Sutton Wants The Celtic Boss To Trash His Employers. Cause That Would Restore Calm, Eah?

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I was never the most diplomatic person in the world. I am not the most diplomatic person in the world today. But I know a little bit about diplomacy and the need for it in certain circumstances, as a lifetime of watching politics reminds me over and over again. Diplomacy is important, even if you’re sitting across the table with someone you can’t stand.

Most of us have never been near a high-level diplomatic meeting.

But there’s enough information about them in the public domain that we can get a sense of how they go. There’s a lot of fudging. A lot of holding back.

Watching one of those meetings would be incredibly frustrating for the average person, this is why it’s probably a good thing that I steered clear of a career in that field … I wouldn’t be able to sit through people openly lying and not even trying to hide it whilst I kept a straight face.

But losing the rag in those circumstances can have huge repercussions and dire real-world consequences. Historically speaking, that’s how some wars have started. The art of being able to smile and conduct negotiations with somebody you know is full of it and plainly hates your guts should not be underestimated. It’s a real skillset.

There are more grounded examples.

If you’ve ever tried to talk someone you know out of doing something daft it’s often not a great idea, or particularly helpful, to tell them flat out that they are behaving like an idiot and in danger of looking that way or worse. So, you cajole, you talk around it rather than cut right across it.

It’s the same in relationships; if your significant other looks overweight and wants to wear tight fitting clothes you can be an insensitive jerk and tell them they’re going to look fat, and possibly accept the consequences, or you can put it in a slightly different way which keeps them happy and spares you the slap in the face.

Every single one of us understands the importance of diplomacy in the workplace. We’ve all had to deal with the need to keep the head and bite your lip.

Brendan Rodgers was the picture of diplomacy at the weekend. He has a qualification in neurolinguistics, and I have occasionally written about that on this site. It’s a trick, basically, but you can see where it would be useful.

Put into practice, it’s essentially about how certain words and phrases can rewire the pathways in another person’s head and get you to a different place with them. It’s a trick used by people in fields as diverse as police work, psychotherapy and teaching. It’s why he’s such an effective communicator and man-manager.

He knows how to get a point across and at the weekend he did it so well that even a complete moron like Keith Jackson caught the nuances of his words, and that’s a minor miracle considering his IQ, and a tribute to how excellent the manager is at this.

But Chris Sutton wants the manager to offer more clarity on his comments. In fact, he wants them explained, he knows Rodgers is not a happy man, and if the boss has something to say he reckons he should just come right out and say it.

In short, he wants Brendan Rodgers to get the flamethrower out and take a scorched earth approach to things. Which, and maybe I’m crazy … well, that might not be the smart thing to do here.

Because as satisfying as it would be to see Rodgers tell these people their policy is a joke and their decision to limit his options in this way is a scandal, you don’t have to think too deeply about this to realise what a potentially disastrous development that would be.

We know things are on the edge right now, and Rodgers is the game responsible for trying to hold it all together. He played it beautifully at the weekend, trying to hold the various strands of this in such a way as he made his point without sparking further chaos.

It would be singularly dreadful if the manager lit the fuse and then threw the bomb. From that moment on, that’s your season, that’s what will define it on an off the pitch, open warfare between the board and the manager.

I don’t doubt that Rodgers is unhappy and his anger is reflected in the stands. But nothing would destabilise Celtic more profoundly than the boss venting his full fury in public.

Sutton should not be stamping his feet like some wilful child and making such stupid demands.

Nor should he be attacking the new signings on the basis that they are projects; he knows full well that Idah has played plenty of first team games and can’t be called that.

He knows nothing about Kuhn but he’s definitely not a project footballer; that tag doesn’t automatically accrue to someone under the age of 24.

You look at a guy’s first team football record, and if he doesn’t have one that’s when you know you’re looking at a project. If he does, you’re not.

I cannot believe that Sutton actually thinks that it would be a good idea for Rodgers to make his private frustration quite so public in the manner he’s suggesting.

The club would self-implode, and those inside it who are causing all the problems would be able to dump the whole thing onto Rodgers as the guy who detonated the campaign.

I’ve already called him out for hinting that we should be blaming the manager for this mess. If he has something to say then perhaps he should come right out and say it, instead of dancing around it in the manner he has.

More to the point, when Sky is pissing all over Scottish football fans, as it has been prone to do, perhaps Sutton will come out and condemn that, you know, as openly taking a stand against the people paying your salary is the done thing.

But I rather suspect not.

In the meantime, he should think before he opens his gob. This kind of suggestion is not only unhelpful, it’s downright dangerous at the moment. Rodgers can raise as much Hell as he’s able behind the scenes, and he should be, and he better be … but right where everyone can see it?

No, that would do more harm than good.

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  • Luis Palm says:

    The manager and his style of play is our biggest problem.

    Anyone who can’t see that is at it.

    Look at his league results in his last 2 seasons. It’s the same shite as this season with much better players.

    The only difference is Aberdeen isn’t our nearest challenger this time.

    His football style is dead, every manager in the world evolves, he refuses to due to complete arrogance.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    He’s probably been put up to it by his bosses James…

    Does he not spout stuff off in one of the paper rags as well –

    Not that I’d know as I don’t buy them – I just find out on here from time to time…

    But we all need to box clever here and that means NO ENGAGEMENT WHATSOEVER with The Scottish Football Media !

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