Celtic are ill-prepared for the new season but Chris Sutton's doomsday scenarios help nobody

By John McGinley

July 17, 2021

Chris Sutton’s weekly Celtic column in The Daily Record about the new season has caused a bit of a stir online this morning.

Sutton lays out a stance in which Ange Postecoglou will be working miracles by beating FC Midtjylland in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

This has been perceived by some as being too negative. It’s a stance you can understand given the recent change in mood from despondency to hope amongst the Celtic support.

Sutton writes: “With just over three days to go until the first leg I can’t ever remember the squad being this disjointed.

“The club is all over the place.

“It’s a shocking state of affairs. Every season when it comes round to the Champions League we seem to be talking about the same situation, the same dilemma because Celtic haven’t acted quickly enough.”

The former Celtic striker has a point.

It’s almost inarguable that Celtic are ill-prepared for the season ahead. You need only look at the preferred defence in pre-season friendlies to understand we are nowhere near where we need to be at this stage.

Did anyone think that Anthony Ralston would be our first-choice right-back heading into a vital European tie?

Chris Sutton’s predictions of new Celtic failure this season are premature

However, I reckon Sutton contradicts himself in his column. He preaches patience and time for Ange Postecoglou, which has merit, but at the same time pitches a doomsday scenario of epic failure at Celtic again.

Sutton continued: “He hasn’t got a chance. This is stuff of miracles if he can get a tune out of this team and turn round a 25-point gap on Rangers.”

That in its very nature puts pressure on the new boss. He is now inextricably tied to results this season. If things go wrong, it may not be his fault necessarily, but adding to this culture of “Celtic are a complete mess” is helping nobody to be honest Chris. Nor are predictions of calamity before we even see the team on the park in a competitive setting.

I get he is calling it as he sees it, and as a supporter of the club he cares, but Postecoglou’s Celtic haven’t even played a game yet.

The club have been slow in the transfer market, too slow for my liking, but finally we are seeing green shoots of life. Just as Postecoglou deserves time and space at Celtic, so does Dominic McKay. He’s been dealt as bum a hand at the Bhoys as the Greek-Australian in my book.

Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

Am I confident about beating Midtjylland? Not especially. Is it an impossible task? Absolutely not.

Let’s see what Postecoglou’s team have to offer first before rushing to swift judgments about the direction of our season.

There’s a massive amount of work to do at Celtic, no doubt. But the sky isn’t falling in yet. Not even close.

Right now, in that setting, Sutton’s proclamations feel more destructive than constructive.

In other news, how to watch today’s Celtic B game vs Bonnyrigg Rose.