Ronny Deila’s Celtic: ‘Midfield Missing Link’ – Part 2

The first name on the midfield team line

The first name on the midfield team line

Below was part one of “Ronny Deila’s Celtic” This is part 2, The ‘Midfield Missing Link’ where I give my opinion on tactics, the way the team is setup to play and how I think we can improve this part of our team with 2 new players or a player we have hitting top form, below was part 1 “Case for defence” lets move up the park for part 2

Ronny Deila’s Celtic: Case for the defence – Part 1

Very calm, assured and a natural, will improve big time

Very calm, assured and a natural, will improve big time

Part 2 ‘Ronny’s Midfield’ In any normal breakdown of any team and dealing with the midfield one paragraph of typing would cover all bases and you are done. With Ronny’s Midfield it is very complex, the players are slowly getting to where I think Ronny’s wants them to be. When we look at Ronny’s formation of 4-2-3-1 it is actually a more complicated 3-5-2
Two sit in front of the defence and rotate position when needed. Example, when Matthews or Lustig bomb up the right side we will see Brown cover the right side of the park if we are attacked, on the other side with Izzy we see Bitton doing exactly the same. Bitton has been really good the last half dozen games or so, I hope Mulgrew has to fight to get his place back because Bitton is showing true qualities, very composed, plays it simple and can also spit a defence with his passing. When we look at Mulgrew we see a player with a better long range passing but in Ronny’s midfield the ball is on the ground from Gordon right through, very often do we see long balls, this can go for you and against you, but in reality over time it will work, when we coach and train, the longer we train on the same things the easier and more natural it becomes. This is what is happening with Ronny’s Celtic just now

One thing I notice in Ronny’s 4-2-3-1 is he never really changes it, always Izzy and Matthews are the right wingers, Bitton and Brown protect Van Dijk and Denayer in a Diamond. The three in-front, Johansen, and any two from Stokes, Henderson, McGregor, Forrest, Griffiths and other attacking players. With one man up front leading the line, but never a lone striker as Johansen is really good at getting beyond the striker and has chipped in with goals and assists. When we look at Bitton just turned 23 years old and getting games at International level and Johansen who turned 24 just under two weeks ago and realise their ages we see two kids really who will improve greatly it is obvious they are going to improve with age, both are good at what is being asked of them

I think in Gordon we have a good enough keeper, a back 4 where we really could do with another Centre half, preferably a left footed Centre half who can play left back as Izzy is the only left back we have, and he is starting to show the form we seen before he broke his leg in Aberdeen.

The 2 sitters Brown and Bitton, or Mulgrew, whoever Ronny picks seems to work. The loan Striker I think we will sign Guidetti and he will come good, we have Griffith, Stokes and Scepovic but all 3 need game time together to get that spark. Ronny will know this and want to get them to peak fitness but week to week he has to pick an 11 that will get 3 points or win a cup game, Ronny is learning fast Celtic FC are a week to week football club, one week a hero the next a villain, he is learning this but still manages to get the media laughing, below is Ronny about 9/10 weeks ago with the media, he is learning so this is good, he is a young guy managing a World Class Football Club, he isn’t scared, he is loving every second, and it’s this I think will see Ronny come good. He doesn’t show weakness the man is total winner, at the end of games with fans just now he is trying to connect, when the results come, when the trophies come, the connection will be there, Ronny know’s what he is doing, he want’s a family feel with the fans, players, staff, himself and the club, sadly it is taking time, but I do believe he will do it

Celtic manager Ronny Deila getting brilliant with media

So we look to the 3 players behind the loan striker, Johansen is a stick on, he is Ronny’s player. A few years ago Johansen was on the scrap

One of the best signing in the last few years

One of the best signing in the last few years

heap and his career was faltering to the point he may have stopped playing as a raw 20 year old kid. Ronny signed him for Strømsgodset in 2011, 67 performances and 3 years later he signed for Celtic in a £2 Million pound deal. We can say ‘Johansen just got better’ Then we look at other young players at Strømsgodset and the pattern is actually amazing, Ronny can and does make players better. Some managers are lucky, they can go spend £20 Million for the finished article or in most cases a total waste of money, Ronny is in the bracket of Managers when he can spend a little but buying young talent or nurturing the young talent we have already into really good players is what he enjoys most, some will say this suit’s the Board, in reality I think it suits the playing field when we look at the bigger picture, Ronny and his players and his signings will all improve as one, we can’t really go backwards to be fair

We need to get 2 better players either side of Johansen, the signing of Gary Mackay Steven from Dundee United on a pre-contract and we now know Ronny wants to buy fellow Dundee United starlet Stuart Armstrong who has been at United since 2010 after a year at Inverness. These 2 areas of the park in Ronny’s midfield are crucial. We have Common’s also, he is 31, he has never been a fast player but he has made up for it and built a career on thinking fast and having a sweet left peg

So that is Ronny’s midfield system. We are 4 players away from being very decent, Centre half, Left back and two number 10 players because the 3 behind the striker are all pretty much number 10 type players. When Izzy and Matthews bomb up the wing, pretty much sitting half way link most of games I have seen, Johansen fills the 2nd striker role with the other 2 rotating with Brown and Bitton, sometimes Van Dijk will take a run forward, next time look out for who fills in, lately it has been Bitton. So when it comes to organisation Ronny really is good at it, what we have seen is the players he inherited playing a totally foreign system, players Ronny will bring in will pick it up quicker as the players around them will know the system making it easy for any new player to pick up their role quicker

All in I think we are progressing, last season at this stage we were on 57 points if my calculations are correct, as I type this we are on 45 with two fewer games played, hypothetically we win both we are on 51 points, 6 less than last season in a way, not that bad really. We are still in both cups. We got beat by Aberdeen on the 8th of February at home in the last 16 of the Scottish cup early in 2014, in 2013 in the early stages of Lennon’s last season come the 24th of September on a cold Wednesday night we were humbled by Morton 0-1 and out of the League Cup at home at the first hurdle. We are also in the last 32 of the Europa League, we can look to luck and more, but we are in there, often in football it is better to be lucky than good on occasion, something Lennon could’d do well in his time here, maybe Ronny is a better Cup football manager also?

League to win – Aberdeen had a chance to move forward against Dundee and it looks like the pressure is hitting Aberdeen, Celtic are flying past teams just now. We need goals quicker, we need the 2nd goal quicker, we just lack goals. If we can start getting the early goal from the dozens of chances we create, we can have games put to bed by half time, we have that in our locker all day long, we just need to get there somehow, new players, finding the right balance with players, really these things, the smaller details managers who want perfection, this can take time.

Ronny has a system and he didn’t abandon it at the first sign of media pressure, that impressed me, he is getting good with the media, he is learning. Like a young player coming through to be brilliant, can we not say the same for Ronny when we compare last season to this, where we are, where we are going. Come late February it could be awful or it could be ‘Thunder and Lightning’ Lets believe in the latter

Working hard with family in Norway, but having the time of his life, he knows he will win

Working hard, with his family back in Norway. But having the time of his life, he knows he will succeed

League Cup – Against ‘Call them what you will’ to look forward to. Although TCN won’t be doing anything on that game.
Scottish Cup – Away to Dundee to come
Europa League – And a cracker against Inter Milan! This is why we follow Celtic, a game we can win on our day

A must play player but can we better this position? He isn't a long term player for Ronny, we know this

A must play player but can we better this position? He isn’t a long term player for Ronny, we know this

Exciting 2 months ahead, this is what it is all about, lets get behind the manger and his players. We can moan all day but what will be will be, we won’t change much by arguing with each other or getting angry. We support Celtic, we know the gig, it can be heaven, it can be hell, but put your shoes in the fan of a club and team elsewhere, wherever not doing well, the total opposite of what Celtic stand for, what we do and how we are being run just now, no debt and we do well with the money we do have. Many think there is Millions, think about it, research a little, you will see there isn’t much in the Scottish game, this is just reality. So for now we enjoy

For now, enjoy what we are about to do

HH – Shaun

Ronny’s Celtic: ‘Attacking Options’ – Part 3 – Coming soon

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