Chris Sutton put Barry Ferguson back in his box today over yesterday’s ridiculous article.
That would be more amusing to me if he hadn’t done it in exactly the same newspaper, one loathed by our fans and which has waged open war on our club. Sutton is entitled to make his living however he pleases, but it blows his credibility to Hell and gone when he does it through that organ.
He’s also become seriously irritating in the way he judges Brendan Rodgers over his team selection. Sutton gets ideas in his head about being better at that stuff than our manager is; a brief look at his own unspectacular managerial career (unless we count the spectacular failure of it) should be enough to dissuade anyone from taking him seriously.
What is it about trying to second guess Brendan on this?
He has bubbled on about how Brendan “doesn’t trust Charley Musonda”, a player our manager was chasing for over a year. Now today he suddenly “doesn’t trust Marvin Compper” who we’ve seen play one game. The truth is, I was glad Compper didn’t play at Ibrox. He wasn’t 100% fit, he wasn’t ready. The same could be said about Boyata, except there’s one crucial difference; Boyata knows his team mates. He has played alongside them. An understanding exists.
See, when you are not looking for controversy for your own reasons, as Sutton is, it’s very obvious when you look at our team selection why the manager went the way he did. Familiarity. He could have played Jack Hendry from the start but he is just in the door. He could have played Compper but the same problem applies. With Lustig injured, he has a choice of turning perhaps to Gamboa, but that wouldn’t have been particularly smart either.
Now, if Sutton wants to argue that Brendan “doesn’t trust Gamboa” then I’ll be in agreement; Gamboa has been at Parkhead long enough that when the manager isn’t even putting him on the bench you know his time is up.
But what he wrote about Compper and what he’s written about Musonda is just plain nonsense.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; a manager uses his squad like a mechanic uses a toolbox.
You use what you need to get the job done.
Once you exclude Gamboa from the options, who did Brendan have left? An untested kid in an unfamiliar position, a guy who’s played just one match for the team … or the tried and the tested? Boyata played at Ibrox in the 2-0 win we secured there earlier in the campaign and never broke a sweat.
The last time he was at Ibrox before that he was imperious and scored one of the goals.
I am not suggesting Brendan was right to play him – although the alternatives would have carried their own risks.
I am saying I understand exactly why he did.
The way some people in the media talk – and Sutton is one of them – you’d think Brendan was walking around with blinkers on about our defensive situation.
Hey, in the last year he’s moved Bitton to centre back, he’s promoted Ajer and in the last window he signed two players.
Does that suggest that the guy doesn’t see it?
The problem, of course, is that Sutton has already made up his mind about one of the signings.
We’ll get back to that.
Everyone in the media goes on and on and on about our defence; they mean, I assume, the best one in the league which has conceded a mere 20 goals in 29 games. In Europe they are well short. That’s just a fact. But I know other defences never get this endless scrutiny; Sevco has conceded 35 goals in the same timeframe and I’ve watched a lot of those goals … their defence is an ever evolving horror movie, easily cut through when they don’t have eleven men behind the ball.
But nobody there ever gets flamed for it. Where’s the criticism of Cardoza? Where’s the analysis of how completely caught Tavernier was for the winner? What about the fact two defenders came to meet Edouard and neither was able to stop the shot?
Boyata is a high profile player at the highest profile club. But if you believe the media Sevco are just as big. Yet Boyata is endlessly under the microscope, the one that never gets turned up and focussed on the Sevconite back line. Those who’ve watched Boyata and Simunovic this season know they’ll not do it in the next European campaign … and yet both might yet be on a plane to the World Cup. Someone thinks they’ve done a decent job.
At Celtic, every mistake we make is highlighted.
Every slip is spun into a crisis. Every off-form player gets the full gaze of media attention. Morelos went ten games this season without scoring a goal … ten games in a row. Nobody suggested that he was not a good player. The BBC were judging Charley after two matches. His first two.
And so too was Sutton, who had written off the Compper signing before the guy had kicked a ball because he personally didn’t understand why we’d bought someone who was ineligible to play in the Europa League. How about that our focus is wider than just two games? Too hard for Sutton to understand? Now, because the guy wasn’t in the Ibrox squad, Sutton thinks he’s seen the confirmation of his own prejudices.
But that’s the problem; when you start from that perspective you’ll only ever see what you want to see. You’re not being objective. You’re looking for the evidence that supports the conclusion you’ve already reached in your head.
I suspect Brendan sees more than Sutton. In fact, I know he does. It might just be that he sees things in training which give him more reason to believe in Boyata than we get in 90 minutes on the park sometimes. He thinks the player can grow and improve; I might not see it (I don’t) but then I am not the guy earning the big bucks at Celtic Park.
Boyata wasn’t the only person who had a nightmare on Sunday; the media pretends not to notice it, but Morelos had a shocker. If a defender’s job is to keep people at bay then a striker’s is to put the ball in the back of the net. Boyata failed on several occasions.
So did Morelos.
Why is one the villain of the piece and the other labelled simply unlucky?
If Dembele had missed those chances … what do you think the coverage would have been like?
Would it have focussed on what he did right? Of course not.
Sutton is part of an industry that attacks us relentlessly. He writes for a newspaper that most of our fans view with absolute detestation. And he writes the kind of nonsense that is oh so prevalent at that paper. If he stuck to objective fact I would overlook the organ in which he does it and take his work semi-seriously. But all too often his own daft half formed opinions leak into the work … that’s what he’s paid to do, some will say.
And they are right. By The Daily Record.
And there it reads not so much like someone merely being stupid but suspiciously like the editorial line.
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