Date: 10th January 2019 at 4:54pm
Written by:

Chris Sutton really does love the sound of his own voice.

Having called on Celtic to “respond” to the Ibrox club’s ridiculous signing of a 36-year-old, we went out and signed three footballers. Sutton now says that those deals are risky. He also says he expects Davis and Defoe to hit the ground running in spite of neither having played for a while.

This comes down to whether you believe Davis and Defoe are a better bet than our decision to go with what we have.

We’re augmenting the best squad in Scotland here and we’ve signed Bayo, who’s been heavily scouted, a young PSG prospect who is rated highly across Europe and a player who’s transfer fees in the last couple of years have totalled £30 million.

And you know what? It might be a risk. None of those three might produce. All are certainly capable of it, but this is football and you just never know. But the same applies equally to Davis and Defoe, and there’s only one reason Sutton won’t say it.

It’s because he knows who Davis and Defoe are. Because both are EPL players, and to him that means they must be half decent and will stroll through life in Scotland. This is Sutton at his absolute worst. The signing of Davis makes a kind of surface sense when you think about it; he knows Ibrox and the fan-base because he’s been there. The signing of Defoe may or may not produce goals, but the hype and the hysteria surrounding it are an embarrassment.

As I said when Defoe became available, and I begged Celtic not to touch him with a twenty-foot pole, the only thing to absolutely definitely commend signing him is the momentary hit in the headlines is the stupider segment of the EPL commentariat falling over themselves to say how brilliant it will be for the game here.

Patronising guff, all of it.

If that’s what your club is interested in it, a minor flurry of headlines, then great. If you’re looking for someone who will give you 90 minutes ever week and can become a top class performer you’re barking up the wrong tree because even with the best will in the world, Defoe’s glory days are behind him. Everyone knows this to be true.

“Still good enough for Scotland” appears to be the mantra; what a habit we have of talking down our game here with garbage such as that.

Sutton knows both clubs are “taking a punt” here; the difference is, should ours fail there’s no chance of it bankrupting us.

Nobody appears to even be asking how the Ibrox club can afford Defoe’s salary, far less if it’s wise to make him Scotland’s highest paid player as he undoubtedly will be.

Is he going to play every week? Every game?

Are they contemplating changing the formation to suit him, or are there just going to punt Morelos?

There are so many unanswered questions over that signing, and whilst the hacks pee their pants with excitement nobody seems to be asking them.

Yes, it’s a gamble, and it’s a hugely expensive gamble at that.

Celtic is hoping these young guys come good to get us over the line in the SPL.

They will augment a squad that has been over the course twice before, and as such even as backup options the risk we’re taken here is very small. Even if none of these signings sets the world on fire, you have to think that our squad is still far stronger than the one across the city.

Don’t get me wrong, if this is the extent of the business – if we don’t spend on the defence, if we don’t get that right – I will be furious for the dereliction of duty implied in it. But my concerns will be for the next campaign, not this one.

But Gerrard and his board are betting big in the here and now, in pursuit of short term gains, and they are gambling, perhaps, with the future of the club itself, a club that has already posted mammoth losses for last year. It is beyond reckless.

Yet to Sutton and others, we’re the ones taking the risk?

Jesus, these people really need to wake up and smell what they are shovelling.

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