Charlie Nicholas should be one of my heroes. I am old enough to remember two spells he had at the club, the first in which he was a wonderkid.
That man is part of the 100 goals club, along with the other players I’ve seen who’ve made that peak on the mountain – Griffiths, Forrest, Hartson and Larsson – and I should think the world of him.
But nope. And I won’t even pretend otherwise.
I don’t know if the story is true or not, but a mate of mine once told me he witnessed Nicholas campaigning for a Tory in Maryhill whilst wearing leather trousers. Like the expression says, “if it ain’t true it ought to be” because it so perfectly encapsulated what I’d always thought of him anyway that I’m convinced of it.
Nicholas’s vanishing from Sky Sports was one of the best things to happen to the channel. I never thought him a particularly intelligent analyst and there, as with his newspaper column, he spent an awful lot of his time being extremely negative about Celtic.
This week he’s claiming that he believes, from sources – haha! – that the injury to Hatate is more severe than Celtic is letting on and he could be out for a while. Odd then that the player is back in training and looking good to make the weekend.
But he also said that Iwata was poor at the weekend, which I think we’d all have noticed had it been true. What’s more, his performance was acclaimed by almost all of the mainstream media – and you know they’d have loved nothing more than to write about a bad performance.
Nicholas is either totally unable to see what’s in front of his face or this is a classic example of criticism from somebody who isn’t entitled to. Like some of the comments I occasionally get on Twitter or elsewhere from people who dismiss the premise of an article based on the headline but never actually read any further than that.
For criticism, any criticism, to be valid you need to work a bit harder than that.
Nicholas has got a brass neck in attempting to critique a player who he clearly didn’t watch, or at the very least when he didn’t have a clue what it was that he was watching.
Worse is spreading an utterly false rumour about one of our players … it’s for this reason than he is virtually regarded as a non-person around Celtic Park, where he would otherwise be a hero.