"I had a point to prove after Chelsea" says Chris Sutton on Celtic spell
Former Celtic man Chris Sutton has opened up on his exit from Chelsea, and his great years at Paradise.
Sutton spent 5 seasons with the Bhoys, racking up an impressive medal haul and reaching a UEFA Cup Final. Now a charismatic, controversial pundit, Sutton still winds our opposition up on a weekly basis.
A Premier League winner with Blackburn, Sutton only won a single cap after falling out with England boss Glenn Hoddle. He did, however, work with some managerial greats, like Roy Hodgson, Kenny Dalglish and of course, Martin O’Neill.
After titles and European adventures with Blackburn Rovers, Sutton joined Gianluca Vialli’s Chelsea. Sadly, it didn’t work out for the centre-back turned striker in West London, where he only made 28 appearances. That inspired a move north, and led to 3 league titles and 3 Scottish Cups.
Speaking on The Football Analytics Podcast, Sutton said:
“I moved up to Celtic and had an absolute ball north of the border. Good team, good manager [in] Martin O’Neill. To play with the likes of Henrik Larsson, Champions League football… we were really strong. Great, great memories.
“By the time I’d gone to Celtic, I felt I had a point to prove after Chelsea. I was getting to the age where I knew my game better. When I was younger at Norwich City, I was very, very raw.
“I knew my game better, as naturally most players do at the end of their career.”
“I started to enjoy my football again”, says Chris Sutton of Celtic spell
“By the time I went to Celtic I knew my game inside-out. [Because] I wasn’t a player who came up through the system, I was rejected by Norwich at 12, I actually preferred cricket to football.
“[At Celtic] I really started to enjoy my football again. I failed at Chelsea, and that sort of hurt me a lot. It was at Celtic where I really appreciated the career which I had. Being able to play football, being happy going in every day, loving training. I soaked it all up.
“If there was any period in my career or my life I’d like to go back to it, it would be those five years at Celtic.”
Us too, Chris. A physical, yet technically excellent striker, Sutton was a masterstroke signing by Martin O’Neill.