His calm, considerate manner make the departure of Ronny Deila from Celtic a loss for the Scottish media, which might be all the more acutely felt should Roy Keane replace him.
Deila believes the Irishman, who has a reputation – deserved or otherwise – for possessing a brooding, combustible streak, could cope with all that comes with the post. Others might not agree.
“He will handle the pressure I’m sure. It will be a bit harder for you [in the press]. You will have to have your helmets on,” the Norwegian joked. “But he’s played at Celtic, he knows what the club’s about, so he has a skill-set that could be good in the job.”
Deila, who takes his final bows as Celtic are presented with the Premiership trophy after their closing league game at home to Motherwell this afternoon, has admitted that a first job in a foreign country proved a culture shock with the scale of Celtic and the obsession with football that exists in Scotland. The Manchester United great would be spared any surprises in that score.
“If you pick Roy Keane then they will know what they are getting I’m sure. Dermot [Desmond, largest shareholder] is a very intelligent guy, Peter[Lawwell, chief executive] and the board as well, so I have confidence that they will pick the right one.”
Keane’s infamous tackle on Norwegian Alfe-Inge Haaland, and the vengeful intent articulated in the Irishman’s biography, could give rise to the belief he would be a man to divide opinion in Deila’s homeland. Far from it, according Deila.
“Roy Keane is a legend in Norway,” he said. “There are so many Manchester United fans in Norway. He’s a star if he comes to Norway.”