Lifeless, motionless, gutless. Some of the less harsh adjectives which could have been attributed to Celtic’s latest two performances against Hamilton and Dundee.
At the start of the season, expectations from Glasgow’s East End were clear: restore some pride in the Champions League and win the domestic treble. Ronny Deila has failed miserably on both fronts.
It’s been an all too familiar theme during Deila’s reign. Celtic go missing in big games, and the green and white faithful are becoming increasingly vociferous about it.
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Defensive frailties were clear at the beginning of the season due to the imminent departure of Virgil van Dijk to Southampton, but despite receiving a healthy sum for the services of the Dutchman, Celtic failed to reinvest wisely.
Dedryck Boyata has been a constant source of frustration throughout his Celtic career, yet to the bemusement of many, Deila still persists in selecting him. It was a decision which proved costly against Hamilton as the defender was sent off just before half-time - completely turning a match Celtic had been dominating.
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The most frustrating aspect, however, has been the lack of fight Ronny’s side has shown. Celtic play to an estimated fan base of 9 million worldwide, yet the players appear to surrender at an alarming rate in the face of adversity.
Celtic fans have been accustomed to gladiators taking to the field in the mould of Billy McNeil, Tommy Burns, and even Victor Wanyama. Now they are left with the whimpering and cowering displays of imposters such as Stefan Johansen and Stuart Armstrong.
Jock Stein was once quoted as saying “Celtic jerseys are not for second best, they don’t shrink to fit inferior players.”
The unfortunate truth of the matter is that big Jock would be spinning in his grave at the current crop, Celtic have regressed rapidly since their famous win over Barcelona in 2012.
The blame cannot be entirely rested at the manager's door however, the Celtic board have consistently downsized the playing staff since 2013.
The fans will not accept mediocrity for much longer, they need a manager reluctant to accept it also. Ronny Deila is not that manager.
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