Where did it all go wrong for Ronny?


So where did it all go wrong for Ronny Delia?  First of all, it didn’t all go wrong.  He won two leagues, and if you think it was impossible to lose those, just think back to a team in last season’s Championship, who enjoyed an equally superior income over their competitors, but lost the league to Hearts by the length of the M8.

It was just as possible for Aberdeen to win the league this season or last, as it was Hearts (reeling only months after going into administration) to win the Championship last season.  Ronny delivered the primary requirement each season – the league title, but he failed on the second tier requirement – qualify for the Champions League.

Soon after the Legia Warsaw debacles Ronny reflected on the question about whether it was right to ask his new team to adopt his tactics, instead of waiting until he’d recruited players to fit his system.

Two years on we are still remarkably short of players to play his system.  Innumerable wide midfield players have come and gone, with many still lingering in the stands.  We have an enviable list of creative mids in the squad, yet none have been able to dislodge Stefan Johansen, who by his own admission is having a disappointing season.

Then there’s the striker roles.  Leigh Griffiths has been a significant reason why we’ll be crowned champions again over the next few weeks, but he’s pretty much on his own.  No one has been able to put pressure on him.  For a while Leigh had to wait until John Guidetti and Stefan Scepovic dropped out of the picture, but you’ll struggle to recall this season’s striker arrivals, Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim-Richards, three years from now.

For these reasons, we can say recruitment is where it all went wrong for Ronny.  It’s not about 4-2-3-1, half the top teams in Europe play with that formation, nor is it (the now abandoned) zonal marking system, also the dominant top-level defensive system.

We’ve simply recruited the wrong players for creative midfield and striker positions.  It’s also subtler than to just say we’ve not recruited good enough players.  Some who have escaped Celtic Park after arriving in the last 22 months have done pretty well elsewhere.  Guidetti and Scepovic are La Liga strikers, while Jo Inge Berget also made it to the Bernabeu this season.

None of them are great, but I suspect we made them look poorer than they are.  Kazim-Richards is unlikely to trouble Sergio Ramos next season, but there’s more to him that what we’ve seen, or will see.  We’ve been a place careers diminish disproportionately.

On the positive side, Ronny brought the best out of Leigh Griffiths.  He moved the disintegrating Emilio Izaguirre aside for 18-year-old sensation, Kieran Tierney, (the biggest winner on Sunday).  And he finally resolved some of the least-organised set-piece defending known to man with the recruitment of Erik Sviatchenko (on this point, you cannot over-estimate the value of adding one good player to a team).

One thought crossed my mind several times this season: If he hadn’t spent so much money fruitlessly trying to make one system work, would he have acknowledge he was on the wrong road and changed tactics?

He backed himself into a corner so stuck with the same faltering policy at Celtic, but surely, surely, if he walks into another job soon, unhindered by that wasteful use of budget, he’d not follow the same tactical strategy which failed him?

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  1. traditionalist88 on

    traditionalist88 on 21st April 2016 12:40 pm



    The Green Man says SACK THE Board on 21st April 2016 12:29 pm






    On Sunday….I will be spending time with my daughter. Rather than throw it away backing up Billionaires, Millionaires, Lords, and Reptiles on the board.



    Feck Peter Lawell and the rest of those Huns on the PLC.



    They deserve nothing but contempt.




    And thats what they will get.








    And contempt they possibly do deserve.



    Heres a thought – why not take 45 mins out your Sunday afternoon and tell them that?



    Could that be less effective than what you currently do?



    You can make that time up by posting even slightly less frequently in here or writing a program to do it for you :)



    The negative publicity from a visible protest would be a bit more alarming to the PLC than a hundred posts a week read by a small % of the fanbase and ultimately lost in cyberspace.

  2. He won two leagues…



    I know we are 8 points ahead but if we lose the league … some of us will have scrambled eggs with shell bits in our faces



    just saying like

  3. Who’s buying the players then if the players don’t fit the system? If it’s Park and Lawwell they can both sling their hook. It’s widely speculated that CKR, Scepovic and Allan were not Ronny’s choices. How many more? The whole thing stinks.

  4. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    You honestly dont get it…do you.


    For that reason, i will reply nicely.


    On Sunday….my joy, will be spending time with my lovely daughter.


    I will be smiling the whole day.


    You know what i think of the board.


    Lets leave it at that.




  5. Celticrollercoaster supporting Shay,our bhoy wonder along the way on

    Ronny’s period was hardly an era, neither being long or distinct but was indeed a gamble that did not pay off.



    Both Mowbray and Lenny appointment could equally be described as a gamble, one being far more successful than the other!



    My worry is that we will not learn from this given that the same decision makers are in place!




    Perhaps Dermott will provide a curve ball and make or heavily influence the appointment this time.



    Never spoke to so many medium to long term season ticket holders, that are seriously considering not renewing.



    This needs to be a good appointment which starts the road to bring the club and fans closer together, but the board need to start re-engaging as well on so many other levels.










    ps got a couple of spare tickets for the Celtic Foundation “Heroes of 86″ night at CP on Sunday 1st May (bank holiday weekend) if there are anybody interested then email me on cqnpredictor@gmail.com.

  6. 67 European Cup Winners on

    If Ronny is the next Manager of Barcelona 2 of Messi Suarez and Neymar will be on the bench in a 4-2-3-1 formation


    Thats always been the problem




  7. If PL looks at the win average of Roy and Henrik as managers he might be alarmed. Roy at 38.67% and Henrik at 32.81%.




    When Ronny came he was at 46%. On leaving Celtic, Ronny is at 53.38%.




    Different leagues, but I suppose you still have to win.




    When you look at the percentages at Celtic, maybe EPL Chairmen take our % win rate with a pinch of salt.



    Oh, in the interest a balance the Magic Hat’s win %,




    Brentford, 51.28%



    Huns, 76.09%




    Total, 60.48%




    Different leagues, no Europe I know. The argument will be that he has learned his trade, done it the hard way etc etc.

  8. There’s a difference between being a La Liga striker and being a successful La Liga striker.



    Scepovic is, indeed, a La Liga striker.

  9. eddieinkirkmichael on

    Blame Ronny Paul67 for our tragic signing and recruitment policy. When are you going to ask the hard questions of those in charge at Celtic Park. Ronny was IMHO a weak manager in that he didn’t insist on full control of all football matters and backroom appointments.


    What’s going to happen to John Kennedy who has been a total failure as defensive coach. Same with John Collins. Who appointed these guys Paul67 and what responsibility do they shoulder?


    I wont wait up awaiting a reply.



    IMHO the reaction to the defeat on Sunday confirms that a significant percentage of our support regard the team playing out of Ibrox as Rangers football club and do miss the Old Firm.


    So while we will continue to use the liquidation event as a means of winding them up deep down most believe they are the same and welcome their return as without them the league is pointless and uncompetitive.



    You know it’s true. You also wont give a flying feck how we play as long as we win the league and beat them.

  10. traditionalist88 on

    The Green Man says SACK THE Board on 21st April 2016 12:47 pm



    I do get it, and you don’t like it.



    You are taking the easy way out…



    See your post count? Lets say for talking sake you cut it by 50%, but you don’t have to change the message. Use the time saved in reducing your post count to take your concerns to the source.



    Could that be any less effective than your current mode of operation?



    A quite clear NO, it couldn’t be less effective than a strategy that is currently a waste of everyones time. Your absence at CP has and will continue to (wrongly) be attributed to other factors for the forseeable.



    See the problem here? You are currently invisible to those you think you are targetting.

  11. The No.13 Shorts on

    Bonner and MacLeod. Heroes of ’86 eh? I’d bolt the door on them nowadays. Reprehensible pair.

  12. TheOriginalSadiesBhoy on

    I would suggest that we will be waiting for a good number of weeks after the season ends before we know the identity of any new manager. The Board will wait to see how many season tickets have been sold by renewal date and, if as I expect that it won’t be a lot, they will then begin to think about the level of managerial appointment that the supporters want rather than than a cheapskate appointment that they themselves would prefer to make.



    The answer is in the hands of the supporters. There is no need for any front of the stadium demos. KEEP YOUR MONEY IN YOUR POCKET.

  13. I don’t think the problem is necessarily that we have recruited the wrong creative midfielders as I think we have some decent players there that a good manager and decent system will get much more out of. For me the main problem has been the wrong balance in midfield. Particularly as we haven’t recruited proper defensive midfielder(s) worthy of the name.


    Ronny’s system required structured pressing in midfield while not allowing space for teams to play through you. This entire season and last season in Europe we were unable to do that. Teams could pass through us with ease with little of no cover provided by our defensive midfielders leaving the centre of our defence exposed. This was all the more apparent once the quality of our centre of defence dropped from VvD & Denayer to Boyata & Ambrose.

  14. No matter the signings that were made, the buck has to stop at Ronny. He has proven over the last 2 years that he is completely out of his depth regarding tactics and man management. His team was truly awful on the eye. He has, in the space of 2 seasons turned us from a respectable European team into a complete laughing stock.



    His appointment, in hindsight, should never have been made. His backroom team have proven to be about as useful as a chocolate ashtray. Of course it could have been much worse. If Aberdeen had any bottle about them we would not be 8 points ahead. Make no mistake, we have been lucky they have none.

  15. I would really prefer not to be counting chickens with all that has just happened…but I suppose KTF.



    It would be interesting to see the full list of players purchased/loanees in the past 2 years and what agents they are with…

  16. FourGreenFields on

    With all due respect Paul , whats your opinion on the part played by


    1. Our majority shareholder.


    2.Our CEO.


    3.Our board in general.


    4. Backroom staff.


    5.Scouting staff.


    6.PR department.


    in Celtic finding ourselves in the position we do today ?


    Ronnie has made mistakes and contributed to the position we find ourselves in but he is far from being the only person at fault .


    All IMO of course.

  17. The Battered Bunnet on




    The lasting impression of Ronny as Celtic Manager is of a bloke who, for the life of him, couldn’t figure out why his system wasn’t working.



    He just isn’t a very good Footbll Manager. It’s a shame. But there you have it.

  18. GlassTwoThirdsFull on

    I think Ronny got more right than wrong. When it went well it went really well. The 4-0 v Aberdeen last season was my highlight.


    We had two real problems. Being too open in the big games and not converting enough chances.


    The first problem could have been solved with a proper DM – see Tottenham who play a similar system to us.


    The second problem is not so easy to find a simple solution for.

  19. P67



    You really don’t know your history.



    5 points ahead with 4 games to go …




    8 points ahead with 5 games to go.



    And that is without bringing 1980 into the equation.


    Or 1975 with “fly the flag”.



    Been there and there was no tee shirt to buy.


    I really don’t want to say it but the “Green Hun” attitude is spreading far and wide.



    Support the team — and they need our support.


    Don’t be a rod to their own backs.

  20. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on




    One of the most delusional lead articles I have read on CQN..



    The thesis we are being fed here is that Ronny’s poor recruitment ultimately failed to deliver the system he was trying to develop.



    Paul – so many questions..but here’s two



    1. How many of these recruits were identified by Ronnie?


    2. How many player were brought in to progress ‘moneyball’?



    Was the deila system really the holy grail over the last 2 years or did Lawwell foist players, just as he foisted coach team on the Manager?



    Don’t get me wrong Deila was too rigid in his system and appeared totally devoid of plan B.. he was also blind sided to some existing talent. he deserve to go for his part in the failings – chiefly that he lacked the cajones to stand up to Lawwwell and senior players who exploited his niavety.



    This article is rewriting history.



    Paul67 – how do you see PL’s role in the demise of the team in the last 4 years?

  21. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on




    You dont get it.


    Do you really think im crazy enough to think that a my rants are anything other than hot air.


    My ranting has no pupose, other than me letting off steam.


    Im not trying to achieve anything…you know.


    I dont expect to lead an insurrection on Celtic Park ffs.


    All i can do….is refuse to back the PLC….by withdrawing my support.


    I cannot do anything else.


    Ive watched Celtic since i was 6 yrs old….I always will.


    That doesnt mean i need to support a board of imbeciles as though they were Greek Gods.


    Imo…they are idiots…..only an idiot would run Celtic into the ground, and thats exactly what they are doing.




  22. Glass .. @ 1.04



    My memory of that game was a very even contest with chances at both ends until the 41st minute and we get the break that had eluded both teams.



    Second half and the sheep collapse as we put 3 and 4 passes together.

  23. Paul67,



    Is it possible, just possible that where it all went wrong for Ronny was “Peter Lawwell”?



    I really think proper analysis of this question cannot stop at whether a striker was any good or not. It must look at the club’s general downward trajectory over a good half-decade or so, only a small part of which Ronny can be blamed for.



    It seems blindingly obvious that Celtic FC is beset with quite serious structural problems at executive and administrative level, and unless these are addressed, you’ll simply be writing the same article in 2 years’ time, with Ronny’s name replaced by that of another poor sap.



    PS – “he won 2 leagues”. Erm, not yet he’s not!

  24. mullet and co 2 on

    Paul67, I think it’s telling that Ronnys agent says that Celtics ambitions do not meet reality and this is why his client is leaving.


    Blaming Ronny for sticking with a system is fine and dandy but even when he changed it things went wrong. Eg We tried to contain Rangers and did the same v Aberdeen on the last couple of occasions. Containment is fine if you have players willing to put their body in the way of a shot or defenders capable of defending. See Charlie Mulgrew and Boyata – MONs side played a containing game but never ducked a hard shot.


    With that said, Ronny made strange decisions to avoid toe to toe confrontation with Rangers and Aberdeen. His view of those teams may be that they are capable of inflicting damage and therefore we set up more defensively- perhaps that gives a clue to his ambition not meeting Celtics or vice versa.


    The other yardstick has been Europe. For some reason Ronny thought we could go toe to toe with these teams and played an open game. Mind you he was not really apologetic about the outcomes and deep down I think he thought we performed above our status before his arrival.


    That perception may be down to the fact that he was given the players he had to work with. Are we now denying that Ronny was brought in to coach the team and had little say in player recruitment? If so it smacks of denial of previous articles and evidence to the contrary.


    Ronny is entitled to play the system he wants and ask for the players he wants to make that system work. Did Ronny get those players? The people that manage Ronny and judge him have no right to castigate him for failure if he was not supported in his choices and the alternative offered to him was – change your system to suit the players we can get! There is an adult reaction to that situation of course and Ronny and the club have just reached it.

  25. Thanks CLYDESIDER on 21ST APRIL 2016 1:05 PM



    Was thinking his name could appear a few times – probably the same with Neil’s players as well.

  26. CultsBhoy can not relate to Celtic Board ambitions on or off the park on

    That article has 100% realigned my view of CQN as being anything other than a mouthpiece for CFC Board. Unbelievably I had the notion that CQN was independant forum for views. I think it seriously needs rebranding or it is duping posters and those who read it.



    Even a tagline along the lines of – ‘The voice of CFC’ would be more honest.



    The credibility of the blog has been seriously undermined by the complete shift from cognitive dissonance to ‘doublethink’ – anyone who questions blatant untruths is effectively committing thoughtcrime. CQN is now the 1984 of football blogs….

  27. Also… whoever is responsible, we have a decent record when we spend on defenders but whoever manages the scounting for strikers and wingers should just stop! (to be fair the likes of Scepovic would probably do not bad in a 4-4-2).



    In Christie and Allan we have potential if they’re not too lightweight but we can’t have one of those plus 2 wingers in the starting 11.

  28. Add Kayal to the list of ex Celts doing well – I saw elsewhere a Brighton fan saying he was arguably their player of the season.



    Dear old Glen Loovens is still earning a crust at Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship – a league that’s a lot higher quality than the SPL.

  29. Marrakesh Express on

    Malvern 12.08



    Correct. Possibly the biggest indictment on Ronny’s failure was summed up by a very limited Hibs last night scoring three, just as four of the last six did against Sevco.


    I spoke to an Everton fan who said Rob Kieran couldn’t get a game for their reserves, but at times was made to look like Beckenbauer on Sunday. That said it all.

  30. The Green Man says SACK THE Board on

    If the PLC imagine that the support are going to put up with another large helping of the same s***, yet again.


    They truly are barking.


    I can see Celtic supporters really losing the plot, if Lawell tries to throw another cheap as chips manager at us.


    No more of this nonsense.


    Its not good enough.


    Its the strategy of stupidity….repeating the same mistakes, over and over again.


    Somebody stop these clowns ffs

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