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Left-field pick Ronny Deila to cook up a storm at Celtic?

| 06.06.2014

Celtic have appointed Stromsgodset head coach Ronny Deila as their new manager. The 38-year-old Norwegian won his domestic league title last term.

“I will treasure this opportunity and will give everything I have to achieve success for Celtic and our wonderful fans,” Deila said. “I know what I want for Celtic and our supporters and that is the best of everything, it is what our fans deserve.

“I want to deliver the best attacking, exciting and entertaining football we can play, for the players to give their best every time they take to the field, and of course I want my players to work with me to achieve the best results possible and bring trophies to Celtic.”

All admirable words, but fans of the Glasgow giants could be forgiven asking just who their new manager is? David Moyes, Malky Mackay, Henrik Larsson and Roy Keane were each strongly linked with becoming Bhoys boss, but it seems Celtic was not attractive enough of a prospect for any of these illustrious names.

Rather than going down the former players route again, as the Hoops did with predecessor Neil Lennon, they have taken a punt on little-known Norwegian Deila. Steering Stromsgodset to their first top-flight title for 43 years is an admirable achievement, but the switch to Celtic is his first foray in his football career away from his homeland.

John Hartson, who like Larsson is an old scoring hero, has taken a balanced view of Deila’s appointment. “I know absolutely nothing about him other than what I’ve looked up on Google,” he candidly admitted when asked for his reaction on the radio. “I’m as surprised as a lot of Celtic fans around the world.

“He’s obviously been very impressive during the talks and his interviews and I believe that when he sold a player called Stefan Johansen to Celtic from Stromsgodset in the middle of last season, in the negotiations he was very, very thorough and very impressive.

“It is not always the bigger names, it is not always the stars who are the best appointments. I am all for giving people an opportunity. He has done well in his native country, he comes with a good reputation in Norway and I am sure Celtic fans will give him his backing.”

Should Deila find the switch to Scotland unsuccessful, the fact he has only signed a rolling deal to coach Celtic for a year gives both parties an exit strategy. The Premiership north of the border next term will be missing Old Firm rivals Rangers and Edinburgh pair Hearts and Hibs.

In their absence, anything less than domestic dominance, orchestrated by Delia from the Bhoys dugout, despite the presence of Motherwell, Aberdeen and Dundee United, would represent disappointment at Parkhead.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.