SO following last weekend’s performance at home to Kilmarnock I wasn’t too confident going into a must-win fixture against Ajax on Thursday night.
Celtic supporters know all too well the trouble the Dutch side can bring and I don’t just mean on the pitch. Before the game even got underway there were reports coming through on social media of trouble in Glasgow, a story we will bring you later.
Tensions were high and with a packed-out Celtic Park the atmosphere was electric. Surely the Bhoys could rise to the occasion?
Three minutes in and the supporters’ prayers seemed to have been answered. Callum McGregor with an excellent finish saw the stadium erupt.
An early breakthrough is just what we needed and Celtic seemed confident in possession, could this make up for the brutal game at the weekend? It was certainly looking that way.
Ajax didn’t sit back though and it didn’t take long for Celtic’s defence to be threatened. The usual carelessness at the back saw Celtic in trouble and it led to Arkadiusz Milik converting from close range.
The first-half din't produce much more action with Celtic really needing to change it up in the second-half. The fans knew this was a must-win game, but did the players? It didn’t appear so.
At the start of the second-half Celtic did go for it, well some of them did anyway. They pressed further up the pitch with many chances falling to both McGregor and Leigh Griffiths, who for some reason just couldn’t seem to finish on the night.
The clock was ticking and Celtic needed a goal. Ronny Delia made a substitution that saw Scott Allan make a big impression – defence-splitting passes and excellent while in possession. I must say, he’s one of the few positives I took from the game.
Then came the blow in the 87th minute that saw Celtic’s European stint over, another goal for Ajax from Vaclav Cerny and that was it. Soon after the final whistle went the stadium erupted into boos from the home crowd as they go into the new year with no European football.
So where do Celtic go from here? Well they are bottom of the group with just two points and Thursday night’s defeat was the third of their campaign. Fans have mixed emotions regarding Ronny Deila, and the question is simple – is this really good enough for Celtic Football Club?
What do you think, should @CelticFC stick with Ronny Deila despite his failings in Europe or cut their losses now?
— Irish Post Sport (@IrishPostSport) November 6, 2015
For me, the acceptance from some fans is baffling. Deila has eight wins under his belt in 25 games but what many need to remember is four of those wins were against what I would class as sides Celtic should be battering – part-time Icelandic sides!
Some supporters will say we must focus on the league now. Really? The league? No disrespect to the rest of the league, but any manger taking on the role at Celtic is expected to win the league with no trouble, and as soon as people start to think otherwise we have a major problem.
The finances and resources Celtic have in comparison to the rest of the league is enough to explain that. The biggest question for my fellow supporters is – do you trust Deila and this group of lads with another crack at Europe next season?
So many questions and right now, if I’m honest, I don’t know what the answers are.
Do I want Deila out? Last week I said yes, as below. I haven’t entirely changed my mind, but I do understand the arguments that even after getting rid of Ronny we are still stuck with this squad, which isn’t all that great either.
Who comes in and takes on the job at Celtic if Deila is to depart? I’m not so sure, that’s why I’m still kind of in two minds.
The next few weeks at the club should be interesting, judging by the reaction over social media on Thursday night, fans all have different opinions on what exactly should happen next.
- Let us know your thoughts on Deila's position in the comments box below.