Stephen Craigan Doesn’t Really Believe “Trouble Is Brewing” At Celtic. He Just Wishes It Was.

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I am not an intellectual snob, and I don’t like the media much but when I do watch TV or read them I like those involved to have something approaching common sense, if actual intelligence is too much of a stretch. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, and if someone proposed giving those who’s job it is to offer their “opinions” a basic IQ test to see what those opinions were worth I wouldn’t hesitate to support such an idea.

The studios would empty quicker than a buffet where someone has cut a particularly noxious fart.

The newspaper offices would be quieter than Rangers graveside.

Stephen Craigan’s role on BT Sport is pretty clear to me; he’s there to make some of Chris Sutton’s dafter comments sound like the height of soaring debate. He’s there to make Kris Boyd look like part of the mainstream; no show will knowingly, willingly, put on television two utter brainless dolts, right?

So that has to be it. A little comparative.

I had no idea that Craigan had a column on the BT Sport website; I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

If a national newspaper gives Boyd one then anyone can have one.

I looked over Craigan’s today, because the headline kind of forces you to; “The Stephen Craigan Column: Is there trouble brewing at Celtic?”

I even knew the subject before I took a peek at it. Leigh Griffiths. Of course it is.

Remember what I said once about people who have to put their name in a headline? That is just attention seeking nonsense. Is his name supposed to inspire people to run and check it out? No, of course not. The trolling headline itself did that.

I’ll say it again; unless you’ve got a Pulitzer Prize no writer’s name belongs in a headline.

I am pretty sure Craigan does not have one of those.

A couple of player of the week awards maybe, but not a serious literary award.

And to put your own name in the headline and then deliver such sub-standard fare that a blog wouldn’t publish it … dear oh dear.

He covers three subjects – the weekend’s games, Griffiths and Derek McInnes – in just 579 words. How does he manage it? Many writers have intros on single subjects longer than that. BT Sport is far better than Sky when it comes to covering Scottish football, and I realise that only a handful of people would ever bother to read the blog, but anyone who thinks there’s insight to be had in such a pitiful precis should stick to The Daily Record.

I said just the other day that the media was going to start with this and I was right. The Daily Record has a headline about it which is on Newsnow as I write this; it’s from the Hotline; in other words, it’s the opinion of some guy in the street, and you know my views on the sort of people whose opinions wind up there. For all that, it is probably more insightful than what Craigan has actually written; he devoted a whole 151 words to the subject. In-depth analysis, as I’m sure you’ll agree. (This paragraph, including the bit which I’ve put here in brackets, is 151 words, just in case you want a comparative, an overview of just how much thought he’s actually given what he’s written here, which suggests that our club is in the early stages of a crisis just because the manager dropped a player.)

“Brendan Rodgers seems to have banished Griffiths to the role of third-choice striker and that’s not something he will enjoy,” he writes.

Banished. Jesus wept. It evokes images of Griffiths sitting in a cold room at Lennoxtown, eating his sandwiches alone as the rest of the team eats a hearty meal in the club canteen. Rodgers is simply doing what good managers do; he’s prioritising.

He’s rotating the squad. As I said earlier in the week, Leigh has played over 20 games this season.

He’s hardly a stranger to the first team squad.

This is stirring just for the sake of it, and although he wouldn’t pass the aforementioned IQ test Craigan is not actually a complete idiot – hard to believe, I know, in spite of his ridiculous verbal spat with Sutton over McInnes – so he does actually know all this.

He’s just lucky today that The Daily Record has gone even more OTT with the subject; their Hotline Headline reads thus; “Brendan Rodgers will alienate Celtic fans if he tries to force Leigh Griffiths out.” Which as you can no doubt see is utter hysteria.

I daresay there are some Celtic fans who would choose Griffiths over Rodgers; there’s always an element of every support which can’t see the woods for the trees and makes crazy emotional judgements like this. But no serious commentator actually believes this kind of cobblers; Craigan certainly doesn’t. He just wishes he did.

This is a partly an attempt to unsettle the player, to give him the impression that the media is behind him and baffled at the treatment he’s getting. But what it really comes down to is a naked attempt to have Celtic fans second guessing the manager who’s secured a treble, is half way to the next one and who has put together this long unbeaten run.

If you haven’t read the article I posted on Fields yesterday, that’s kind of what it’s about.

This is a classic wedge issue and the media is hitting the fat end of it with some force.

All of it will be in vain. I think Griffiths will play tomorrow night … and score a couple.

Either way, the Celtic bandwagon rolls on.

If they are reduced to this nonsense in an effort to stop it, you know how much faith they have in their favourite club being able to.


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