What Brendan Rodgers told the Celtic players about Ronny Deila

By John McGinley

July 23, 2021

Callum McGregor has praised former Celtic manager Ronny Deila in his first major interview with Sky Sports since becoming club captain.

McGregor has succeeded Scott Brown as the new leader of Celtic, following in a long line of famous names to pass through the Parkhead gates.

Over the years, many people have credited Brendan Rodgers as the manager who sparked McGregor into life as a Celtic player.

However, the midfielder has also gone out of his way to praise Deila and reveal that even Rodgers credits the Norwegian with putting the building blocks in place for a phenomenally successful period.

Speaking to Sky Sports, McGregor said: “Ronny gave me my debut at Celtic, and I’m forever grateful for that. To have the opportunity to go and play for Celtic’s first team. That’s all you ever want to do when you’re a kid. When you’re a ball boy, you’re watching it, your moment comes to put on the Hoops for the first time.

“I remember when Brendan came in, he said that Ronny did a lot of the base level stuff for him. He was just adding his own sort of spin on it, but that Ronny actually put a lot of the building blocks in place. I don’t think he gets as much credit as what he deserves in terms of the football he played as well.

“In his first season, he was probably one bad decision away from winning a treble, and it’s such fine margins at this club. He was brilliant for the club and obviously brilliant for me as well.”

Ronny Deila helped many Celtic careers before Rodgers

Deila is long enough departed from Celtic now that McGregor doesn’t have to feel obligated to praise him. So this feels really genuine.

Although he had to fight against a difficult culture in the Celtic dressing room, you get the impression he had a massive impact on the younger players at the club at the time.

Kieran Tierney also loves Deila. The defender, like McGregor, also massively benefitted from Deila’s guidance and management.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Deila, by the time he left, was maligned by some Celtic supporters. However, I’ve always been a fan. He treated everyone at the club with respect and has had nothing but nice things to say since he left.

It’s fitting that, on the cusp of a new era, our club captain makes sure everyone knows the impact he had on our decade of success.

In other news, Postecoglou bats away George Baldock to Celtic question; lays out 3 ‘plan A’ signing approach.