Yesterday, whilst watching that game, many of us were forced to endure two separate annoyances. They are two separate articles; one on the continuing vilification of Scott Brown and the other on the subject matter in the headline.
For a brief moment they came together as one, and that, of course is the moment I want to discuss, but both are bigger than the red card and that one moment.
Walker is a constant pain in our backsides. He is an appalling broadcaster and commentator.
He was once an appalling print journalist. Jesus, do you remember that? I have never understood why any of the various outlets which have used him rate him. He offers nothing to the show that any one of 100 other people couldn’t provide, but with more insight.
One of the big problems with Walker is that he speaks without thinking. He often blurts out sheer nonsense just to say something in the moment. Good commentators never do that; they are more measured; they take that extra second to think and if they aren’t sure of something they wait for the replay. How many times have you heard Walker simply leap to a conclusion, only for it to be proved completely wrong a split second later?
Most people would be embarrassed; Walker never is.
In fact, he often doesn’t even apologise. Instead he doubles down. He persists in his earlier opinion, even though everyone knows it is rank idiocy. I might have put yesterday’s rant down to that particular bad trait of his but that would have been to ignore the central problem; that our captain was at the centre of it.
Walker has a strong dislike for our club; I am not sure where it came from, although some people have pointed to the manner in which he left in 1996.
If he’s holding onto a grudge that long he is a small minded goon.
But I do know where he developed the pathological dislike for Scott Brown that he has made no effort to either shake or disguise.
That was in May 2016, when Brown snapped at Walker’s constant criticism of Celtic and of then boss Ronny Deila. Brown, speaking to the press, turned the flamethrower on him and let him have a fiery blast. No-one ever deserved it more.
“Andy Walker is one that goes out there and manages to do it,” Brown raged. “But he’s never had a manager’s job or knows what it’s like to be coming in here day in, day out. He’s pretty much a poor man’s Gary Neville. It’s every day, he does my f*****g box in.
“I’m sure he would say when he was playing many years ago that there were so many coming out and slaughtering people too. But you think people are bigger than that and better than that and maybe stick up for the club and manager a bit more. At the end of the day who cares, it’s only him.”
And the “poor man’s Gary Neville” has been on his case ever since.
I’ll be honest, I expect it from Walker. But calling Brown “pathetic” and manufacturing a controversy out of nothing is too much. I’ll be blunt, I didn’t think it was a red card. One of the reasons I didn’t think it was a red card is that Brown didn’t react badly to it. Brown doesn’t gild the lily. He doesn’t roll about. He doesn’t feign injury.
So Walker is seeing something that never happened except in his own fevered imagination and if I was him I would go to a doctor pronto because hallucinating on the job is something that requires instant treatment. Thank God he wasn’t driving a bus.
There’s no question that his attack on Brown yesterday was personal, and about as unprofessional as it could be.
But what’s even harder to stomach than Walker making stuff up so he can have a go is the nature of his dig; is this the same Andy Walker who once said that players should dive? That they should seek every advantage? That they should use the rulebook however spuriously because the only thing that mattered was getting the win?
I criticised Walker for those comments at the time and I still do. I think they’re shocking and encourage cheats.
Walker himself freely admits to having been a cheat in his own career. That’s why it’s a bit rich – that’s why it’s absolutely un-fecking-believable for this eejit to offer the slightest criticism of Brown … even if Brown had done what he is accusing him of.
How dare he.
Walker is one of the reasons – one of the many, many reasons – Scottish football fans cannot stand the coverage on Sky.
If BT Sport does decide to move for exclusive rights to the SPL in the next TV negotiations I don’t know a single fan who would complain. I don’t know one who wouldn’t be glad to see the back of Sky’s contemptuous attitude towards our league and our clubs … and that will pretty much mean Walker himself is done.
This guy is way too stupid and ignorant to ever be allowed to cover glamour games in their top flight; he’s a symptom of the contempt they have for us all. They wouldn’t give this guy a sweeping job if they didn’t have SPL matches on their schedule.
I wouldn’t give him a job calling bingo numbers.