Today, New York City FC announced the appointment of Ronny Deila as Head Coach, pending approval of a U.S. work permit.
To help get you up to speed with the new man at the helm, here’s 10 Things to Know about Ronny…
Ronny hails from Porsgrunn, Norway and was a defender in his playing days, spending the majority of his career at Odds BK in his native Norway before joining the coaching setup at Strømsgodset in 2008.
2. Winning Mentality
Deila led Strømsgodset to its first league title in 43 years in 2013 as Head Coach, before leaving for Celtic FC in 2014 where he won back-to-back Scottish Premiership titles. Additionally, Deila has managed in both the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds and UEFA Europa League, and won the Scottish League Cup in 2015.
3. Coaching Philosophy
In his own words: “I think I’m a very attacking coach, thinking always to score goals. I’d rather win 5-4, than 1-0... but 1-0 is good as well. I think it’s important to cause the opponent problems; getting the overload from when you play from the back is important, and then take advantage of that, so you play three against two, two against one, on the sides, getting out the crosses, getting people inside the box. Also when we lose the ball, we must have a good transition; to win the ball straight back away when we have the opportunity to do that. We want to have the ball as much as possible, but also try to be direct when we have opportunities.”
They should all sound like familiar tropes to those acquainted with watching NYCFC over these past few years...
4. Small World
One familiar face awaits Ronny in the NYCFC locker room. Winger Gary Mackay-Steven was brought to Celtic Park by Deila from Dundee United in his first year as Celtic boss and will resume working under the Norwegian once again in Major League Soccer five years on. Football really is a small world...
5. Developing Talent
NYCFC’s Academy has already produced four Homegrown players for the First Team squad and Deila has certainly proven he’s willing to promote youth in his coaching career so far. Among numerous others, Deila has helped progress the career of 2019 UEFA Player of the Year and Ballon D’Or Runner-up Virgil Van Dijk and given senior debuts to then-16 year-old Martin Ødegaard (now at Real Sociedad on loan from Real Madrid), and 18-year-old Kieran Tierney at Celtic (now with Arsenal).
6. City Football Group Connection
Deila has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with City Football Group, taking numerous players on loan from Manchester City in Norway and Scotland over the last decade.
Deila said: “It’s been very good for me, for the clubs I’ve coached as well. City had so many good players, especially young players that have been available for the clubs I’ve coached. In Celtic and Strømsgodset, I had players that were affecting the team very well. That cooperation has been very, very good.”
7. Building the Culture
Ronny has been a fan favorite in his coaching career, thanks to his belief in attacking, proactive football and the passion he displays towards his role. Quoted in today’s announcement, Sporting Director David Lee said: “Ronny is incredibly passionate and excels at building a culture and environment in the places he’s worked. He’s humble, hard-working and going to be a great leader for our players in the locker room.”
8. Outward Looking
According to an article on Deila in Norwegian publication, Drammens Tidende, Ronny has spent a lot of his free time in the past decade travelling the world and studying methods at some of the game’s most progressive football clubs, including Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City, showing he’s a coach who takes his own development and growth seriously.
9. Consistency is Key
Deila will benefit from inheriting a group of players who like their new coach, are well used to winning. After finishing top of the Eastern Conference in 2019, NYCFC is set to return nearly 95 percent of last season’s goalscorers.
Deila said: “I think consistency is an important thing. Consistency in the way we play and to keep on improving in the City style. The group of players have been here for a while and they’re ready to take the next step together.”
10. Next Up
Preseason commences next week, with the Florida Cup first up on the agenda for the Boys in Blue. Games vs. Brazilian giants Palmeiras and Corinthians will serve as ideal preparation as the squad prepares for February’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League campaign and the start of the Club’s sixth MLS season. The 2020 season is just around the corner...