Chris Sutton's class 2021 prediction on rival capitulation; tipped Celtic for "special" season

By David Walton

April 14, 2022

One of the funniest things to do in recent times has been to go through the archives of media figures and pro-Rangers pundits highlighting just how wrong they were on Ange.

Okay so it’s a touch cheeky, but the sheer disrespect for the man almost immediately after he was appointed was embarrassing. It’s no wonder there’s been plenty of reflection on it from outlets such as ourselves.

However, there is one particular pundit who deserves credit with his early-season prediction – Chris Sutton. Back when everyone was talking about Rangers having 2 squads that could beat Celtic [Daily Record], Sutton was backing Ange for a “special” season.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

He also believed a Rangers capitulation could’ve been on the cards as far back as August. And looking at these comments now, they come across as almost prophetic. Here’s a look at some of the things Chris said about Celtic and Rangers all those months ago in his Daily Record column before the first derby of the season:

“If the club can make the right moves over a vital next 72 hours [transfer window], he might just have an opportunity to do the improbable and sink them [Rangers] over the whole season and win back the title. I can barely believe I’m saying that, but power can change quickly in Glasgow.

“Celtic fell apart from a position of strength last year. It could be Rangers who crumble this year. It can happen. I’ve lived it myself. If the hierarchy can engineer the right moves in the next four days, Celtic might just be onto a season which no fan could seriously have envisaged.

“Something doesn’t seem right inside Ibrox at the moment. Never mind the Covid issues, the performances this season have looked weak in comparison to last term. Maybe there is a hangover from their title success. Maybe there’s a bit of complacency. Maybe there is some uncertainty surrounding the future of individuals before the window closes. Whatever it is, Rangers are not firing.

“The board can step in before Tuesday and give Postecoglou a serious opportunity to do something special within his first year.”

“Celtic are in a really strong position, the pressure’s all on Rangers” | Jackie McNamara on 67HH

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“Celtic are in a really strong position, the pressure’s all on Rangers” | Jackie McNamara on 67HH
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Credit to Chris Sutton; things turning out exactly as predicted

There were some fans saying the same thing at the time in fairness. Considering this was just after we knocked AZ Alkmaar out of Europa League qualifying, Postecoglou’s stock was growing.

But even then there were no pundits brave enough to come out and push Celtic under Ange. Nobody brave enough to suggest that they could tackle Steven Gerrard’s mighty bottle-merchants.

Granted, nothing has been won yet. Celtic still need to get over the line and a question mark will hover over them until they do. However, it would take an absolute disaster for Sutton’s words here not to ring true at the end of the campaign.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers have lost 23 points this season in the Premiership. That’s nowhere near the form they were showing last season, so Chris was spot on in that regard. So too was him stating that Celtic had a chance at the title. Remember this was still during a period in which just getting closer to Rangers was deemed as the main target.

Winning the title would be that “something special” that Sutton describes. A treble? Well, that would just be utterly outrageous from Ange and the team. It’s important to remember just how unlikely securing the Premiership alone was back in August.

So credit to Chris here. He touted it to happen when no other media figure was willing to push the same narrative. And as Celtic close in on the championship, he’s so close to being proven spot on.

In other news, Lubo Moravcik admits he regrets not staying at Celtic and experiencing Seville