Tommy Wright is a smart guy. I’ve always thought so.
He’s also a class act, which is a rare and wonderful thing to find in an SPL manager these days. His team has not been brilliant of late, but when they have had bad results he usually gets on with it instead of doing what other bosses do, and casting about for blame. I like him.
Brendan likes him too, and has said so a few times.
They have a mutual respect for one another which is a fine thing to see in a modern game where jealousy and spite are everywhere. Take Craig Levein and his comments about Hibs and then about Scott Brown. They were lamentable. He seems to be a guy who thrives on being disliked.
It would have been easy for Wright to leap onto his bandwagon, and throw some verbal barbs at Brendan for the press. I would have understood if he had.
Because I thought Brendan was quite wrong to talk about St Johnstone’s players and their lack of focus when he should have concentrated on our own team and its poor form.
It would have been an easy headline for Wright.
It would have made him look good to his own fans and the media would have applauded him for it. But instead of leaping on the issue he brushed it aside, dismissing it as a minor matter. He said his players should be “flattered” by the comments and seemed to agree, in principle, with what Brendan said.
The media hacks must have been spewing over this. They could have got days of negative coverage out of Wright launching an attack on the Celtic boss. St Johnstone’s boss resisted the temptation to make himself sound tough. Instead he sounds smart.
He has fired a warning shot to his own players over the rest of the campaign. He sounds magnanimous and wise. The contrast between him and the likes of Levein is stark.
And in seeming to suggest that his players are letting the club down he has crafted an alibi for the rest of this campaign. That’s what Levein didn’t do.
Brendan got out of this one unscathed, but I would hope that he’ll refrain from these sort of comments in the future. It’s not his place to talk about players at other clubs, and most certainly not whilst our own players are not reaching their potential.
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