Remember that we also do the Scottish Comedy FC podcast. You can subscribe/download/listen HEREThis weekend saw an impressive Hamilton Accies side win at Celtic Park for the first time since before my dad was born. Our manager, Ronny Deila, came out and said that this was progress!
I’ll be honest, I was very excited when reading about our new coach, his theory of an attacking, entertaining, high tempo, pressing game sounded fantastic. Are we even trying to do that anymore though? At the moment, whichever side of the fence you are on regarding the manager, you have to admit, its not working. We are lurching from bad result to bad result with no real sign of improvement. Any new manager has to be given time; certain people have a very romanticised view of Neil Lennon’s reign, remembering Barcelona but conveniently forgetting Sion, Utrecht, Braga and various domestic cup defeats. However, his side won the league last year at a canter while having, by and large, the same squad in 6th position this year cannot be called progress.
Heres the thing that’s really getting to me about Deila at the moment. He is (quite rightly) attempting to get his players fitter, faster and better able to keep running when the opposition is flagging. He is 100% correct to do this. He repeatedly uses the word change; change your diet, change your lifestyle, change your life. However he point blank refuses to change his tactics and/or formation when it is clearly not working! This makes it easy for opposition coaches to predict and play/defend against (because that’s what a good manager should do, look at the opposition and pick his personnel/tactics accordingly).
The only slight variation we had was when he brought in Kayal for Maribor away and played a 4-3-2-1 as opposed to 4-2-3-1 and we put in one of our best performances of the season. We looked solid in the middle of the park for once and at home he started the same way – while we didn’t look like scoring, we didn’t have to! His reaction? Switch back to his plan A and go more offensive, in a game we didn’t have to score in!
Apart from this one example he has been resolute in the 4-2-3-1. His preferred midfield 2 seems to be Brown and Johansen and, while both have bags of energy (prob why they are his preferences), neither is particularly good at putting their foot on the ball and dictating the play. This means that we are regularly giving it away and finding ourselves on the back foot. Add to this that the players seem to be blowing out their arses for long spells, possibly due to the new fitness regime, and it’s no wonder that we are regularly dropping points.
His substitutions are usually bizarre; instead of, for example, going two up front for TEN MINUTES when a goal down, he’ll bring on a like for like or, even worse, start trying folk out of position. That’s unless you’re Anthony Stokes who has been out position on the left for weeks now! Stokes’s best attribute is his finishing but he is now being accommodated out of position. He seems to be a favourite of Ronny’s as he said at the weekend he was close to reaching the target weight he’d set him, so would anyone be surprised if that’s what Deila was basing his team selections on?
Imagine Leigh Griffiths turning up to be weighed.
Ronny – Leigh, you’ve not lost any bodyfat? Have you been sticking to our dietary advice?
Leigh – No, I’m carrying on doing what I’ve always done. [And here we have to censor Eddie in his imagining of Leigh Griffiths's lifestyle. Ed.]
Ronny – But its not getting us the results we’re looking for Leigh.
Leigh – Well I’m not changing my philosophy for anyone gaffer, this is how I operate.
You get the impression that Deila would be happy at the end of the season if all the players had successfuly dropped a dress size for the end of season party (at a health spa of course) and beaten their personal best at the triathlon. His attempts to get the players fitter are commendable, however his first priority must be getting results. His Stromsgodset team winning the league with a fraction of the budget of their opponents is a fantastic achievement but, as it stands, would anyone be surprised if Scotland saw a similar feat this year? With Ronny on the receiving end as Accies walk away with the league?
Your theory is fantastic Ronny, but it will take time to implement and you seriously need to buy yourself some by getting the team winning games regularly, whatever changes that takes.
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About the Author
Eddie Cassidy (eventually) started Stand Up Comedy in Aug 2009, after many years of threatening to, and since then has reached the Scottish Comedian of the Year final in 2010 less than 18 months after his first gig, and has since performed all over Scotland and parts of England including a gig to the out their nut audience at scotlands (2nd) biggest music festival Rockness.
A lifelong Celtic fan and former regular at Pollok Juniors Newlandsfield Ground, situated in the shadow of the high rises in his native Pollokshaws in Glasgow (where he once witnessed a sub knock out a fan in a penguin costume while warming up), he is also a lover of all football and while Celtic will always be his true love, he views the rest of the football world as a copy of nuts magazine, something to look at and enjoy with no emotional attachment! A keen fan of the Premiership, European and International Football he has developed crushes on Parma (around 1994) Dortmund (around 1997) Croatia (1998) Valencia (2001) Ghana (2006) Brentford Town (2009) and still looks out for their results, and like any other football fan currently loves watchin the greatest team of all time, Barcelona. He also has a love hate relationship with Arsenal, however has recently been casting admiring glances at Spurs.
Eddie’s achievements in football include a u15′s medal from the goals 5 a side leagues with the legendary AC Pollokshaws, and once scored 19 goals when 21 years old playing against a bunch of children while drunk.
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