I watched the film ‘Django Unchained’ by Tarantino the other night. It’s good, although it’s not his best. It’s about a raw gem of a slave who is, literally unchained and set free by a German bounty hunter, who goes onto better himself away from his life of oppression. In many ways, Django reminded me a lot of Andy Little, of Rangers FC/Sevco/Zombies/Whatever they’re meant to be called. A talented individual unjustly suffering a life of hardship in Scotland’s third division – will Neil Lennon be the ‘Christoph Waltz’ and break him free for a life of luxury at Celtic ? With Gary Hooper seemingly on the way out of Parkhead, it seems the right thing to do is offer our former rivals a couple of million pounds for a striker who will only get better and better.
As I type this up, I’m currently listening to ‘Another Day In Paradise’ by Phil Collins. It is a quaint little number that I imagine Little himself listening to in his car, as he pulls up alongside the statue of Jock Stein at Celtic Park and ponders ‘I’ll be alongside him in 30 years’.
Gary Hooper has been a fantastic striker for us. He’s scored in just about every competition, including four in the Champions League. Since 2010, he’s been our number one marksman and he deserves attention from top clubs in the UK. However, when one door closes, other one opens and stepping through it should be the Enniskillen hitman currently putting teams to the sword in the bottom tier in Scotland.
Let’s talk stats for a minute. This season, Hooper has played 30 games and scored 20 goals, which is a fairly respectable offering. Compare that to Andy Little, who hit the ground running after only a couple of weeks of pre season football, notching up a fantastic 16 goals in 24 appearances, including two hat-tricks at Ibrox. His Irn Bru Phenomenal Ginger Boot award in August set the tone for the Northern Irishman, who really hasn’t looked back since.
“They aren’t exactly big games!” I hear you wail. Well, he’s done it at what many fans of the club feel is the top level – the Glasgow Derby – bagging a goal in March with his first touch to seal three points for Rangers in a match which I am still reeling from to this day. He also is a proven internationalist, with nine caps for his country while sadly, Gary has none yet for England.
Top international defenders that Little has played against have even commented on his talent below :
“Andy played against me for about a minute of our friendly but it was the toughest minute of my life. I thank God every day it wasn’t longer.” – Giorgio Chiellini, Italy.
“I had no idea who Andy Little was before our 5-3 win in July but the scars and cuts on my right ankle mean I will never forget him again. He’s left a mark on me – literally.” – Pablo Contreras , Chile.
“The biggest injustice in my life right now is that I am not playing club football with Andy Little” – Hakan Balta, Turkey.
Now that you’ve heard pro’s say this – why should we be doubting his ability ?
There may be throwbacks to the controversial signings of the past like Mo Johnston and Kenny Miller, but this is 2013, there’s pillow biters in the special forces and some gay men are heavyweight boxers so we need to adopt the ‘move on’ mentality and embrace Andy Little in the hoops.
In the transfer window of 2005, we brought in Bellamy. In 2010, we brought in Robbie Keane. If we bring in Little this year, there’s every chance it will eclipse the excitement that festered around the supporters that the two aforementioned strikers created.
There’s no reason we should not we making a move for him. He’s faster than Hooper, he’s fitter than Hooper and that is because he looks after himself and doesn’t eat curries and peri peri chicken every week. Andy Little wears green and white for his country, he should do the same at club level and if there’s any justice, he will be in February this year. He will not peak at 30 while sadly I feel Gary Hooper will be done by then and fighting extreme weight problems.
Think of stunning European nights at Celtic Park. The floodlights glowing on the walk up to the stadium in the moonlight, getting there 40 minutes early to soak in the atmosphere, the Champions League anthem playing and the crowd roaring and as the camera pans to each player lined up before the game individually, there’s Andy Little, winking to the camera appreciatively, knowing how lucky he is to be representing us in the big boys playground.
There’s every chance he could notch up more than Henrik did if he stayed with us for the same time as the Swede. He would thrive off service from a more composed James Forrest and perhaps David Templeton, who he links up with brilliantly at his current club and would surely jump at the chance to play alongside Little again.
For all Little may deny the prospect of moving to the big team in Glasgow doesn’t appeal to him, thirty minutes with Peter Lawwell will change his mind. He’ll be joining the Commonwealth. The A-League. The cream of the crop. No more mundane trips to backwater bottom tier stadiums like Galabank, Links Park and Ibrox, he’ll be dining with the people that matter if he signs.
I, for one, would like to think Mr Lawwell will deliver the man from Country Fermanagh before the deadline.
Andy – Nothing Compares 2 U : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iUiTQvT0W_0
Do the right thing. Become part of the Celtic Family.
DISCLAIMER : Only kidding. I don’t want us to sign him.