First of all, well done to Aberdeen on a great three points!
I am not very big on knee-jerk reactions. So it is just as well that the topic of this blog doesn’t fit into that category. It has been coming for a while.
It is time for Ronny and Collins to go.
I really wanted them to succeed (obviously!) and really like the way Ronny conducts himself. He was a genuine breath of fresh air, and those are all too rare in football.
But tonight’s performance against Aberdeen was another clueless and insipid team display. The players offered varying levels of ‘below par’ performances, points were dropped, and the management team once again seemed lacking in ability to change things for the better.
Oh and let us not forget the atrocious defending which has become Celtic’s trademark this season through a pretty calamitous European campaign and in the conceding of far too many infuriating domestic goals. It’s not been good enough and the blindingly obvious problems – for example defending corners – never seem to be addressed.
Judging from the online reaction, today’s game may have been the final straw for a lot of people. And if not, it won’t take many more calamitous performances before a majority conclude that enough is enough.
Yes, Celtic ARE are top of the league and still in the Scottish Cup, and YES in the normal course of events you would be very content with that.
But it seems increasingly apparent to many that things aren’t working properly at Celtic just now, and there seems no prospect of genuine and consistent improvement any time soon if the club sticks with the status quo.
At various points this season (not least the infamous Kris Commons strop) it has seemed like Ronny and Collins have (to say the least) been teetering on the brink of losing the dressing room. And that’s not an easy thing to resolve. In fact it many have long since been beyond them.
Following the League Cup defeat to Ross County and tonight’s reverse to Aberdeen, you wouldn’t bet against further bad results happening sooner rather than later. Consequently, you have to ask whether it wouldn’t be better for the club to bite the bullet now rather than prolong the situation. [NB I am sure fans of other teams than Celtic are reading this and laughing out loud at the notion of ‘problems’ when you are top of the league. Never let it be said that The Clumpany lacks self-awareness!]
No I don’t have a particular replacement in mind, and let’s be frank, Celtic (despite their history and stature) aren’t the most attractive proposition to top managers, at present given their financial resources. But something needs to change at Celtic, and I think Ronny and Collins have been given long enough to try and do it.
It would be better to get someone new in to shake things up, and forge a team with some vigour and purpose about it. Oh yes, and to start preparations for next season’s European campaign. Because at the moment you would simply expect Ronny and Collins’ side to get horsed in Europe at an early stage next season. Which is an unacceptable state of affairs!
Of course, there is another change which needs to be made at Celtic: the board has to buck up its own ideas. Dramatically.
Having recognised that things can’t go on as they are, and hopefully made a change in the dressing room, to reinvigorate this season, they need to ensure that a new manager has a decent (but not silly) amount to spend on players of his choosing in order to build for next year.
It would be great to see Dermot Desmond pursuing a ‘vision’ of an exciting future for the club which isn’t based on the fantasy of ‘playing in the EPL’ which he wheels out in golf-course interviews once a year.
But I am not holding my breath on that score, and I find myself asking yet again whether the board has any genuine ambition, or the ability to trust a manager to be his own man.
In conclusion, I don’t take any pleasure from writing these words tonight. I really like Ronny and wanted things to work out for him at Celtic. I also hoped that John Collins could bring something outstanding to the management team having been such a great player in the Hoops.
However, it hasn’t come to pass.
It is a real shame, but as far as I am concerned it now time to for them and the club to move on.