"You can't do that"; Chris Sutton questions Celtic boss

By Euan Davidson

December 19, 2020

Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton is always good for a quote. Especially when it’s about big decisions for Neil Lennon.

Last night, on BT Sport’s Scottish Football Extra, Sutton decried the idea of showing “loyalty” to players who had been a mainstay in Celtic’s 20-21 season.

Instead, like the supporters, Sutton wants Ismaila Soro and David Turnbull to start Sunday’s Scottish Cup Final. With a historic Quadruple Treble on the line, the pundit pulled no punches.

Neil Lennon’s quotes this week have unsettled Celtic supporters. Many have little room for sentiment, given our form since the squad was rotated against Lille.


David Turnbull celebrates scoring for Celtic / (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Celtic, momentum and team selection

On his BT Sport platform, Sutton said:

“I don’t get Neil Lennon when he’s talking about loyalty to players who have played in the competition.

“You can’t do that.

“If [Lennon] goes back to Brown, goes back to Rogic and he doesn’t give the opportunity to Soro and Turnbull after they’ve played so well, what message does that send?”

The former Blackburn Rovers and Chelsea striker also talked about the pressure on Neil Lennon. He dissected the idea of picking players based on reputation and the impact that could have.

“What he’s done the last couple of games is take a little bit of pressure off himself. A tiny piece of pressure.

“Celtic have built a tiny piece of momentum. That all goes out the window if Soro doesn’t play, Turnbull doesn’t play and Celtic end up losing the game.

“So, I don’t understand this thought process in going down the sentimental route.”

Chris Sutton and Neil Lennon in conversation / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Our view: Sutton’s right

Chris Sutton has already made his team selection feelings very clear. On the Daily Record’s Celtic podcast, the former striker gave his preferred XI going into the Scottish Cup Final, and we’re pretty unanimously in agreement with him.

Soro and Turnbull should start on Sunday, based on form. We’ve looked a different side since the duo were introduced to the first team. The Ivorian’s ability in the tackle and the former Motherwell man’s creativity have given the Bhoys a huge lift over the last two games.

With Neil Lennon’s managerial chops under much scrutiny in 20-21, he should stick with what’s been working, according to Sutton. It’s hard to disagree.

In other news, you can read our recap of Callum McGregor’s pre-match press conference here.