Though The Bhoys exited Europe’s premiere club competition at the group stage this season after winning none of their six games, the progress made under Brendan Rodgers is still stark contrast to Deila’s disastrous forays into continental competition at Celtic Park.
The Glasgow giants failed to qualify for the tournament in either of the Norwegian’s two seasons in charge, with their 4-3 aggregate defeat to Swedish side Malmo in August 2015 irreparably damaging his prospects at the 1967 European Cup winners.
And, despite lifting the league and cup double in his first season in charge, Deila has suggested that fateful defeat ruined any chances of him keeping the job long term.
“My status was huge at Celtic after my first year there. We won the double and were robbed of the treble,” Deila, now back in his homeland managing Valerenga, told the Daily Record.
“We also played Inter Milan in a [Europa League] match where we unluckily lost 1-0 in Italy after a 3-3 draw in Glasgow.
“The board were very pleased with me and I was told that I could be at the club for many years.
“But the following year we lost a match in Europe when we met Malmo and totally flopped away from home. I take my share of responsibility for it.”
Celtic won the first leg 3-2 against the Swedes in Glasgow but a strike from former West Brom flop Marcus Rosenberg and an own goal from Dedryck Boyata consigned the Scottish champions to the Europa League once more.
Part of the reason behind Rodgers’ appointment was to improve the club’s prospects on the European front and, despite crashing out of the Champions League by December, he has still accomplished more than Deila managed in two seasons.
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