KRIS COMMONS reckons former Celtic striker Chris Sutton will have been “laughing his head off” after Michael Beale’s reaction to his recent comments.
The Ibrox boss took the bait and got involved in an embarrassing public spat with the Hoops goal hero, Martin O’Neill’s first signing for the club at £6million from Chelsea in the summer of 2000.
Beale called the media pundit “Chelsea’s worst-ever player” as he opened fire on alleged “comedy acts” in the aftermath of his decision to allow Partick Thistle to score an equaliser in the Scottish Cup-tie in Govan eight days ago, as CQN reported.
It has become a bizarre sideshow to the Viaplay League Cup Final at Hampden on Sunday when the rookie Ibrox gaffer will attempt to pit his wits against Ange Postecoglou, who won the Premiership crown in his debut crusade and has also managed in the World Cup Finals with Australia.
YOU’RE HAVING A LAUGH…Chris Sutton in jocular mood.
Ex-Parkhead and Scotland international midfielder Commons said: “Since replacing Giovanni van Bronckhorst in late November, [Michael] Beale has brought a sense of freedom back to this Rangers team and got them playing some decent football once again.
“They won comfortably away at Livingston on Saturday afternoon, a notoriously awkward venue due to the plastic surface. But, as for off-field matters, it’s been more of a bumpy ride and some of his comments in the media have shown a real naivety.
“Firstly, he claimed back in January that Ange Postecoglou was a ‘lucky man’ due to the spending power available to the Celtic boss.
“I found that quite a strange thing for a Rangers manager to say. There’s nothing ‘lucky’ about being the biggest and wealthiest club in the country. For all that Celtic have the biggest budget in the league, you’ve still got to spend it wisely and their recruitment over the past 18 months has been nothing short of outstanding.”
Commons, writing in his Daily Mail column, continued: “Beale then became embroiled in another bizarre off-field spat this week with Chris Sutton, the former Celtic striker and outspoken pundit.
GLASGOW BELONGS TO ME…Kris Commons clips the ball past Allan McGregor in Celtic’s 3-0 derby romp at Parkhead in April 2012.
“Listen, there’s nothing wrong with publicly defending yourself and your club if you feel like a pundit has really overstepped the mark and gone too far.
“If any player or manager feels like someone has taken a pop at them, then it’s only fair that they should be entitled to a right of reply.
“Yet, in this instance, I don’t actually feel Sutton’s comments were all that bad when he was discussing the controversial goal Rangers allowed Partick Thistle to score.
“He wasn’t being overly provocative. Instead, he was only pondering a hypothetical scenario if Rangers would have done the same thing against Celtic. Knowing Sutton, it was tongue-in-cheek, knockabout stuff. He loves a wind-up.
“I certainly didn’t expect it to prompt Beale to give him both barrels and engage in a war of words. He duly branded Sutton as a ‘comedy act’ and ‘Chelsea’s worst-ever player’.
“I think he let himself and his club down with those comments. There was no need for it.”
END GAME…Ange Postecoglou and Michael Beale at the conclusion of the 2-2 draw at Ibrox on January 2.
Commons added: “Was he trying to play up to the fans? We all know that Sutton isn’t exactly the most popular figure at Ibrox.
“Maybe Beale thought he could play up to the gallery and give the fans something to cheer if he was seen to have put Sutton in his place.
“But that’s not how I view it at all. In the end, I think he just showed his inexperience as a manager by getting embroiled in a spat like that.
“Sutton loves that sort of stuff. He’ll probably have been laughing his head off.
“He cast his fishing rod and ended up catching a whopper as Beale took the bait.”