The ancient wisdom is that the first time someone calls you a horse you punch them. The second time someone calls you a horse you call that person a fool. But the third time someone calls you a horse you have to wonder if it’s time to invest in a saddle.
One of those “questions yourself” moments has surely come for Chris Sutton tonight after he’s found himself in the embarrassing position of being caught on the wrong side of Ally McCoist on a debate involving Celtic. But only just.
It’s on Kennedy’s comments last weekend, and the way Sutton himself chose to respond to them, charging into the debate like a nutter in a bar fight.
Sutton does this frequently, too frequently for me to take him wholly seriously when he’s making a good point. The problem with this bull-in-a-china-shop posturing is that when you need to be listened to nobody bothers because they zoned out on you ages ago.
“This season Celtic have been humiliated on the pitch, (the Ibrox club) have waltzed the league. You have to take your hat off to (them) whether you like it or not (they) have been the best. This was a Pedro Caixinha moment for John Kennedy,” Sutton said.
Amazingly, McCoist stood up for Kennedy, even though he, too, apparently heard only what he wanted to hear. “Listen, he’s clearly said the wrong thing because there is no danger that (we) have been the best team in the country by some considerable distance … I would cut him a little bit of slack. I think the point he was trying to make was that on their day he believes Celtic are more than a match for anybody and can play the best football, on their day, in the country.”
Which is not “the point Kennedy was trying to make” … it was exactly the point did make, and only imbeciles failed to understand it.
McCoist understands it better than Sutton did, but if he heard any debate from Kennedy on who the better team this season has been then it must have been whilst he was asleep and dreaming because our current head coach said nothing of the sort.
In light of that, Sutton’s comments are hard to credit as having come from someone with functioning brain cells. His comparison with Caixhinha is what’s truly embarrassing here. For a moment during that interview he crossed the line into the realms of Kris Boyd style rambling, inventing a controversy for its own sake.
What’s worse, McCoist grasped the real significance of Kennedy’s comments and made Sutton eat them. “I’ll ask you this, if he came out and said ‘we’re second best, we’ve got a mountain to climb, this (Ibrox) team are champions, what a tie for us’… how would you have felt then? He’s being positive, give him a break!”
Because that’s it, in a nutshell. Kennedy was talking up our own team and expressing belief instead of fear at just the right moment, at just the right time and it was something a lot us applauded because we understood what he was trying to do.
Indeed, he’s succeeded in doing it … Celtic’s players and staff appear nerveless approaching the weekend, which is exactly the image we need to project.
It’s the Ibrox side who have now put themselves under pressure to disprove what their feeble minds think Kennedy said, and that might be important on the day.