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Big Chris Sutton Needs To Calm Down. The Celtic Boss Knows Exactly What He’s Doing.

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It’s always interesting when the former players chip in.

As long as we’re not talking about the likes of Walker, Provan and Nicholas here we’re usually good, although I was severely disconcerted watching Shaun Maloney fumble and stumble his way through the BBC review of the Morton game the other night. Especially when he assured viewers that he is not biased.

What kind of person feels the need to do that in order to justify his opinion?

He wasn’t even giving Celtic the penalty call, he thought it was a bad choice from the officials. And then he went in to self-justification mode for no reason at all, as if sending a message to his bosses that “look, I can play by the rules just like the rest of them.”

I thought it was nauseating. No former Ibrox player who sits in the media has ever felt the need to justify himself like that, and none ever will.

Chris Sutton is not like those guys. You think that man would ever offer a faux apology and assure people that he was playing with a straight bat? Not in this lifetime.

Big Chris is somewhat jumpy today over the sale of Juranovic and the impending departure of Giakoumakis. Whilst I agree that selling both players in this window is a risk it is obviously one that those inside Celtic Park believe is worth taking.

And the manager in particular, of course, as it wouldn’t happen without him.

He wonders why this couldn’t have waited until the summer.

Don’t we all.

But there is an answer to that too, of course, or perhaps a couple of answers.

The first is that squad bloat is a bad thing and we are trying to cut down on it.

Why? Again, there are probably a number of reasons but one of the things we need to take into account are those notorious financial sustainability regulations. We’ve spent an awful lot of money this year … a big, big net spend prior to the Juranovic cash. It stands to reason that we’re erring on the side of caution and staying within limits.

Secondly, I strongly suspect that Ange believes this is the best time to move the players on. He doesn’t need this eating up his summer, and with our nine point lead in the league and no European football to play, why shouldn’t he do what he’s talked about previously and start putting the pieces of next season’s starting team into place?

I strongly suspect that we’ve got two better players.

The kid Johnston made his debut at Ibrox, and he didn’t look in the least bit fazed by it. That tells me we’ve got someone in here who can handle himself and take the pressure in his stride.

Giakoumakis was a natural born goal-scorer, but a one dimensional footballer and that’s a problem in this team and Ange isn’t terribly impressed by his record in front of goal as it is not – and this is the key thing here – not the only detail that matters.

The fact is, if you aren’t getting service to Giakoumakis in the box then you’d be as well not having him on the pitch. Kyogo, on the other hand, is brilliant and moving and creating opportunities for himself and others by dragging defenders all over the place. This is what our new boy will do, and he also has that physical edge which you need sometimes.

Big Sutton cares about the club, so there is nothing wrong in him expressing some concerns. Whenever you replace players with new ones there is always a risk, but I strongly suspect that Ange wanted it this way, that he wanted these deals done now, that he wants a happy camp … and that he genuinely believes the two new guys offer us more.

That there’s a financial upside for the club and that it keeps us on the good side of UEFA regulations would have been a consideration, of course, but a lesser one; we’re sufficiently strong enough, financially, that we aren’t going to post a loss because we spent a few quid on players … besides, today’s deal proves that there’s still plenty in the kitty.

There is a certain ruthlessness to Celtic’s stance.

Because, of course, Sutton is right that these deals didn’t have to be done right now. They could have waited for the summer, but Ange and his backroom guys wanted it settled.

Once a player wants to go you know they’ll go eventually, you just don’t want it getting ugly and Ange has swiftly excised them from his long term plan and with a stunning speed has replaced them both.

And we can all have confidence in that.

This is a man in full control, and he knows exactly what it is that he is doing.

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14 comments

  • Jimmy R says:

    In Ange we trust.
    Not blindly, but because his track record deserves our trust. As well as staying clear of any financial sustainability rules, big Ange has sent a clear message to everyone in the way he handled the GG situation. If you rock the boat, you are gone, but not before there is a replacement in the door. Ange was in control of both the JJ and GG transfers. They went through on his terms. The club obviously knew, pre the World Cup that JJ wanted to go. Like a true pro, he gave his best to the last. Good player that he is GG has an ego problem which stopped him becoming a great player. We have lost two good players but have gained two younger players who appear to have the right attitude to go on to become great players.

  • Martin.H says:

    The big picture is these guys want to go, if they stay they want to stir the shit better not being here, and Matt O’Reily not far behind.

    • Darren Kerr says:

      I agree with O’Reily comment. If I could get 5 mil for him he’d be gone. Not much there and thinks he’s better than he is. Under Ange get used to moving players on with no sentiment…as it should be.

  • Seppington says:

    What has O’Riley said? I’ve seen nowt negative from him…

  • Dolphin Bhoy says:

    Thar’s a strange comment to make concerning Mat O’Reilly can you please elaborate on this ?

  • Eamonn Little says:

    Agree on Shaun Maloney’s performance on BBC the other night.We saw how quickly Michael Stewart was brought to heel,and is now on point.Feelgood only for the Rangers,negative for Celtic,thems the rules

  • John says:

    I think big Ange has a master plan. He knows were we went wrong in europe last year. Look at the players he is letting go. I think he has brought in better recruits to try them out over the second half of the season. He will assess the move players in and out in the summer. He is looking at the big picture, do well in europe!

  • Martin.H says:

    Cho is apologising because he’s physical that is what we are lacking, and Ange is seeing this, it takes a wee while we love our manager but he knows what he is doing.

  • Sid says:

    Sorry, not buying the hype about Alistair Johnston, way too early for that. Offensively doesn’t look the best which in 90 % domestic games is what we require. His crossing so far has been woeful. Celtic fans are way too quick to put new signings on a pedestal.
    James you never stopped telling us how much you liked Giakoumakis as a player it was constant. Now is leaving and suddenly the digs appear. Are you suffering from the same delusion that our main stream media displays, that you think all your readers can’t remember any of your previous articles? Poor stuff.

  • S Thomas says:

    Giakkoumakis was apparently the only person in the league, who would have scored that certainty that he scored a couple of months ago. Kyogo has been good at times, but he has also went off the boil as well. Giakkoumakis goals to games ratio, is outstanding, the guys probably been wondering, what he has to do to get a start. Ange hasn’t managed that very well, it’s been an old pals act, starting Kyogo all the time. A hope it’s not the same with this South Korean boy. Chris Sutton is right with his piece.

    • Duncan says:

      Spot on.
      He probably made the mistake of knocking on the Manager’s door and demanding a fair crack at it.
      He scored 2 games on the bounce and got dropped.
      Kyogo went 4 games drawing a blank and started the next.
      Giakoumakis got 10/20 minute cameos at the end of the game after the two wingers who had been supplying Kyogo got hooked as well.
      No wonder he wants a move.
      Now we bring an untested 21 year old Korean in with a goal record of 1 in 4 games in and hope he’s going to be Champions League level in 8 months time.
      Kyogo drew a blank in that Competition this Season so that’s a fair bit of pressure on both.

  • Hans says:

    Johnson looked like a rabbit in the headlights against the huns. I hope he’s got much more in his locker than we’ve seen thus far.

  • Duncan says:

    Giakoumakis the one dimensional striker who can lead the line,hold the ball up and defend in his own box like a CB?

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