The Tactical Philosophy of Glasgow Celtic Coach Ronnie Deila

Tactical Philosophy of Glasgow Celtic Coach Ronnie Deila 25% or more off clearance soccer equipment - Click here to view current selection.

Ronny Deila, the Norwegian born manager at Glasgow Celtic was to many a surprise announcement when he was appointed head coach of the Glasgow giants in 2014. Looking back at his managerial career in Norway however would suggest that Celtic had done their homework and appointed a potential rising star.

Winning the Norwegian Cup in 2010 and later becoming champions of Norway in 2013, Deila has served his apprenticeship well in the not so prominent Norwegian Football League.

Source :

Ronnie Deila’s Tactical Philosophy

Attacking Principles: Attacking three behind the striker

In more than one way, Celtic seems like a club Deila would fit into comfortably with time and patience. One reason in particular is the quality of opposition Delia’s men will come up against. With the poor opposition and a strong attacking philosophy it wouldn’t be long until they click together and Delia’s critics sway in the other direction.

Celtic more or less play a fluid 4 – 2 – 3 – 1 formation every game, allowing a lot of creativity and freedom in the final third. This mainly comes from the attacking three who played behind the striker. These positions and Celtics attacking play was rejuvenated after the January transfer window from the signings of Gary Mackay – Steven and Stuart Armstrong from Dundee United. Leigh Griffiths, the main striker during the second half of the season had an exciting job playing in front of two players with high game awareness and strong creativity levels in Stefan Johansen and Stuart Armstrong along with Gary Mackay – Steven who is a pacey out and out winger with great technical ability.

In order to live up to his philosophy of fast, attacking football, Deila needed the correct players to do so – and what a shrewd piece of business in January to gain the final pieces to his jigsaw.

One way these three players create goal scoring opportunities is through intelligent movement. Certain movements such as the wide players moving inside to receive the ball in the ‘pocket’ has created many a crossing opportunity for Celtic as it allows the fullback to receive the ball higher up the pitch.

This combination of movement has to be executed perfectly in order for there to be an opportunity at the end of it. As one of the two holding midfielders – usually Scott Brown and Nir Biton – identifies one of the wide players moving inside the ‘pocket’, it is when the ball is released that the full back begins to go high. If this player goes too early he will be in front of the ball, if he goes to late the defender will win the ball and he’ll be in a poor defensive position. One player who has a key decision to make in this combination is the wide player. If the defensive full back doesn’t follow him, he can link up with the strikers or have a shot a goal as there is loads of space to take advantage of. If he is followed, it is the prime opportunity to play behind the defensive full back for the high fullback to run onto.

Ronnie Deila's Tactical Philosophy

Along with the two wide players in the attacking three, Celtics most important player this season played as the NO.10. This being the creative Norwegian Stefan Johansen. The SPFL player of the year showed great qualities throughout the season. The main reason being Delia’s smart tactical thinking of where to play Johansen. It is clear he has immense game intelligence and with a good technical ability, Celtic have a player who they will struggle to hold onto for another few seasons if he continues to perform at the same level.

Johansen is a major threat for many opposing defenders because of the rotation with the other two attacking midfielders. Essential to a fluid front three is the understanding of one another’s movements and next action. By constantly moving into different areas and rotating positions with one another it causes defenders to get dragged about and create more space high up the pitch, and when playing a team of Celtic’s quality it is something you don’t want to be up against. The photo below is a prime example, James Forrest (RAM) has dropped low and Johansen (NO.10) has moved into the right sided ‘pocket’ – therefore taking advantage of dangerous space with no defender tight.

Defending Principle: Structured Pressing

As Deila encourages his team to play fast attacking football, an effective way of winning the ball back would be through intense pressure. If the ball is high up the pitch, it is important to win the ball in that area to resurge a new attack close to the opponent’s goal.

To do this effectively the team have to be in a tight compact shape to prevent space and gaps for the opponent to play through. After conceding sloppy goals at the start of the season, Deila’s side gained a better understanding of how to hold an effective shape in order to win the ball back from their opponents.

Read more of this article at :

In this article