Sutton fires dig at "bitter" Nicholas over ridiculous Celtic comments

By David Walton

December 22, 2020

Chris Sutton has labelled Charlie Nicholas “sadly bitter” after ridiculous remarks about Celtic greats Neil Lennon and Martin O’Neill.

Nicholas has been reacting to Celtic’s quadruple-treble success in his Daily Express column today. Unsurprisingly, he chose to have a dig as opposed to actually recognising the achievement.

Speaking in today’s Scottish Daily Express (22/12, page 53), Nicholas said: “Neil Lennon made history by completing the quadruple-treble but it doesn’t put him up there with true Celtic managerial greats Jock Stein and Brendan Rodgers. But I would also say the same about Martin O’Neill.

“Martin signed some world-class players and also inherited a few, such as Henrik Larsson. He brought in big players and Celtic were paying them fortunes. Reaching the 2003 UEFA Cup Final in Seville was fantastic but I never saw Martin as a true great.

“Lennon is a bit like that. I absolutely applaud his achievements in winning a treble as a player and a boss but, on the managerial front, his triumphs have come at a time when the title races weren’t overly competitive. In fact, if he had lost any of them he would have been out of a job.”

Sutton reacted today with the following:

Lennon and O’Neill’s Celtic achievements cannot be undermined

Some may actually agree with Nicholas regarding Lennon. That’s fine – if he loses the 10 then he may very well do irreparable damage to his reputation here. But for the moment, in my view, he’s still a Celtic great.

Neil has still managed to contribute to more than half of the titles of our nine-in-a-row run. That’s terrific stuff and deserves to be recognised. He’s also the last manager to have gotten us to the last-16 of the Champions League. The first manager in our history to win a European group too.

O’Neill, however, managed unthinkable work at Parkhead. He arrived in Glasgow at a time when the vast majority of trophies were ending up with blue, white and red ribbons. He revolutionised Celtic and turned them into a winning machine again.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon with the Scottish Cup / (Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

You can’t just dismiss the UEFA Cup run or Martin’s treble either. He won titles when Rangers were spending at peak levels. The two he lost only came down to final day drama too (don’t get me started about Dunfermline in 2003 either). He managed to put Celtic back on the map in Europe and had us winning regularly at home again.

He is most certainly a Celtic great. Sutton is quite right to hit back at Charlie here. Only Nicholas will know why he believes this is necessary to hit out with.

After all, he’s a Celtic man isn’t he? He should be pretty delighted with the quadruple-treble? God knows why this is one of the first things he felt was necessary to say. Perhaps he still hasn’t gotten over Neil calling him out back in October (Glasgow Times).

In other news, Robbie Neilson made a classy Celtic admission as he put his supporters to shame.