Rumors of Giovanni Van Bronckhorst coming to New York City FC as a head coach have come and gone, with the former Barcelona player now reportedly taking a job in China. And without any time to react to such a revelation, a new name has surfaced, that being former Celtic coach and current Valarenga boss Ronny Deila.
This latest news was originally broken by Will Forbes of @TransferMLS on Twitter and has since been covered by some in the Norwegian media. According to EuroSport, Deila recently signed a new extension with Valarenga but is still a strong candidate to take over the vacant manager position at NYCFC. Valarenga officials declined to comment on the rumors.
For those of you unaware of Ronny Deila and his previous work, Deila is somewhat of a polarizing figure. Beginning his managerial career shortly after retirement in 2008, Deila took over Norwegian club Stormsgodset. There, Deila would lead the club to a Norwegian Football Cup in 2010, in addition to finishing as a runner-up in 2012 before ultimately winning the Eliteserien title and Coach of the Year in 2013, earning him the nickname “SuperRonny” from supporters.
After success in the Norwegian top flight and attracting interest abroad, Deila left Stormsgodset in 2014 to coach Scottish giants Celtic. Deila would continue to see trophy-winning success with the Bhoys, winning two consecutive SPL titles in 2014-15 and 2015-16, missing out on the 2014-15 Scottish Cup (and the domestic treble) in controversial fashion against Inverness. Deila also cultivated new talent such as Kieran Tierney — who is currently with Arsenal in the EPL — and Callum McGregor, who has since become Celtic’s vice-captain.
His time at Celtic, however, was not without its criticisms.
For those of you who don’t really follow the Scottish Premier League, it’s pretty top-heavy and is historically dominated by both Celtic and their longtime bitter rivals Rangers. During Deila’s tenure with Celtic, Rangers were in Scotland’s second division due to financial issues, leaving the competition in the SPL a bit on the weaker side and pundits suggesting that his success was not as earned as one would think.
With that said, many Celtic fans have endorsed Deila’s move to New York City since the news broke. Check out some of these Twitter responses!
Very good manager, some of his signing at Celtic weren’t the best but he brought through players from the youth system like Tierney (now at Arsenal) and McGregor (now our vice captain) would be a really good appointment— Decky (@Deckyy67) January 3, 2020
Not bad at all. Wish your team and Ronny all the best.— Celticheart (@Celticwman1) January 3, 2020
He could probably do a good job, he still came to Celtic and won us 3 trophies in 2 seasons including being cheated out of a 4th one. In all fairness it was an odd appointment but don’t see why he couldn’t do a job in the US— Conor Shepherd (@ConorShepherd3) January 3, 2020
After Celtic were disappointingly eliminated by the rival Rangers in the 2016 Scottish Cup, Deila would announce that he would be stepping down as manager following the conclusion of the season. Deila would then return to Norway in 2017 to coach Valarenga. Since then, his performance has been viewed as disappointing with the club only being able to muster an 8th place finish in 2017 and a 6th place finish in 2018, below the club’s top-3 expectations.
And now, despite signing a new deal with Valarenga recently, Deila has been linked to the vacant manager position at NYCFC.
While Deila is not without his critics, the job at NYCFC is a dream job for budding managers who need to make minimal adjustments.
If recent reports are true, then Keaton Parks — who emerged as a star last season — will be returning permanently after NYCFC and Benfica came to an agreement on the American midfielder, leaving New York City’s ideal 2019 starting lineup intact. For anyone in need of a refresher course, NYCFC was among the best teams not named LAFC last regular season. And though it all came crashing down in the most tragic of fashions during the MLS Cup Playoffs, the talent is there to embark upon another trophy contending season.
Deila also has a connection to Gary Mackay-Steven, who spent time at Celtic during the former’s managerial tenure. With the Hoops, GMS was solid player who you could squeeze production out of. If Deila can unleash the young Scotsman in 2020, NYCFC’s depth becomes all the better for it.