Why Is Chris Sutton Using His Platform To Constantly Attack The Celtic Manager?

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In recent weeks, I’ve been writing about a trend that has me somewhat confused, but not in the least bit concerned; the way Chris Sutton has become an arch critic of almost every aspect of the club, just not the one that is most responsible for our current mess. He seems to have the guns trained everywhere except in the director’s box.

He has hectored our manager more in the last few weeks than Hugh Keevins. Now, I appreciate that he’s got a job to do and I appreciate that his views are shared by some of our supporters, but “Ex-Celtic star claims Celtic manager is doing a terrible job” will generate greater headlines than just about any other story in the media, and he knows that.

When your articles are featuring on Ibrox fan sites, and being praised there, when those sites hate your living guts, I would suggest that you might want to rethink the strategy. Sutton’s problem is that he never knows when its time to take a simple shot and when it’s time to bring out the blunderbuss, and his whole style is about putting himself front and centre.

And to be honest, we don’t need that right now. None of his opinions are particularly controversial, but they all feed into the narrative that the manager is the one who has screwed things up here and I am not entirely convinced that has merit. He’s not blameless, but to start claiming every drop off in player form is down to him is nothing short of ridiculous.

Today the headlines are that the manager has ruined Kyogo. It’s rubbish, I’m afraid to say. Kyogo remains a very capable footballer. The fact is that most clubs in Scotland have pretty much sussed what the Japanese forward does best and by using ultra-defensive tactics they have neutralised it. It’s not a coincidence that he keeps on scoring against the Ibrox club and he’s shown that he can do it too in the big games in the Champions League … those teams do not do what the majority of other teams in this league have made their stock-in-trade.

Kyogo was dropped from the last game and we saw what a difference a big, strong player like Idah makes to those same defences. He got into the rough and tumble. He enjoyed the battle. And he was effective. Don’t be surprised if he continues to be, because he was signed for this system and Kyogo was signed to play in a very different sort of team.

That team is gone. A lot of people need to start adapting to that fact. We don’t have Ange Postecoglou as manager anymore and the style of football he used went with him.

Those who are suggesting we should play “Ange football” just so our star striker starts putting the ball in the net again don’t really understand how the game works and how impossible that is; as I keep saying, if it was that easy we could just hire Derek McInnes and tell him to play AngeBall. And you do not hire a top class coach to work with someone else’s system. You hire him to work with his own. And then you back him. I am not surprised that Sutton, the tactical God of a short spell as manager of Lincoln City does not fully grasp the first fact, but I’m really amazed that he doesn’t give the manager a break out of recognition for the second.

We will not see Rodgers fully emerge this time around until he has the players he needs. Who were the stars of the last Celtic side under this manager? Dembele and Sinclair, the two guys he identified and who he brought here to great fanfare and acclaim. Who was the star man at Celtic before those two arrived? Leigh Griffiths, off the back of a madcap scoring season where you couldn’t see past him as our number one forward.

Once we’d seen Moussa, by God everything became clear.

Sutton has also said that Kyogo is “too good for the current Celtic team.” Which is just an insult to every other player in the side and a ridiculous statement to make at a time when, to be blunt, he’s not kicking his own backside. Honestly, I find his constant attacks on the manager right now to be absolutely tiresome, and his inability to see beyond him startling.

I’ve argued that Rodgers will have to change the system if we’re going to win the league, but I’m not suggesting we do it so we can build it around one player, that’s just ludicrous and even dangerous because if that player gets injured what then?

Rodgers will have to adapt this side to get the best out of all the players in it, not just one, and to narrow our issues on the field right now to that one specific player being off form is why Rodgers made it as a top class coach and Sutton didn’t; it is never as simple as it looks for the commentary box.

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  • Gerry says:

    James, I have to agree with your comments on Sutton. I loved the big man as a player and in the main, his punditry and tweets, which regularly make the Sevconians apoplectic with rage.
    However, at this juncture in the season, every Celtic fan and Celtic minded person should be behind our manager and players. None of us are obtuse, or fail to recognise that our season’s form, and of late, has been tepid, to put it mildly. Nevertheless, keep it positive and if you can’t do that, keep it realistic.

  • John Copeland says:

    He criticises Celtic in his daily Record column today because that is the narrative the rag wants to go on . He’s asked the question from his ghost writer . It’s meant to cause disruption and severe disapproval . Its the Kharsi roll’ s agenda . This as I said previously is the way of the SMSM and every other outlet ….cause as much discontent off the field as currently on it . It’s tacit instructions .These idiotic publications aren’t swirling the drain because people admire their product . They are slowly but surely going out of business because of their dire sub standard quality and features .

  • Michael Miller says:

    Simple solution here is to do what I do and don’t read any ex players opinions .Their opinions are of no interest to me and they certainly don’t speak for the true Celtic fans .

  • MartinKennea says:

    Chris , ssssshhhhhhhh.

  • Celticfcman says:

    Sutton is only about Sutton. He doesn’t have a clue, and is slightly more intelligent than the moron he sits next to. Kyogo’s effort and concentration have been way off this season. He can go train in the park with McCarthy. Idah will be the difference and carry us to the double. Forrest, Idah, Maeda, McGregor in attack role, O’Riley, Iwata, Ralston, Lager, Scales, Bernabei, Hart. Our best eleven at the moment, only switch Taylor and CCV in when healthy. Absolute crime that Forrest isn’t playing 90 minutes every match. You want results, let the best creator and crosser in Scotland play.

  • Dan says:

    I do get part of what Chris says. Rodgers stated the team needs quality. If he got quality he has to get the best from them or it is wasted money. He has quality in Kyogo and he’s now practically ineffective. Rodgers has to take some responsibility for that. I personally don’t buy into the other teams sussing him out. A good player is a good player and they find ways to get the job done. The truth is that the service to him is woeful. I like Brendan and was fine about him coming back, but the team are playing like the end of his last spell, terrible!! I just don’t think he is a high end manager anymore. If anyone has been sussed out, it is him

  • Timbilly says:

    Sutton is correct.
    Our wingers are dire and are unable to take the ball past a defender and put in the kind of crosses
    that Kyogo thrived on under Ange.
    Palma is not a team player and Abada doesn’t look interested. As for Kuhn the jury is still out.
    Wingers habitually passing the ball backwards has to stop.

  • Leon says:

    Brendan is definitely not blameless.
    Celtic being 9 points behind at this stage last season and also a worse goal difference of 19 would confirm that fact.

    Brendan did amazing in his first season with Ronnie’s players from the previous season.
    When Celtic clinched the title 5-0 at Tynecastle,
    Only Sinclair was brought in by Brendan and our other 10 players played under Ronnie.

    It would be great to see Brendan win another title but I still think Celtic need a new manager for next season,going forward.

  • john mc guire says:

    chris has bought into the gig if you dont slag Celtic then you dont get any more gigs up here ,and ask your self why has neil lennon getting gigs of the media and the press simple slag the manger and the board maybe he will get his job back .

  • Bob L says:

    The football being played under Rodgers is awful. Who is telling the defence to pass from side to side instead of moving forward? Who has slowed down play so much that our wingers cant get past a marker and fire crosses in to Kyogo? Sutton is correct in some of what he says, Rodgers must take some blame for the poor quality on display

  • bertie basset says:

    well , i’v not seen a smile on kyogo’s face this season for some reason , add to that i don’t think rogers hit it off with hatate either , our top modfielder , i reckon we won’t see him in a celtic shirt very often if he returns and will be gone next season , mcgregor got his first mention after 20 minutes of the second half at hibs and that was when he lost the ball , kuhn is not the thing either , bernado iffy , something is wrong at celtic , what we have is better than other teams we are 7 months into the league and i bet no one can tell us where we’re going or what we are attempting to do on the field , add to that , are we expected to believe that the groundsmen at celtic park are not answerable to rodgers and the management in relation to the state of the pitch ? people lose their jobs for less , it’s as if another perfect storm like that, that banjaxed the 10 is what is on the horizon !!!

  • Bob L says:

    Celticfcman … you want Forrest on? Seriously? Is that how bad Celtic are now??

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Sutton is only saying what a lot of the supporters are thinking, unless we get our wide men to hit the bye-line we’re not going to win the title.
    We all know that the recruitment in the summer and January was rubbish but the deserved criticism of the board doesn’t give the manager and coaching staff a free pass.
    Surely one of best ways to beat a team playing 10 behind the ball is to vary your play and wingers getting to the bye-line is one of the weapons for any team wanting to pierce a defence.
    That display on Wednesday was about the worst I’ve seen since the Tony Mowbray days, we were very fortunate that one great tackle from Ralston, and one mistimed tackle from the Hibs player gave us the penalty for the winner.
    Chris is a fair minded pundit and says it like it is, the manager has got to get more from himself,his staff and his players . If he doesn’t we won’t win anything this season.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    I thought Sutton was perceptive and constructive: Wingers aren’t playing like wingers and going for the byline to cut back or cross for Kyogo : they are reluctant to take on opponents and constantly come inside. Kyogo gets few chances.Sutton is saying that needs to change. Let’s not get too excited by Idah just yet: two penalties show not much more than that he can take penalties.

  • Thomas black k says:

    James I think you’ve got it wrong about kyogo .he’s still suffering from that he received last season he has refused to get a operation till the end of the season but I reckon he’s feeling it now he keeps trying to protect it but the big defenders try stopping him by barging his shoulders

  • Derek bailey says:

    Spot on. . I can not understand why Sutty has it in for Brendan. Brendan has been responsible for only the last 2 signings, I wish folk would get that. And he is responsible for keeping great players on long term contracts and folk should get that. It is time to up the backing and stand together.

  • Charlie Kelly says:

    I believe the comments made by Chris Sutton are made for right reasons.The board treat the Supporters with contempt and are only interested in lining their own pockets,as for Rodgers I’m not happy he returned but board took easy way out and now have a stooge in place if things go wrong,about time Supporters Association stood up and took on responsibility for fans unfortunately man in charge too busy sitting with directors in there box

  • goodghuy says:

    Chris is right.. I’ve never been because someone is Celtic minded they are not allowed to criticize. We have played the exact same way for weeks, square passes, then back to Joe Hart, then it just repeats itself. We get about 70 percent possession, and do absolutely nothing with it , with regards to goal scoring chances. Unless we score early, I feel we will struggle to score, it’s just not great to watch. How kyogo can go from being the top striker in the country, to barely getting a chance on goal is criminal. I also like Brendan, but this type of football is not going to get the best out of Kyogo. If Brendan don’t change the tactics, we will lose this league. I am hoping we are not going to get bailed out with penalties tomorrow again, I’m hoping we put in a seasons best performance. HH

  • Bonaventure says:

    I agree with Sutton that Kyogo is not being utilised correctly
    In the first game of the season he was defending on the goal line against Rofss County at their first corner and their deflected goal
    Brendan keeps bleating about quality where is it ?
    Forest for 90 minutes ?
    Yes we want an ‘elite’ coach to improve our team and preferably keep the play entertaining my question is where or when is this going to happen

  • Gerry says:

    I think it’s fair to say that everyone is entitled to an opinion and also to criticise, if it’s justified. BR has to take criticism for our performances this season, as they haven’t been consistent or good enough.
    However we should stop comparing his team to Ange’s ! Let’s be honest, how often did Ange change his starting 11? The answer would be, not very often! We have a large squad ( the quality of which has been questioned/criticised all season) but we’ve never had our strongest line up for many games, due to countless injuries! Ange’s teams’ were all about getting the ball forward quickly, out wide, and then across for wee Kyogo to slot in. This season we’ve tried a combination of Yang, Palma, Forrest, Abada, Kuhn and Maeda out wide, and still don’t know who’ll be the regular starters!
    The football under Ange was obviously better than what we’ve seen under BR thus far, but we have to trust in our manager to get it right and win this title !

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