Ex Celtic hero Charlie Nicholas spend his entire build up to the Glasgow derby this weekend by trying his best to outline Celtic’s weaknesses and pointing out to ‘Rangers’ manger Michael Beale how to beat Celtic.
Totally bizarre behaviour from a guy who claims to love the club, but then again, Nicholas has made a career out of attacking Celtic every chance he gets as a pundit, so it probably shouldn’t be surprising to me.
But the thing that got me and other Celtic fans was that he was having a go at a player who has been great for us since he came in, and a player who has been getting better and better every match he plays for us.
That player is our Canadian right-back Alistair Johnston, and this is what Nicholas said about him in his Express column last Tuesday:
“If I were Beale, there are two areas that are vulnerable in this Celtic team just now. Greg Taylor looks like he took a sore one and the left-back is one that Rangers can maybe capitalise on, if he is out.”
“It is likely that Alexandro Bernabei would then start and I am not convinced he is as strong defensively as Taylor, who has been one of the top performers in Scotland this season. I also think Alastair Johnston, at right-back, can be attacked. He is very good going forward and on the ball, but you could have a go at him defensively.”
I criticised Nicholas at the time for talking rubbish. I said he either doesn’t watch our games or he just knows nothing about analysing our players or the way we play. Either one is not a good look for him.
And sadly for Nicholas, he was made to look totally foolish by these comments as Alistair Johnston was the best player on the park, marked Ryan Kent out of the game and picked up Man of the March awards from multiple different broadcasters for his excellent performance.
The question is, will Nicholas be man enough to admit he got it totally wrong about Johnston not being able to defend and apologise for his pre-match comments, or will he hope we all forget about it?
We shall see tomorrow when is column in the Scottish Express is due to be published.