Date: 4th May 2021 at 9:11pm
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Andrew Smith thinks that Celtic fans should take some of the blame if Ryan Christie walks out on the club this summer. He thinks Celtic are partly responsible for the “inevitable” parting of the ways. Because we’ve been critical.

Because we’ve hurt the player’s feelings.

I don’t know what Andrew Smith’s problem is except that he’s in a job he’s not very good at.

I wrote about him last week as a result of his ridiculous article talking up the credentials of John Kennedy to be director of football at Celtic. He was following up on a fiction so idiotic that Kennedy didn’t even disguise his contempt for it the following day.

Smith was defending Neil Lennon when every Celtic fan had made up their mind on him.

Smith has consistently praised Lawwell and Desmond, for their great “leadership” although that is frankly hilarious at the moment.

He writes as much about Celtic as Frank McAvennie; he has the same unsettling record for getting everything wrong. He is certainly a better writer than Football Insider’s impersonator, but when you are so consistently off the pace that hardly matters.

Smith’s piece today is about how it’s in Ryan Christie and Celtic’s interests for this to be his last at the club; it has similarities, in that regard, to the soup-stirring nonsense Michael Gannon churned out about Callum McGregor and which I wrote about earlier.

Except in Christie’s case most fans don’t care if he does go.

On his current form we wouldn’t currently sign him, and as Smith points out he’s wanted away since at least last January.

Smith makes no connection between that attitude and Christie’s dire form this season; it’s all too easy to do though. Christie has, for months now, come across as someone who no longer gives a toss.

He is one of a number of players who would have been as well not to even bothering showing up for pre-season training such was his to offer us anything.

Smith is right; Celtic fans have spent this campaign giving Christie a hard time.

That’s because Christie has turned in performances consonant with somebody who would rather be somewhere – anywhere – else. Look at the two teams he’s linked with today; Norwich and Burnley.

If he wants to leave Celtic for one of those clubs he can go now, and I wish him well to spend his money.

His days of winning medals are probably with unless they are English Championship triumphs in years to come.

Celtic fans getting on Christie’s case has nothing to do with his wanting a move.

Ajer is equally certain to leave this club in the summer, but he has somehow escaped all this anger.

Christie is different because his attitude is different.

Smith himself points out that he’s had one eye on the exit door since Tierney left; fans know these things.

Fans know when someone isn’t committed to the cause.

Fans will forgive that if someone is giving 100% in the meantime.

Christie has barely showed up to pull his boots on.

Fans recognise that too and they don’t forgive it.

If Christie is genuinely hurt by criticism then obviously that’s a shame, but I am not crying the blues for some footballer earning a comparative fortune and who’s only ambition now lies in earning even more.

If Christie wanted to avoid this, he should have told his dad to button it instead of bragging every chance he got about how ambitious they were and how ready for England he was.

He could have signed a contract extension which guaranteed us a better fee and played the kind of football that would have benefited him and the club both; instead, if the reports are right, he’ll breeze off in the summer to his next destination leaving us with a pittance and the memories of his ballooning the ball over the bar.

Smith may want to blame us for Christie’s wish to leave, but it doesn’t fly.

He’s had one foot out the door for a while now, and fans were fully behind him when he put it there.

I considered him one of the four unsellable players when this season started.

Now I just want to see the back of him, for as high a fee as we can get, and for us to move on from his wretched final year.

Smith might think, furthermore, that attitudes like mine are exactly what’s wrong here … but I have one loyalty only and it’s to the club I have followed my whole life and which I’ll follow until the end of it.

I don’t care about a player or manager or coach or other employee until they are in the building and I cease to care where they go and what they do once they’ve left.

I do care about the manner in which each of those individuals departs, and Christie’s will earn him no credit, no thank you, no respectful good luck.

He, and a number of others, forfeited that right when they stopped giving a damn, when they let us down, when they surrendered their reputations and their outstanding records on the alter of this awful campaign because they couldn’t bring themselves to put the jersey first, to leave it all out on the field in their pursuit of immortality.

Well they got a form of it anyway.

This is what Christie will be remembered for, this and a grubby scramble for English gold.