Sutton:“So Pedro. That spectacular thing you said about your squad a while back was a complete pile of shite wasn’t it?”
Pedro: “I believe completely in my squad.”
Sutton:“Yes. But that piss-taking pile of shite was a piss-taking pile of shite that can’t be backed up by any supporting evidence whatsoever. Can it?”
Pedro: “I believe completely in my squad and do not need to defend it.”
Sutton:“Seriously Pedro? You spoke a completely piss-taking pile of shite about how you had the best squad in Scotland, and we’ve then seen it toil. Hasn’t your piss-taking pile of shite been proven to be the biggest pile of piss-taking shite ever unleashed upon Scottish football? And I say that as someone who saw David Tanner and Neil McCann fronting coverage of the domestic game for years on end.”
Pedro: “I completely believe in my squad and do not need to argue about it.”
Sutton:“OK then Pedro. You said a completely piss-taking pile of shite that you refuse to acknowledge was a completely piss-taking pile of shite. You clearly somehow think that I am the piss-taking shite-piling one. So I will ask you a VERY simple question….
“Are you seriously saying that you wouldn’t swap any of your SPFL non-crushing squad for players from Celtic, Aberdeen or the Leith Ladies Whist Drive? Are you really so determined to pile up your piss-taking shite like this in all it’s metaphor-mixing and stinking glory?”
Pedro: “I do not care about Celtic, Aberdeen or the Leith Ladies. I do not take the piss out of shite. Even if my caravan had the equipment to do so I would not permit it. I have no interest in any other team. Are those green boots that you are wearing Chris? I would not like to feel that you are taking the piss out of my pile of shite by wearing the colours of Celtic who I do not wish to talk about.”
Sutton:“So you agree that your piss-taking pile of shite WAS a piss-taking pile of shite? Are you not embarrassed, Pedro?”
Pedro: “I choose to take the piss as the Rangers* manager. That pile of shite is a Rangers* pile of shite. If you say it is a piss-taking pile of shite I am not going to argue with you. Because I choose to take the piss with a pile of shite comments in defence of my squad.”
Sutton:“So you really are speaking a piss-taking pile of shite Pedro?”
Pedro: “I was not briefed to answer any more questions. I will simply say that we are the People. I am told that that is all anyone really needs to know.”
Oh how we laughed a few days ago when Robbie ‘Remarkably Someone In An Editorial Position Actually Thinks We Are Interested’ Savage suggested that Chris Sutton was “obsessed” with Rangers*.
“Obsessed” is of course a favourite jibe of some limited members of the Sevconian fan fraternity who seem not to like folk
giving in to the time-honoured tradition of rubbernecking at a circus/car-crash; or
being wary that the ‘same club’ playing out of Ibrox might repeat the actions of its… errr… predecessor by breaking many rules, financially doping, and generally warping the entire national sport.
“Obsessed” is an extremely lazy ‘insult’ uttered by the uninspired and unimaginative. Actually, let’s be honest about it, it’s just sh*t! But bless them, these folk still deploy it with gusto!
To be fair to Sutton, as befits his track record as a player and pundit, he appeared not to give a single f*ck about Savage’s comments. And why should he?
But Savage isn’t the only person to have played the ‘obsessed’ card recently. Apparently Laura Miller, wife of Kenny Miller, slammed Sutton for having a ‘Rangers obsession’.
I know this because I read it in the Evening Shark-Jump.
Or rather I didn’t, because despite the headline, Laura Miller said nothing of the sort.
Here is the headline.
And here is the rest of the article, which lacks a byline.
Laura Miller actually seems to have accused Sutton of excessively enjoying ICT’s first goal because it was against a team masquerading as ‘Rangers’. She did not accuse him of obsession or fixation or anything else along those lines.
But someone at the ESJ chose to dress up her incisive punditry as being a response to ‘obsession’.
Far be it from me to suggest that the tone of the article was intended to appeal or pander to small wibbling demographic in the ESJ readership which doesn’t enjoy scrutiny of their latest ‘club’, and which has a problem with Chris Sutton not obligingly churning out the sort of unquestioning ‘Rangers* are a big club and vital to Scottish football’ bilge which all-too-often passes for punditry in our MSM.
So, Chris Sutton made a short appearance on SSB last night, during which he engaged in ‘conversation’ with regular, long-standing pundit Derek Johnstone.
Sutton’s appearance wasn’t so much an exercise in handing Johnstone his arse on a plate, as them both attending a five-course meal in which every single dish was DJ’s arse.
And boy was the experience succulent for its listeners!
You can listen to the full eight-minute clip here:
What a remarkable listen! I won’t even attempt to analyse it in any detail. I am sure that folk far more articulate than The Clumpany are better placed to do so. However, I will offer the following observations…
Chris Sutton – at a stroke – made the extraordinarily tired format and familiar pundits of SSB seem like lumbering dinosaurs. A bright, articulate and highly opinionated former footballer who is unused to the rampant cliches of ‘in-house’ Scottish football punditry effortlessly drove a coach and horses through DJ’s bluster and the staid cosy nature of SSB.
Sutton said absolutely nothing which could be construed as revolutionary. However, it sounded as though he had simply because he had the temerity to call out the banal Sevco cliches and Ibrox background of an all-too-familiar pundit. A pundit who seems to be the very embodiment of tired, old-school, reassuring blandness.
DJ didn’t take the challenge of Chris Sutton very well at all. Indeed, he seemed to take it personally, and indicated that he was ‘disgusted’ at being confronted by the BT Sport man (who – incidentally -used to play for Celtic). DJ was unable to offer any sort of clearly-articulated response or counter-argument to Sutton, and simply blustered in a way which his sympathic listeners might have assumed meant ‘Ignore the crazy rational man and please believe in Rangers*’.
Tonight’s exchanges shouldn’t seem remarkable. They were little more than an entirely normal part of the diverse and vibrant discussion which underpins a typical 21st Century western society. And yet Sutton’s views – and the fact he was even allowed to present them on a Scottish radio show – seemed quite remarkable. Now, if that isn’t indicative of a really deep malaise in Scottish sports punditry and journalism, I don’t know what is.
The Clumpany suspects that Clyde SSB will now be bombarded for weeks by folk perturbed by an unwelcome outbreak of intelligent thinking and free speech on their radio. And I am sure that howls of protest will be raised against any prospect of Sutton being allowed back on air at any point before Judgement Day.
You can bet your bottom Sevconian dollar that much of this protest will be based around the assertion that Sutton is a ‘Rangers hater’, rather than on any detailed consideration of the quality of his punditry.
‘Rangers hater’ is – of course – a term routinely used by the hard-of-thinking when anything less than 100% of total human activity isn’t bowing before the ridiculous notions that
Rangers survived their self-inflicted liquidation; and
Every single bit of public and media comment should be geared towards hailing the majesty of the one true undying Ibrox club…
I am sure that these are lovely things to strive for, but do you know something? The cat has long since got out of the bag in relation to them! Far too many people are determined never to put up with the Ibrox-orientated nonsenseagain for the ‘deference’ and ‘respect’ cards to have any effect whatsoever.
We all know that Rangers died, and we know that society continues to be ill-served by a media which pretends otherwise and which panders to a ridiculous notion that Scottish football is (and can ever only be) about two clubs. Even though one of them is a complete work of fiction.
Interventions such as Chris Sutton’s tonight are extremely welcome because they cut through the MSM’s PR-driven, Ibrox-fawning nonsense at a stroke. Like so many of us who mainly operate on social media, Sutton sometimes goes over the top. But – like us – he seems to know unadulterated bullsh*t when he sees it. And for that Chris Sutton should be applauded. Even by SSB, to whom his views and approach might seem like Kryptonite just now…
NB Should you wish to vote for my brand of humour/ sarcasm/ polemic/ surrealism in the Football Blogging Awards 2016 you can do so
on the FBA website by clicking here and voting for @TheClumpany in the ‘Best New Blog’ category, AND the ‘Best Social Media’ category; or
And let us hope that one day Celtic fans will find it in our hearts to forgive Josh Meekings for his Scottish Cup semi-final handball, as well as the army of officials who missed it. Bitter, moi? 😉
That was back in the Ronny Deila days. Remember him? It seems a lifetime ago that he was in charge, and the form, tactics and performance level of the Celtic team under Brendan Rodgers at this early stage are starting to seem light years away from those of his predecessor.
Tonight’s is a huge game as the Hoops try and secure Champions League group stage football for the first time in what feels like living memory. Oh, and yes and a whopping great pile of cash.
I usually try to switch off from getting pre-match nerves as they can ruin my day, but tonight’s second leg feels like a potentially season-defining moment as Rodgers’ Celtic aim to get a place at the top table of European football and pretty much make the fans’ year.
You might also say it could be an era-defining fixture given the amount of money available to Celtic if they progress. Champions League revenue may put a significant financial distance between them and their domestic rivals (Dave King’s warchest notwithstanding…), while Champions League football is likely to appeal to a standard of player normal beyond their reach. Of course money doesn’t guarantee success if you don’t use it wisely!
However, whatever the result tonight things seem very positive at Celtic just now, and although group stage Europa League football would feel like a disappointment, it would still be European competition and a chance to pit the club against some very good sides. It would still be enjoyable and a great learning experience, so no one should panic.
But stuff that for now! We want Champions League football! Come on!
This morning, I had a lengthy chuckle at the Daily Record’s genuinely interesting revelations about celebrated referee Craig Thomson who has made a hash of some major decisions in his recent televised games.
Thomson apparently took umbrage at BT Sport’s Chris Sutton calling him out for “bottling it” by not sending off Sevco’s Harry Forrester against Dundee for a challenge which can only be described as ‘agricultural’. A challenge which was only one of several such ‘spectacles’ in the game.
According to the Record, Thomson refused to cooperate with BT Sport ahead of and during the recent St Johnstone-Celtic game, and affected the running of adverts by blowing for kick offs earlier than planned and without reference to the BT floor manager. He also apparently refused to discuss the reasons for the game’s bookings with BT backroom staff (as is the norm) to ensure that accurate information can be communicated to viewers.
Now, assuming the Record has got this correct, it is utterly bewildering!
Fancy that! A referee being surprised and upset to get criticism! We have never seen the like before! Whatever next? Thomson suddenly getting annoyed that he has to use a whistle rather than a trombone? Thomson being outraged that he can’t wear ballet shoes while officiating? Thomson raging that he can’t take referees’ ‘man in black’ moniker literally and dress up as the late great Johnny Cash during games?
The truth could be that Thomson has the sort of thin skin which can’t be addressed by a refereeing course. It certainly seems as though he has thrown his toys out of the pram, and he can have no complaints about BT Sport (who certainly seem to try and present our game with some professionalism and style) kicking up a stink with the SFA and SPFL. There are contracts in place relating to the broadcasting of matches around the world and this includes precise strictures about the timing of each half of the match.
Broadcasters don’t want officials taking liberties on a stroppy whim. Nevertheless, recent events won’t stop Thomson refereeing a Champions League playoff game this week, as well as Dundee Utd v Raith at the weekend. Isn’t football great at learning from its mistakes?!
Personally (if the Record’s eye-catching story is correct), I would remove Thomson from televised games and preferably all football until it can be determined whether he is going to officiate without bringing any personal angst to his games. He seems to have called into question his ability to remain dispassionate, and that is something no senior match official should ever do.
However, I suspect that some sort of fudge will emerge with everyone committing to ‘redouble their efforts to bring viewers a quality product’. However, I hope this fudge does not include the likes of Sutton having to rein in his criticisms of referees. Calling out refereeing mistakes is one of the important ‘checks and balances’ in football. If criticism is frowned upon, and the SFA’s men in black are beyond reproach we will have a serious problem. Because it will result in referees who don’t always seek to improve and perform to the highest possible standards.
As for Craig Thomson’s longer-term future, at least he can rest assured that having seemingly lost his cool, no football fan will ever mock him for it. Because football fans are like that. They love referees and wouldn’t dream of trying to wind them up.
So what did Sutton have to say about the possibility of a heavy defeat for Sevco?
“I would suggest that puts Warburton right back to square one. Warburton is clearly a smart guy. He’s always talking up the English game, he’s always on the radio down south and it’s clear he’s making sure people keep hearing him in England.”
“However, I’d say Warburton isn’t doing anything with Rangers in the Scottish Championship that he shouldn’t be doing. Let’s not get too carried away as in the main Rangers should be smashing the likes of Alloa, Dumbarton and Livingston with their eyes closed. The Light Blues under- achieved massively last season and Warburton has come in, calmed things down and simply achieved what he should have league wise and improved the playing personnel. Hibs and, to a lesser extent Falkirk, are the only real competition in the Championship. Warburton has beaten them, yes, but he has lost to them both as well. Win one, lose one for a mid-table finish isn’t going to cut any ice with the Rangers fans when they get back to the Premiership.”
[“Back”, Chris?! Steady on!]
“Warburton took umbrage when his team were criticised for losing to St Johnstone in the League Cup earlier this season. He felt it was ridiculous to have his team subjected to an inquiry after one defeat. Excuse me if I have got this wrong but I haven’t seen him make similar comments about the hysteria that has followed last weekend’s Scottish Cup win over Dundee. If you don’t want judged on one-off games Mark then I won’t. I’m looking to judge the Ibrox side over a 38-game programme next season and, with the current squad, they look mid-table. I’ve said they could possibly beat Celtic in a one-off tie but not over 38 games.Nor Aberdeen and nor Hearts for that matter.
He’s going to know already his team needs serious strengthening for the Premiership. One 90-minute win over Dundee doesn’t change that so this is where the backing from the board comes in. I don’t know how much money Dave King has. Maybe he has an unlimited pot of gold under the bed ready to hand to Warburton when he wins promotion. However, what if he doesn’t?
What if the inability to capture the two targets Warburton identified in January comes back to repeat itself in the summer? Warburton wanted the Brentford player Toumani Diagouraga but he went to Leeds and the vibe was that Rangers didn’t have the cash to get him and Michael O’Halloran from St Johnstone.”
“Are you telling me Rangers* fans will be happy with digging in for a point at Inverness to secure a place in the top six next season while Celtic and Aberdeen are 30 points ahead fighting for the championship title? Of course not. That position would be real pressure for Warburton who seems to get irritated at the slightest thing. And who knows for sure if he’d fancy it?”
Ooooooft! Sutton shoots and scores!
A realistic assessment of what Warbo ought to be achieving with the resources at his disposal in the second tier of Scottish football.
Raising the question of whether Dave King actually does have a war chest to hand to his manager.
Pointing out that Warbo appears so thinned-skinned that he often gets mistaken for a sheet of cellophane, and asking whether he would really be ‘up’ for a mid-table scrap in the Premiership.
This is not the sort of commentary that we are used to seeing in relation to the King Warbolution at Sevco. It might be reasonable and questioning commentary, but it sure as hell isn’t what gets published in some of the newspapers or uttered by pundits on the love-ins which masquerade as radio phone-ins.
Which tells us something unsettling about quite a lot of the football coverage in Scotland.
Well done Chris Sutton!
Now, your next challenge is to say something positive about Ronny Deila.