. Great article.



    We live with a short term mentality amongst some of our support at times. Ronny, Lenny, Strachan all felt the sharp end at the start with the media gleefully jumping onboard. It’s hard to look at the big picture at times but fair play to those who run our club who have showed they can.



    Didn’t realise I’d be posting a praise the board message today.



    How did that happen..?

  13. Greeninbingley on




    09:58 on 26 May, 2015



    Superb and heart-warming post. That’s what it’s all about.



    Well said.

  14. We posed for a few self taken pictures at the half way line. I believe they are called Celfys or something.



    Surely a CELTFY



    added to the lexicon,



    ta LB

  15. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘Being intolerant of short-term failure is incredibly wasteful.’



    – yes, just think how many big cups Real could have won.

  16. Hi Paul67,



    Well lovely sentiments, with your goodly dollop of analysis and common sense regarding Norwich’s promotion. Judging by Facebook the Tractorbhoys’n Ghirls in the family aren’t looking on it the same way, so I’ll stick with them.



    Too right about Ronny though, having read/seen/listened Ronny’s rise with Stromsgodset. It is only not shocking because it’s the SMSM, but the portrayal of Ronny as a unknown rookie was disingenuous to say the least.



    Sure he had to rise up to the challenge, he had to do in six months in Scotland what it took him six years to do in Norway. But he always looked capable and if it was a gamble, it was hedged. Celtic were playing from a position of strength.



    As for the SMSM a few checks(sic) and and a wee bit of research(sic), they could have been journalistic visionaries. Instead they are forlorn and lost for words.



    Hail Hail

  17. Saint Stivs



    Thanks mate. Was trying to quickly think of a Celtic related name for a self taken photograph.


    Celtfy sounds good to me.




  18. ArranmoreBhoyLXV11 on




    in Ronnie we trust.



    Can Ronnie work in the ticket office?



    Relocated our seats this year to 103 after telling TO I was fed up with 4 people squeezing into 2 seats next to us.. Worse on Euro nights!



    Liked the crowd around too.



    Anyway. Hope 103 – it’s 1chair per person!!






    TICKET OFFICE…. Do your job!


    AULDHEID 1202



    Celtic are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.



    IMO they genuinely believed that there was no need for them to voice any disapproval of their zombification. Due process would take care of that.



    There was and is a raft of legal obstacles barring their way from becoming what the want to be. Which is Continuity Rangers(!)



    Whodathunk that the Scottish Establishment would permit such a travesty of justice?



    Tbh,I didnt. And I don’t think Celtic did either.

  20. Re Real Madrid, here is a notable quote from the great Jonathan Wilson: “And talk to anybody at Real Madrid about the ideology the club represents and they will reply that their model is Disney”. (Scotland on Sunday, May 10th). They have no idea of building a team – like much of the EPL just now. Too much money might be a good problem to have, but it can still be a problem.

  21. chairbhoy


    Not only the SMSM but many in here too, for a while he was called the Peter Lawwells cheap option, and the SMSM who troll the websites got hold of that and got ripped into Celtic, short memories eh :)) but hey, don’t be praising Peter Lawwells for his astute business stroke of genius, dear god that wouldn’t do now would it?

  22. Ha ah HA HA HA HA HA hah ha ha ha ha


    AHAHA ha HA HA HA HA HA HA ahahaaa haa haaaa



    So glad to have spent yesterday amongst friends celebrating the 48th anniversary of my first ever time watching an episode of Coronation Street. Watched the full replay. billy Boy has it changed so much over the years.



    AHAHA ha HA HA HA HA HA HA ahahaaa haa haaaa





    Heard something about a wee old thing yoo lot were celebrating to do with football. Never even hit my radar. My club was only a glint in Craig Whytes daddies eye way back then.



    Ha HA HA HA HA ha ha ha AHAA HA HA AHA ha ha


    HHHHHAAAAAAAAA haha haha hahahahah ha HA HA HA HA



    Oofff oot to look after the most successfult 3 year old team in the world ever ever ever.


    We’ll be back were we belong for the first time.


    We ur ra peeeepholes.

  23. re-lap of honour.


    once the trophy is lifted and a few photos taken, the squad should all do a quick lap of honour together with the trophy. it would be fitting, so that all fans could see the trophy properly being carried by the team and fans and players alike can show their mutual appreciation…uninterrupted. After that it can dissolve into the mishmash that is the present way of doing the lap of honour.


    On Sunday, i can’t recall the trophy being shown to my area of the North stand and the players were all over the place. It was difficult to pick them out amongst all the other people milling about.


    Some will agree with me and some won’t, but I always leave with a bit of an empty feeling after these trophy lifting occasions.

  24. LiviBhoy,



    That was a lovely red bout your journey to and fro Celtic Park on Sunday with LB Jr. very moving.



    I’ve been going to Celtic Park since I was a wee boy/bhoy – first game was in 1958. That was the year I met my best mate and he and I made the journey up the stairs to our seat in North Stand lower to see us crowned as champions, again.



    We’ve shared great times and we’ve shared bad times, but the sharing has always been important, a constant. It made Sunday all the more fun and for the past few years (four actually) we’ve walked into the city centre for a wee party of our own. My mate came up with the grand idea two seasons ago of saving up a quid each at the home games instead of trying our (nae) luck at the half-time lottery. As JinkyRedStar quickly pointed out on Sunday when we met him in BB’s, we were drinking our ‘losings’.



    Hope you, and all the Tims on here, have as many years sharing the love of our club with loved ones and friends, as my mate and I have (and hope to have in the future!!!)



    Hail Hail





    Yer losings wouldnae last long in there!



    But I hope you have many more of them.

  26. tonydonnelly67 @ 12:37,



    Very true, well the sceptic’s had a pretty good run. Things started to change when in January, Ronny got time and space to work with the team and get a couple of signings in.



    The transformation was immense. Peter Lawwell hired Ronny and he’s backing him to the hilt. No pre-season World tours been a case in point. He obviously has huge confidence in him. I believe it will be paid back in spades.



    Hail Hail

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