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 rivalshave been very deliberately *not* thinking for a very long time, because if theydo then the truth it will reveal will break their little blue hearts.So I’ve been thinking. About Ronnie. Our manager. And before Charlie getshis big book of Ronnie stats out let me make it clear, this is not a piece onRonnie in or Ronnie out.I’ve said how I feel, I don’t believe he will ever get to the level we need him tobe at and I want a replacement, but that’s not why I m writing. I’m wonderingwhether or not he is actually our manager. Let me explain…I know when he comes on TV saying his things in between his “eh..” pausesthat make him sound, well, “eh..” a bit thick, there is usually a little bit of textthat 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 headcoach? And what the hell do we care – why am I interested in this apparentlysmall detail?Okay – the last part first. To me, based as usual on no research except mymany years spent watching football, there are some key differences betweena head coach and a manager.I lived for several years in Italy – oh la la (wrong language there, amico) andthere “managers” are assigned the title “allenatore” or trainer. They haveresponsibility for the training, selecting the team, putting the tactics in place,making substitutions, explaining why the team won / lost to the press etc. Ajob with plenty of responsibility for sure, but not all of itThey have no responsibility for buying or selling players, the medicaldepartment, sport science department, the scouting department, the player’scontracts, the strategic direction of the club.These responsibilities lie with a general manger type figure (I know, you’reseeing images of Jock Brown standing like a fool with a sweeping brush). Youhave for instance Galliani at Milan; “trainers” come and go as results wax andwane but the overarching structures remain in place so there is minimaldisruption to the club when the “trainer” is booted out or walks off for anotherjob.The coach comes and goes but what is ever present is the looming ominousbaldy headed cold blooded killer sitting watching on impassively from latribuna (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 evaluatorand decision maker of everything he surveys, and when he goes the wholething basically has to start again, think of Alex Ferguson at Man Utd.In our clubs history, we’ve had great managers, Pensionerbhoy’s favouriteWille Maley (sorry PB!), Jock Stein, of my generation Martin O Neill. Men whowere the manager of the club in its biggest sense – top to bottom, board roomto 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, butdoes he have final say? How many signings have we made from Norway orScandinavia, where you might expct Ronnie to be in the know about a fewjuicy players we could have signed? How much did he know about thembefore signing guys like the disappeared GMS or Armstrong, DreadfulBoyata?Does he choose his coaches even? Would he have turned the job down if hehadn’t been able to appoint John Kennedy?How much sway does he have on the sports science, the physios, themedical 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 limpingalong, a bit flat, a bit “meh” a bit lacking in ambition, like it feels to me it isnow, who is responsible?Thon Spiderman guy’s uncle talked about power meaning responsibility.Does Ronnie really have the power? Is he therefore responsible? If notRonnie 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 andsay, “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 angrywe want to direct our ire at the right guy. If Ronnie’s hands are tied I d forgivehim a bit more , though still not want to see him be around long term, givenhis tactical / technical failings in my view,. If some one else is managinggmuch of the football activity at the club do we have the right to know who isreally calling the shots? ( I know you’re picturing fat Salary bursting out his“training” gear saying ”Who are these people?”)
Browse: Home / Thoughts From a Sofa: Ronny Deila; Celtic Manager ?
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?
(N.B. no stats were harmed in the writing of this article)