TODD CANTWELL has been in Scottish football exactly 110 days.
The 25-year-old midfielder left Norwich City for “an undisclosed fee” to join the Ibrox side late in the January transfer window.
Cantwell had previously been on loan at Bournemouth, but had been returned to the East Anglian club without any permanent business being done.
Now he has fetched up in Glasgow and is flexing his tongue as much as his muscles.
WELCOME TO GLASGOW…the thoughtful Celtic support put on a colourful display for the Englishman.
The lad is expressing opinions with scattergun rapidity and is clearly not a massive admirer of the country’s champions, the club that have won the crown on eleven of the past 12 years. You would have thought that might have been given some sort of nod of begrudged approval from the Englishman.
It seems it will be a warm day in Minsk before Cantwell acknowledges the achievements of the city neighbours.
He has faced them three times – and been on the losing team on all three occasions.
Cantwell, displaying exemplary know-it-all qualities, decreed after Celtic’s 3-2 Premiership victory at Parkhead on April 8 that Ange Postecoglou’s men “didn’t win” that match so much as his team “lost it”.
Future media career beckons when the boots are put away, methinks.
LITTLE BOY LOST…Todd Cantwell trudges off the pitch as the triumphant Celtic players and manager Ange Postecoglou celebrate their Scottish Cup semi-final triumph last month.
Cantwell has been all graft and no craft in the derby confrontations. There is a quaint old saying in the city of my birth about so-called tough-guy wannabes being “hardmen without portfolio”.
In this corner of the universe, you have to earn your spurs. So far Cantwell has got involved in handbags, mouthing off and lots of finger-wagging.
His most memorable input to the previous three outings against the title kings has been to remove the waterbag from the reach of Reo Hatate in the Hoops’ 1-0 Scottish Cup semi-final win at the tail-end of last month. How sad was that?
It was a pitiful and contemptible act you might expect to see in a primary school playground. As gestures of sportsmanship go, feeble doesn’t even come close to a description.
PUSH OFF…Greg Taylor has a meeting with Todd Cantwell.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHOW SO FAR? Callum McGregor has something to say to Cantwell.
BAWL BOY…the Ibrox midfielder speaks behind Anthony Ralston’s back.
WHAT A CARD…Todd Cantwell is struck dumb as referee Don Robertson flashes yellow during his team’s Hampden loss.
Speaking in today’s Scotsman, Cantwell tried to defend his lamentably petty actions and said: “The way I look at it, if we had a player down or they had a player down and the physio had come on and I had gone over to [Callum] McGregor and asked for a drink of water, I can imagine what he would have said to me. I think I was quite polite, to be honest.”
The guy appears to be lost in some sort of light blue vortex. It’s a hypothetical situation, of course, but I can’t really imagine the Celtic captain moving the bag away from a thirsty opponent, can you?
The guy who has been in the country since January 23 was seen having words with the aforementioned Celtic onfield leader after the Cup-tie and he informed us: “Listen, it is a healthy rivalry. They have come out on top this year, so I am in a position where I can’t really speak too much.
“I respect what they have done, but, listen, next year that is where we want to be. We want to be up there and I was just reminding him that we are on our way.”
Asked for his thoughts on the decision to bodyswerve a guard of honour for Celtic today, Cantwell offered: “To be honest, with the rivalry I can’t imagine them doing that for us. I don’t know, but I can’t imagine it has happened, so I would probably suggest it wouldn’t.”
Makes you wonder who the guy has been talking to since crossing the border, doesn’t it? Well, anyway, thanks for sharing that knowledge with us, Todd. Welcome to Scotland.
I can’t wait for the next concise sermon and the valued and insightful take on today’s encounter against “them”.
As ever, enjoy the game, folks.
* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report and best in action images from Rangers v Celtic this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.