Thoughts From a Sofa: Ronny Deila; Celtic Manager ?

Thoughts From a Sofa: Ronny Deila; Celtic Manager ?

  • El Cormaco ponders the big question, that of responsibility at Celtic….
    I’ve been at it again – thinking. And that’s no bad thing, our erstwhile city rivals
    have been very deliberately *not* thinking for a very long time, because if they
    do then the truth it will reveal will break their little blue hearts.
    So I’ve been thinking. About Ronnie. Our manager. And before Charlie gets
    his big book of Ronnie stats out let me make it clear, this is not a piece on
    Ronnie in or Ronnie out.
    I’ve said how I feel, I don’t believe he will ever get to the level we need him to
    be at and I want a replacement, but that’s not why I m writing. I’m wondering
    whether or not he is actually our manager. Let me explain…
    I know when he comes on TV saying his things in between his “eh..” pauses
    that make him sound, well, “eh..” a bit thick, there is usually a little bit of text
    that says “Ronnie Delia, Celtic manager” some where on the screen.
    But is he really? Was he given the job of Celtic manager, or of Celtic head
    coach? And what the hell do we care – why am I interested in this apparently
    small detail?
    Okay – the last part first. To me, based as usual on no research except my
    many years spent watching football, there are some key differences between
    a head coach and a manager.
    I lived for several years in Italy – oh la la (wrong language there, amico) and
    there “managers” are assigned the title “allenatore” or trainer. They have
    responsibility for the training, selecting the team, putting the tactics in place,
    making substitutions, explaining why the team won / lost to the press etc. A
    job with plenty of responsibility for sure, but not all of it
    They have no responsibility for buying or selling players, the medical
    department, sport science department, the scouting department, the player’s
    contracts, the strategic direction of the club.
    These responsibilities lie with a general manger type figure (I know, you’re
    seeing images of Jock Brown standing like a fool with a sweeping brush). You
    have for instance Galliani at Milan; “trainers” come and go as results wax and
    wane but the overarching structures remain in place so there is minimal
    disruption to the club when the “trainer” is booted out or walks off for another
    job.
    The coach comes and goes but what is ever present is the looming ominous
    baldy headed cold blooded killer sitting watching on impassively from la
    tribuna (told youse I lived in Italy)
  • The manager on the other hand combines all these roles into one person,
    everything flows through him and from him. He is the creator, the evaluator
    and decision maker of everything he surveys, and when he goes the whole
    thing basically has to start again, think of Alex Ferguson at Man Utd.
    In our clubs history, we’ve had great managers, Pensionerbhoy’s favourite
    Wille Maley (sorry PB!), Jock Stein, of my generation Martin O Neill. Men who
    were the manager of the club in its biggest sense – top to bottom, board room
    to boot room, they were intimately involvedin it all and were “the boss” .
    Neil Lennon I think wanted a similar role but was being shoe horned into the
    “head coach” role, and this ultimately led to a parting of the ways.
    Delia I believe came to the job with a job spec of head coach.
    Does he have a say in transfers in and out? Possibly he’s involved sure, but
    does he have final say? How many signings have we made from Norway or
    Scandinavia, where you might expct Ronnie to be in the know about a few
    juicy players we could have signed? How much did he know about them
    before signing guys like the disappeared GMS or Armstrong, Dreadful
    Boyata?
    Does he choose his coaches even? Would he have turned the job down if he
    hadn’t been able to appoint John Kennedy?
    How much sway does he have on the sports science, the physios, the
    medical department?
    Did Ronnie come in knowing the areas where he would have no power?
    Does it matter? Am I ever going to stop asking rhetorical questions?
    Yes to both those last ones. It matters because when the club is limping
    along, a bit flat, a bit “meh” a bit lacking in ambition, like it feels to me it is
    now, who is responsible?
    Thon Spiderman guy’s uncle talked about power meaning responsibility.
    Does Ronnie really have the power? Is he therefore responsible? If not
    Ronnie is it Lawwell? Or is he only carrying out orders of Desmond et al,
    looking after the share price above all else? Should Ronnie grow a pair and
    say, “I’m the manager, I m calling the shots now? “
    I’d like to know answers to these questions because if and when we get angry
    we want to direct our ire at the right guy. If Ronnie’s hands are tied I d forgive
    him a bit more , though still not want to see him be around long term, given
    his tactical / technical failings in my view,. If some one else is managing
    gmuch of the football activity at the club do we have the right to know who is
    really calling the shots? ( I know you’re picturing fat Salary bursting out his
    “training” gear saying ”Who are these people?”)
So, head coach or manager? What do you think, what do we have right now,
what do you want us to have, who do we get angry at when the club appears
as listless as it does right now?
Hail Hail
(N.B. no stats were harmed in the writing of this article)