Celtic FC have announced the appointment of Ronny Deila as manager on a 12-month deal. He takes over from Neil Lennon, who left the club after leading them to their third Scottish Premier League title in his four years at the club.
Delia is an interesting choice for Celtic, as many believed they would look to former stars or others with connections to the historic club. Lennon himself had spent seven seasons with Celtic, as had Tony Mowbray before him.
Instead Celtic branched out, looking to Norway for their new coach. Delia, just 38 years old, was appointed head coach of Norwegian Premier League side Strømsgodset in January 2008, when he retired as a player. He lead Strømsgodset to the title last season, and the team is currently second in the division.
It may be the middle of the season in Norway, but the club had little option but to let Delia go. When he signed a new contract last winter, part of the agreement was that he could leave should a big club come calling.
Delia is, obviously, untested at the highest levels of soccer – and Celtic will be both defending a title and staging a Champions League campaign. Still, supporters would do well to give him a chance. Especially those that were tired of the dull game Celtic played under Lennon. Delia said:
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 of and, of course, I want my players to work with me to achieve the best results possible and bring trophies to Celtic.
Exciting and entertaining, and trophies? Fans can but dream.