Chris Sutton has taken a swipe at Simon Jordan and Danny Murphy for their terrible assessment of Scotland’s win over Spain in UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying this week. The talkSPORT pundits were ruthlessly unfair on the Scottish national side and Steve Clarke follwoing a monumental victory and being only the second team to beat Spain in qualifiers for NINE years!
Scottish football never gets any credit and so this is nothing new, but even for that lot to come out in the aftermath of that one and take a pop at the national team for beating this Spain side really does take the biscuit. Sutton was having none of it mind you, and wrote as much in his Daily Record column this weekend. He said of the remarks by Jordan and Murphy:
“Today might be April Fool’s Day but I thought it had come early when hearing a few fellow English pundits talking about the Scotland game. Motormouths Simon Jordan and Danny Murphy on a national radio station claiming the Scottish side is so dull it’s a cure for insomnia. They were pouring cold water on the Spain win and incredibly admitting they didn’t even watch it. Sounds to me like they were napping on the job. They claimed they didn’t tune in because it’s boring watching Scotland.
“Clearly they haven’t been paying much attention these last few years. Steve Clarke’s side are certainly not as dull as Jordan’s Crystal Palace side that couldn’t hack it in the Premier League. The way he went through managers, if he was still owner there now Clarke would undoubtedly be getting a phone call.
“I was pleased for Scotland the other night. It wasn’t a snorefest against Spain – it was thrilling. It was also the kind of result that really makes people all over the world take note – including in England. Yes, Spain were not at their best. Head coach Luis de la Fuente perhaps underestimated the Scots by making eight changes to his starting lineup from the Norway win and they might not be the force they once were.
“The Hampden pitch was a mess – which is a worry with the Scottish Cup semi-finals coming up – but it was still a formidable squad Scotland were up against. The funny thing is though, even though it was a massive result, I don’t see it as a shock win. I honestly wasn’t completely surprised. Maybe that’s because – unlike Murphy and Jordan – I have been watching this team progress and I believe they have a good manager and some very good players.”
The Celtic hero also had time to poke fun at Rangers legend Craig Moore in this week’s article over his ridiculous suggestion that the newest Ibrox entity should get Scott McTominay on-loan from Manchester United. He said: “You look through the squad and there is a solid core there. Andy Robertson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn and Scott McTominay are all Champions League class – and you can add the excellent Callum McGregor to that list.
“I did have a chuckle at Craig Moore’s suggestion Rangers should try to get McTominay on loan, mind you. I like Craig but I’m not sure what planet he’s on with that one given the kind of money the midfielder is on at Manchester United and the fact there would be half the clubs in England after him if he was to become available.
“Beyond that, I have been really impressed with Aaron Hickey and the way he has developed, going to Serve A and now at Brentford. Persuading Angus Gunn to get on board has been a smart move and the likes of Grant Hanley never let anyone down.
“Ryan Christie is a Premier League player at Bournemouth and Che Adams is more than decent. Lyndon Dykes might be playing in the Championship – and is about as Scottish as I am – but you have to take your hat off to him for his performances for the national team.”
Sutton thinks that all this current Scotland group are missing is some real quality up front to make them a real force to be reckoned with. However, at the same time, he defended the way in which we play and insisted we’re making the most of what we’ve got at present.
He continued: “Scotland are a solid unit but you could argue they lack some real top class in the forward positions, players such as Gareth Bale when he was doing the business for Wales. But every nation would love a Bale or an Erling Haaland. Scotland are managing to make the most of what they have got thanks to a manager who is a superb organiser.
“Anyone watching would see there is a huge difference to the entire atmosphere around the Scottish national side right now. It wasn’t so long ago you’d only take kids to Hampden to watch the games if it was some kind of punishment for bad behaviour.
“Now you can’t get a ticket for the place. There is a real feel good factor around Scotland and it’s because the results and performances have improved under Clarke. There was the win in Serbia, the victory against Denmark, the recent win over Ukraine and now this one. Chuck in the results achieved against the likes of Cyprus and Israel, games when previous Scotland sides have struggled, and it is painting a decent picture.
The ex-Norwich City star even revaled that it might be a bit of envy on Jordan and Murphy’s part that they were so scathing in their assessment of oir result last Tuesday. He added: “I don’t know if Murphy and Jordan fell for some of the Spanish sour grapes afterwards, with the likes of Rodri crying about time wasting and rolling around and so on. He’s got some cheek.
“The Spanish practically invented play-acting, as for running the clock down, there’s not a team in the world who doesn’t try to see games out. Spain would have done the exact same thing if they were one up with quarter of an hour to go. If I was in that dressing room I would take great delight in the moaning after the game as it simply meant it was job done and the team had done a number on their opponents.
“I’m pleased to see Scotland relevant again but I would urge some caution. It’s still early days in the group and while it was a tremendous week, I don’t think they are world beaters just yet. Qualification is not guaranteed by a long shot and there are tough games ahead, with Haaland back for Norway and treacherous trips to Georgia and Cyprus.
“We’ve seen in the past Scotland achieving big results against countries like France, but it doesn’t count for much if it doesn’t end up with a place at a major tournament. They couldn’t have asked for a better start, but let’s see if they can kick on. It certainly won’t be dull and boring so some of these sleepy pundits should wake up and tune in.”