You know, I would be more inclined to take seriously the anti-Celtic “commentators” if so many of them hadn’t played at Ibrox.
Even that isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker. There are a handful of them who have experience in management, and they are to be afforded a certain respect when they talk about that role because they have been there and done it.
Don’t get me wrong, if you were on a quiz show you wouldn’t pick Ally McCoist as your Phone A Friend option unless you had no other friends, but he at least has been on the sharp end and has some modest appreciation as to what it’s all about.
Alan Hutton doesn’t. He has never sat in a dugout in a coaching capacity in his life, and so when he tries to tell Ange Postecoglou, a guy with decades of experience, how to do his job I want to laugh out loud.
It’s as if I had walked into the kitchen at one of the restaurants I like and started ordering people how best to cook their signature dishes. I know about food only what I like to eat; Alan Hutton played football, but he is not remotely qualified to lecture on management.
The arrogance of it is astounding, and that is matched only by the ignorance on display.
He accuses Ange of arrogantly presuming that Livingston could be beaten without Kyogo in the starting line-up, at home, at Celtic Park, as if it was not obvious that we actually should be beating Livingston at home with the squad we have, regardless of who starts up front.
I have already written about this subject enough times to give me a headache; if, as some assume, we are too dependent on Kyogo it is the manager’s job to see that this is not the case any longer than it has to be, and thus he has to try other options.
The best option, the optimal one, is to have Giorgios Giakoumakis and Kyogo in the same team, yet when he’s attempted that muppets like this have tried to second guess him on it.
It’s ridiculous to argue that a Celtic team boasting almost all of our top talents, where even Forrest made the bench, and with last season’s top scorer from Holland at the tip of the spear was somehow a weakened team that did not treat Livingston with the appropriate respect.
Making that argument with a straight face has to be nearly impossible, unless you are dumb enough to believe it … which Hutton obviously is.
Beyond that, the manager has explained his thinking on Kyogo, and he is of course perfectly correct in what he says. Unlike the remainder of our team, Kyogo is actually closer to the end of a playing season than he is to the start of one, having done almost a full card in Japan before signing for us.
Protecting him for the challenges ahead is perfectly logical and most reasonable people would understand that; indeed, this is all the more reason for getting Giakoumakis up to speed as soon as it is practicable. None of this is complicated unless you are thick, and Hutton keeps on reminding us that he checks that particular box even if the coaching ones are blank.
Ange is always going to have to put up with a certain amount of this kind of crap; this is Scotland after all, home of Radio Clyde and The Daily Record, with the worst sports journalism in the Western world.
But he does not have to accept second guessing from this clown.