SO, 2016 is fast approaching and some will ask what Celtic fans are to expect in the New Year. Many would have wished we went into 2016 without Ronny Deila as manager, but just as many will argue the opposite.
Where do I stand? I wouldn’t say I am on the fence about the whole thing as I have had a lot to say about the situation over the past few months. Is Deila the right man for Celtic? No so long ago I asked my followers how would the fans feel about Ronny taking charge of yet another Champions League campaign and many said he had to go.
Two failed attempts to qualify and a brutal run in the Europa League that saw us finish bottom of the group is all many needed to say 'good luck' to Deila. On the other hand, there is the argument that Deila hasn’t been given the full support from the board.
And so as we head into 2016, naturally, there are rumours of players coming in and players going out.
ANTHONY STOKES – GOING?
SCOTT ALLAN – GOING?
Surprising rumours of a loan return to Easter Road for Scott Allan have also surfaced. I have to say I personally wouldn’t be best pleased with Celtic loaning back Allan – in the small amount of time he has had on the pitch for Celtic he has impressed me massively. His signing was seen a few months back as somewhat of a joke by the Scottish champions after Rangers had seemed dead set to sign the young lad. Yet he gamble has paid off in my eyes as I expect massive things from him over the next few years at Celtic.
LEIGH GRIFFITHS – STAYING
Leigh Griffiths putting pen to a new five-year deal was the sort of good news we were all looking for going into next year. Love him or loathe him he is one player Celtic would find virtually impossible to replace if he was to leave. So far this season he has netted an impressive 19 goals. With that sort of form, it wouldnt be a surprise to see a few English clubs make enquiries about him, but his new deal suggests he's happy enough.
IVAN MOCINIC – IN?
Last week news was rife on social media that Celtic are to make a decent signing in the January transfer window – Ivan Mocinic. The 22-year-old Croatian midfielder is currently playing for HNK Rijeka. However, Lazio and Sampdoria also have their sights on Mocinic, who not long ago made his senior debut for his country against Russia.
LIBOR KOZAK – IN?
Another name thrown into the mix of late has been Aston Villa striker Libor Kozak, who Celtic are believed to be desperately looking to sign, with Deila traveling to Villa Park to check out the 26-year-old in action himself. Again, the Hoops look set to come up against stiff competition as Polish club Piast Gliwice have also taken a liking to the former Lazio striker.
UPSTAIRS?Big changes are coming for Celtic right across the board, or at least one would hope, but could Ronny winning the treble silence the fans? It would certainly silence me for a good while anyway. A major clean out for the squad we have at the minute should be the first thing the manager needs to set his sights on if he is to go further in Europe next year, that is of course if he is to stay on as manager.
Could Michael O’Neill be the man to replace him as manager at Celtic Park if Deila does go? It’s a story that media outlets have been running with over the past few weeks. Some fans fear that if Celtic are to sack Deila, we will be given Collins on a full-time basis – something not too many will be happy to hear.
One thing is certain though as we move into 2016 - we have good young talent on our books. I have already mentioned Scott Allan – but we also have young Kieran Tierney and Callum McGregor, both names that Celtic will hope to hold onto for the future.
January will be interesting, but for now we all know what we want this Christmas at Celtic – nothing less than the treble!