Deila: This Celtic player tries to give light-hearted impression, in reality he is very different
By Alex Stevens
Ronny Deila has paid tribute to the ultra professionalism of Celtic mood-setter Scott Brown.
Former Parkhead manager Deila claimed Brown tries to give the impression of being light-hearted but he is in actuality an extremely committed and driven individual.
Deila is in no doubt that the midfield anchorman’s example is key to the team reaching and maintaining the high standards that put them on the verge of a sixth consecutive Scottish Premiership title.
Brown was player of the year in the first of the Norwegian’s two seasons as manager but underwent a knee ligament operation during his second campaign, then soldiered on for months with a bad hamstring that resulted in some unusually off-key performances.
Deila, who is now back in his native Norway, where he is the manager of Oslo-based club Valerenga, has noted how Brown has been outstanding under Brendan Rodgers this season.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“I had a very good relationship with Scott,” said Deila to the Herald. “He was a very good leader on the pitch and off it – he helped with getting a good environment and a good mood in the group.
“He got a good break this summer, and that allowed him to come back fresh. He has been playing great all season. I saw him against Rangers when they won 2-1 away and he was fantastic.
“He maybe played a bit more sideways when I came in at first and it was maybe a little bit boring to watch him but now he is so good at playing forward passes.
“You should see the way he trains – he tries to give the impression he is light hearted and having fun all the time but he is so professional. As I said to the players, every day must be an FA Cup final. When you have a captain like that it makes it easier.”
Deila led Celtic to consecutive Scottish Premiership titles during his two years at the club, after joining from Stromsgodset, but he was criticised for a poor record in Europe and failure to progress into the Champions League group stages in both seasons.
Deila was replaced by Rodgers at the Celtic helm and the northern Irishman has taken the team that were already dominant in Scotland to new heights.
They are unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership as they close in on sixth consecutive title in record time and are on course for a domestic treble after already winning the Scottish League Cup.