Football Expert & Columnist
Ronny Deila should be worried for Celtic future, says Andy Walker
New boss criticised after defeat to Hamilton on Sunday
Last Updated: 06/10/14 12:55pm
Andy Walker says Ronny Deila should be concerned about his job after Celtic’s underwhelming start to the season.
The Norwegian, who was a surprise choice to replace Neil Lennon in the summer, has insisted he’s not worried about his future after Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to newly-promoted Hamilton; a result which leaves the champions in sixth place in the Scottish Premiership.
Deila has already seen the club crash out of Champions League qualifying twice after losing to Legia Warsaw, before being reinstated and knocked out for a second time by Maribor.
And former Celtic striker Walker says the size of the crowd for Sunday’s home game – the 42,412 attendance was well below capacity – shows the new manager has failed to connect with supporters.
“Of course he should be worried,” he told Sky Sports News HQ
“He was an underwhelming appointment as Celtic manager to take over from Neil Lennon and the first thing you have to do is make some sort of impact on the supporters, who hadn’t heard of him.
“The fact he’s gone out of the Champions League qualifiers twice was a huge disappointment and when you saw the size of the crowd at home to Hamilton Accies, it was pretty low.
“What the supporters are looking for is a brand of football they can buy into and so far Celtic have been stuttering and stumbling. They are in mid-table and way behind on last season’s tally at this point.”
Deila has criticised former manager Lennon for failing to keep members of the squad in shape, but Walker says his obsession with fitness and diet has become “absurd”.
The Sky Sports pundit says the new manager needs to instead focus on his team selections, pointing out that summer signing Stefan Scepovic was left on the bench throughout Sunday’s defeat.
Walker added: “He’s not quite got a settled starting XI, he consistently changes his team selection and there has been far too much made of the perceived lack of fitness, which has been a big story for the last couple of weeks.
“Whether he identified the players or not, when you pay more than £2million for a guy like Stefan Scepovic and he doesn’t play I think it’s quite natural for supporters to wonder why a big-name striker that they’ve spent a lot of money on in the close season is not playing.
“All of that [the complaints about fitness] is wearing a bit thin. It’s been going on for five or six weeks and the idea that Celtic don’t employ sports scientists and don’t give their players the best possible dietary advice is just absurd.”