RONNY DEILA left Celtic two and a half years ago to make way for the introduction of Brendan Rodgers.
During his time in Glasgow the Norwegian won two league titles, was robbed of a treble and became famous for his roar.
Sitting as the Valerenga boss now, the former Celtic manager has nothing but good things to say about the club. Taking time out of his hectic pre-season schedule to speak to Celtsarehere.com the Norwegian spoke about his goals this season with Valerenga, his sadness for Celtic that Brendan Rodgers decided to move on as well as interesting comments on Peter Lawwell.
Speaking about his hopes for the season Ronny is looking to keep improving with his steady climb up the league table.
“We’re having a long pre-season here in Norway but in three weeks we start again” Deila told Celtsarehere.com.
“We hope for top four this season, we’ve gone from 10th, 8th and last season 6 so we want to challenge for a European place “
“You need to win the cup or be top three, if one of the top three win the cup the last Euro place goes to fourth.”
News broke this week that Efrain Juarez, a former Neil Lennon signing had made the move to Valerenga to join up with Ronny.
An unlikely former Celtic duo BUT had it not been for their Parkhead connection Juarez would never have made the move.
Ronny told us it was a Chance meeting while on holiday that made this happen.
“I was on vacation in Mexico, Cancun in December and I was in a shopping centre when a guy came over to me and asked if I was Ronny Deila and this guy was Efrain.
“He said he had played for Celtic and he knew me from my time as the Celtic manager
“We started to talk and we were together for a few days with families. His wife is from Belgium and she wanted to be closer to family and Efrain wanted a new adventure.
“I said we need a right back, he played a lot of his career at right back, so he came to the training camp and did good and after that, we agreed a one-year deal to sign him.
“We would never have met had it not been for our connection with Celtic”
“He has much more experience, he was very young at Celtic, he said he started very good but didn’t act good enough professionally”
When it came to Brendan Rodgers, Ronny found it hard to stick the boot in to the Irishman but admitted he was very sad to find out he had left Celtic.
“I’m very sad for Celtic because he did an unbelievably good job. It’s important to have consistency at the club – especially Celtic who are going for ten in a row.
“At the same time, he’s been so good for Celtic he was always going to have a lot of offers.”
Deila did make the admission he was surprised Rodgers chose to go to Leicester and believed he should have aimed higher.
“I think he’s so good he could have managed a top four or five club down south straight from Celtic and not went to Leicester.
“I was surprised, timing in football is not easy, the job in summer might be gone – this was a job that Brendan wanted but it’s sad for Celtic – at the same time they’ve made a good appointment with Neil Lennon and John Kennedy.”
The former Celtic manager was glowing in his praise for John Kennedy who he had at the club when he was making the decision.
“I had him as my assistant, he was a really good person for me and good coach
“He is really talented, he’s a very good person and he loves Celtic. He and Neil Lennon together is a very good choice when Brendan left.”
A lot of the Celtic support give Peter Lawwell stick and many put down Rodgers hasty exit to the chief executive refusing to budge with finances at the club in certain aspects. Peter Lawwell once had to break the news to Ronny his contract wouldn’t be renewed but there’s no hard feelings from the Norwegian and believes the chief executive is a great leader.
“Peter Lawwell is an unbelievably good leader. The job Peter does for the club is very important and the consistency he brings in the role is also great for the club.
“Even though Brendan had left, I knew Celtic would be in good hands with Peter.
“The Celtic fans should be praising him, he has the club very well organised and keeps control of the clubs spending, you just have to look at the last ten years with Rangers to know he’s doing a good job.
“The club is like a machine”.
And finally on whether he’d be back for ten in a row.
“Whatever happens, I’m over once or twice a year, I love the city and I come over and meet with some good friends”