Chris Sutton gives Kyogo verdict; Rallies Celtic fans

By Euan Davidson

December 9, 2021

They say brevity is wit, but it’s also how Chris Sutton manages to give several opinions all at once.

Sutton, who was on co-commentary duties for BT Sport tonight, sounded out of breath at times in covering the Celtic win over Betis. He subsequently took to Twitter to evaluate the performance, Kyogo’s injury, the squad and the supporters in less than 280 characters.

In a game that’s almost impossible to fully analyse, as has often been the case across a strange Europa League campaign, Sutton fired off some opinions that we’ll dissect in more detail.

Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP via Getty Images

Sutton tweeted:

“Gutsy win for Celtic. Brilliant effort and desire.

Kyogo wasn’t worth the risk though. Huge month ahead. The squad is light. The support need to get Ange Postecoglou and the team through the next few weeks until January!”

Let’s take this point by point. That really was something from Celtic against Betis tonight. 11 changes to the team that played against Dundee United, and the Hoops still manage to carve a win against one of Spain’s strongest teams.

Fine, they weren’t at full strength. But few with any valuable opinions about football would suggest that any of Diego Lainez, William Carvalho, German Pazzella, Joaquin or Sergio Canales aren’t top players. Much of this Celtic team was either from the Academy, or were making their first starts. Yet, a win.

The Kyogo issue, though, is a tough one to take. He was the one player that didn’t need to come on tonight. Debates about whether Postecoglou’s hands were tied or not are sure to erupt in the aftermath of a dramatic night at Celtic Park.

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Andrés Iniesta poses with another Celtic target, as ridiculous Hearts whining continues
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Chris Sutton makes light work of analysing Celtic v Betis game

In terms of squad depth, there are two schools of thought here. You could say that tonight was a triumph for the fringe players. Look at the effect guys like Liam Shaw, Osaze Urhoghide, Ewan Henderson and Ismaila Soro had tonight.

Ah, but. The Celtic squad now looks potentially weaker than how we started tonight. Even looking past Kyogo momentarily, Ajeti and McCarthy both had to exit. There was a head knock that really should’ve led to more subs, were they available to Ange Postecoglou.

Certainly, Ange needs backed. Especially with so many hamstring issues. To get the desired football the manager needs, depth is absolutely vital, and so is a higher standard of physical training at Lennoxtown. Anton McElhone can only do so much, and his hands will be full over the next month.

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Finally, the supporters; whether Sutton is referring to the silent protest or not is unclear. But honestly, I don’t think it’s about that. It seems, to me at least, like a more general rallying call. So much of what Postecoglou has achieved has been galvanised through a support that’s put our trust in the manager.

Tonight, his judgement over Kyogo will certainly be questioned. But the manager has to have the backing of the fans to negotiate this crucial period of the season.

If he can still deliver wins despite the odds like he did tonight, Chris Sutton will be like all of us in exuberance and belief.

Now, if Mr Chris Sutton is able to do some classes on summarising action-packed games in single tweets, where do I sign up?

Read more: Postecoglou addresses Celtic fans’ silent protest