A year after leaving Celtic Ronny Deila is still wallowing in self pity.
In football management it’s generally accepted that after leaving a club you don’t rewrite history and claim the credit for the success of your replacement.
As a former Celtic manager might say, take it on the chin. Let others draw their own conclusions, Martin O’Neill never tried to claim credit for Gordon Strachan’s success, Strachan didn’t try to muscle in on the success that Neil Lennon enjoyed.
Deila did win two SPFL titles and was denied an almost certain treble by Steven McLean- that should be enough to dine out on for years to come.
In Europe he was a complete disaster. Back to back Champions League play-offs were followed by emptying the stands for the Europa League. Two wins in 14 matches is nothing to write home about.
Deila inherited a team that had won the title for the third season running and which had qualified for the Champions League group stage two seasons running.
He left Brendan Rodgers a squad that was virtually broken, devoid of confidence and going through the motions on match days.
Season ticket holders were finding almost anything else to do on matchdays.
Rewriting history Deila told the Daily Record: “I went into the second season with a very good control over everything. The Champions League qualifying was key and we were brilliant in the first half against Malmo in the first leg before we conceded stupid goals in the second half.
“The second leg in Sweden was terrible and the problems started from there. Europe was very bad after Malmo and it was killing me. I could see I wasn’t getting the best out of the team. It takes time to get the right reflection on what happened.
“When you see it now you can take stick but I arrived into a team which Neil Lennon had and did well. When I took over there was transition, change of age and I had to build a new team.
“Mikael Lustig, Jamesie (Forrest) and Scott (Brown). Those are all who are left as well as Leigh (Griffiths).
“I’m proud I brought through KT (Kieran Tierney), Callum (McGregor), signed Stuart (Armstrong). I didn’t sign Tom (Rogic) but he wasn’t playing when I arrived.
“We lifted Nir Bitton, we signed Jozo Simunovic, Erik Sviatchenko, Dedryck Boyata, Craig Gordon. The youngsters came up and a lot of the new team is now built on them.
“Stuart and Tom for example got a lot of experience when I was there and you don’t go from nothing to be a star at Celtic. You need to work your way up and we started that route for a lot of the players.”
Tom and Stuart were virtually broken at the end of last season, fortunately a new manager and new approach brought out the best in them. If either had left during the summer no-one would have minded. Likewise James Forrest. Scott Brown had started to resemble a poor man;s version of Andy Halliday.
Despite signing Stefan Scepovic, John Guidetti, Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim Richards last season’s SPFL was won largely down to the goals of Leigh Griffiths.
After the ‘success’ of his first season Deila decided to strengthen his squad with Nadir Ciftci, Logan Bailly, Scott Allan, Saidy Janko and Dedryck Boyata.
During the season he added Carlton Cole and Colin Kazim Richards.
If he wants to revisit his time at Celtic the Norwegian should quietly recall two league titles and gently move on rather than make claims of laying the groundwork for his replacement.
Of all the players he signed only Gordon and Armstrong have made an impact on the club, let’s leave it at that.