Stokes Outburst Shows Signs Of Deeper Unrest At Celtic

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Not many teams can be placed top of their domestic league and be in as much turmoil as Celtic are at the moment.

Only a few weeks ago the clubs fans/shareholders gave their board a bloody nose at the AGM. The Celtic hierarchy responded with a few low-blows that did everything but appease the support.

The club then tumbled out of their second European competition before Christmas. The Glasgow sides run in the Champions League qualifiers and the Europa League was pretty dire and many in the terraces have pointed fingers at the management team.

Manager Ronny Deila seems to have gone backwards in his management style and has been found wanting against various sides on the continent. The defence keeps making the same mistakes and Celtic Park is no longer a European fortress that it once was! Tactically the Hoops have also looked out of their depth in the big games.

The stark reality is that Celtic are now being judged on the European level more than domestically as there isn’t enough competition at home. Assistant boss John Collins alluded to it when asked if they could be sacked even if they secure a Scottish treble…

“It would be pretty unique in world football I imagine. But it could be the reality.”

Now I think that a treble would be enough to convince the board to give Deila and his team more time at Parkhead but fans will still be sceptical until next year’s European adventures start again in the summer.

This past weekend saw ill discipline within the squad rear it’s ugly head again during the Ronny Deila era.

Anthony Stokes made some ‘disrespectful’ tweets after he travelled to Inverness and was told he would only be needed in the stands. The striker took the huff and moaned about it on social media. It should be noted that a few Celtic fans applauded him for his honesty.

I can understand the frustration that led to those tweets. He clearly feels undervalued at the moment and wants to play football and up to that point that’s admirable. But you cannot publicly criticise your employer. It’s also extremely disrespectful as plenty of away fans travelled up north to sit in the stands and watch the team in wintery weather conditions.

Celtic have decided to punish the player by suspending him for two weeks.

Now this in itself creates a few issues as there doesn’t seem to be a set standard when to comes to Celtic punishing their players.

During a 3-1 defeat by Molde in Norway last month, Kris Commons was seen publicly berating his manager and his assistants after being subbed off. The crowd favourite apologised after the event, as did Stokes, but unlike the Irishman he escaped a club suspension.

Also think back to the week of the League Cup final in March, when a newspaper ran front page pictures of Celtic captain Scott Brown lying down drunk on a pavement in Edinburgh. Brown wasn’t suspended, dropped or fined over that incident and led his team up the stairs to left the trophy.

Now I am not saying that Celtic were wrong in how they handled Brown or Commons but surely those same actions were just as ‘disrespectful’ as Anthony’s was on Sunday?

As an outsider looking in, it looks as though Celtic have been sterner with the outcast hitman who is no longer wanted at Parkhead.

Players need a strong management management team to dish out consistent punishments. Anything else leads to anarchy and even more grief in the long run.

Also take into account that on two occasions in the last twelve months players have fought over taking a penalty and it looks like the players aren’t fully on board with their manager. It seems as though Ronny Deila lacks the respect needed to make this squad hungrier.

I think these fractures in the club show that not all is well at Celtic at the moment; from the training room to the boardroom.

The fans can see it too!

5 Responses to “Stokes Outburst Shows Signs Of Deeper Unrest At Celtic”

  1. Looks like a clear case of victimisation and unfairness from a petty and petulant manager who cannot manage people. Not a good sign for someone whose job is revolves around managing people. If I were Stoled I would appeal formally, given that the punishment does not fit the incident, and that he has received comparatively unfair treatment with the likes of Commons etc.

    What is more worrying is that the management standards which allow victimisation are not representative of treating people fairly and respectfully; hence not befitting of this great club!

  2. Stokes’ punishment is after only the latest in a long line of misdemeanours from the player. The club has stood up for him on these previous occasions but he seems unable / unwilling to learn. I agree commons was out of order but this was a first offence and therefore comparison with stokes has to be looked at in the round. As for brown, he did absolutely nothing wrong.

  3. Asked it last year and will ask again ” What is Deila doing at a club like Celtic,he is way out his depth. We need better teamwork and more heart.

  4. It is a huge and ridiculous stretch the compare Stokes complaining about being left out, with the travelling fans sitting in the stands.

  5. Andy – If this is a procedure & Celtic are punishing Stokes for repeatedly breaking rules then they should state that.

    I don’t think Brown acted as a pro footballer should. Also plenty of companies have it installed in many a contract that negative press could see an individual disciplined. I admit that might not be in Brown’s contract but I feel it wasn’t very responsible.

    Board67 – I was merely stating that it seemed a bit disrespectful to moan about sitting in a stand watching Celtic when the fans make a lot of effort to do that every time the club plays away.

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