RONNY DEILA became Lennon’s successor in 2014, before leaving the club in 2016. Brendan Rodgers then took over the team and was backed entirely by the board, whereas the previous was not, claims the now manager of New York City FC.
Deila decided to call it quits at Celtic after the embarrassing defeat to the Rangers in the Scottish Cup. His second season wasn’t going to plan. Domestically, he got there in the end, but Aberdeen was pushing Celtic. In Europe, the Hoops finished bottom of their Europa League table. Ajax, Fenerbache, and Molde were the others in the group.
Speaking on Graham Spier’s podcast, Deila said he had too many ‘average’ players;
“If the team doesn’t go forward then I will stay away from the club. I am about progress – developing players, developing teams. I felt we had a lot of improvement in the year 2014/15. We lost a lot of the good players [in 2015/16]. I do not think our signings were good enough – I’m responsible for that as well.
“We of course didn’t invest nowhere near the money that was going when Brendan Rodgers came in. So we didn’t have that same money that other managers had. But I felt then that I didn’t take the team further. We had too many average players. In the end the pressure on me as a person was so hard and I think it affected the whole club and also the players a lot.
“Brendan Rodgers came in, one of the best managers in the world, and he did fantastically. I feel a part of that regarding a lot of things. But at the same time, he had more experience than I had.”
It’s hard to agree with Deila, in all honesty. The board still backed him; Armstong and Scepovic were both signed in the 14/15 season, and both cost upwards of £2 million.
The following season, the Celtic board splashed nearly £7 million on Jozo Siminovic and purchased Erik Sviatchenko, Nadir Ciftci and Dedryk Boyata.
When Rodgers came in, the most he spent on a player was £4 million; that was on Scott Sinclair. Kouassi cost the Hoops a little over £3 million in the January transfer window. Apart from them, the only other signing to go over the 7 figure mark was Gamboa.
This shows that Rodgers worked with what his predecessor had left him, only naming a couple of changes initially. That season, Celtic won the treble and started their 69 games unbeaten streak, going invincible that season.