It goes without saying that Celtic manager Ronny Deila has got more than enough problems to deal with just now. The Norwegian has fallen foul to a wave of criticism from certain members of the press in the wake of Celtic’s 2-1 win over FC Astra in the Europa League.
Indeed, even some Celtic supporters are questioning Deila’s capabilities of managing arguably Scotland’s biggest club. Is it unfair to judge a manager only a few months into the job? Absolutely. Does he deserve time to implement his ideas and philosophies into the club? Of course. Is some of the criticism unjust? Perhaps.
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton hasn’t been shy in giving his opinion on Deila. I would love to ask the big Englishman had his pal Neil Lennon still been in charge would he still dish out the same level of criticism? I highly doubt it.
Now Sutton, like anybody else, is allowed an opinion. But the extent and frequency of his almost public assassination of Deila is becoming ridiculous.
Sutton was quoted in his Daily Record column today, saying: “… I can honestly say I have never been so angry watching a Celtic team play as I was on Thursday, especially in the first half.”
I assume he hasn’t viewed any of the domestic cup humiliations in the past few years to Ross County, Kilmarnock, St Mirren, Hearts or Aberdeen? Or how about Celtic’s 6-1 defeat to Barcelona last season – their worst ever-European result? Not even some of the games Sutton himself has competed in? Losing 2-1 on title day to Motherwell? The 5-0 thumping by Artmedia Bratislava? None of these results fuelled as much anger from Sutton than Thursday night’s victory? I don’t believe that for one second.
It seems evident that the former striker may have an agenda against Deila for one reason or another and is doing all he can to make his job at Celtic Park even harder. Maybe Sutton should sit back and remember where his loyalties lie. Celtic aren’t going to benefit from his weekly slaughtering of the manager and the team. The fans won’t appreciate one of their ex-players constantly criticising the club. I understand Sutton has to fill his column inches, but surely he has more than one topic to discuss other than lambasting Deila’s strategies on a regular basis?
At the end of the day, Celtic sit joint top of Group D in the Europa League with seven out of nine points. Another victory against Astra in two weeks time could secure their qualification into the knockout stages of the competition and see the club remain in Europe beyond Christmas.
Should his side beat Partick Thistle this Wednesday, Celtic will have reached the semi-finals of the league cup – a trophy Lennon never won during his four-year tenure as Celtic boss. And should Celtic win their two games league games in hand (starting tomorrow against Kilmarnock), they will be sitting top of the Premiership table. So there’s plenty to be optimistic about in the weeks to come in the East End of Glasgow.
You never know. Perhaps this time next week we might read Sutton say something positive about his former club and its current manager.