By James Black
Chris Sutton has accused England boss Gareth Southgate of “arrogance” over his cap snub for Celtic’s Scott Sinclair.
Southgate had previously claimed Sinclair wasn’t at the same level as others at his disposal but Sutton believes that is a “slap in the face” for the Celtic favourite.
Sinclair has been a mainstay in the Celtic side under Brendan Rodgers – helping the Hoops to an undefeated domestic treble last season – and picked up individual gongs from the Scottish PFA and Football Writers’ Association after a fantastic debut season in Scotland.
Former Celtic favourite Sutton is stunned at Southgate’s stance on Sinclair and thinks that if the 28-year-old played elsewhere he would have earned a call-up by now.
“Gareth Southgate’s approach towards Scott Sinclair smacks of arrogance,” Sutton wrote in his column for the Daily Record.
“The England manager publicly saying the Celtic star is not up to the required levels for the squads stunned me.
“My big question would be: Why say that?
“There’s a World Cup approaching next summer and it’s not as if Southgate has top-quality players cluttered in every corner.
“If I was Sinclair, I’d be most unhappy. It’s a public slap in the face and it was unnecessary.
“Actually, it was just downright dismissive towards Scotland.
“If that was an English Premier League player, I’m pretty sure the response would have been along the lines of: “I’m aware of him, he’s in my thoughts. It wasn’t to be this time, but if he keeps working hard, we’ll be aware of it.
“Sinclair didn’t get that. Most probably because he plays north of the border.”
Sinclair has scored 11 times already this season as Celtic continue their long unbeaten domestic run which now stretches to an incredible 58 games.
The 28-year-old also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games in London but has yet to be called into a senior England squad.