Chris Sutton delivers brutal verdict on current Celtic squad
By Matt Farr
Celtic legend Chris Sutton believes that Brendan Rodgers’ current squad have a long way to go to match Martin O’Neill’s treble-winning side of 2001.
The Hoops have yet to win a domestic treble since O’Neill’s triumph 16 years ago, but are firmly on course to achieve the feat during the current campaign.
Rodgers’ side are an incredible 19-points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership, with a game in hand, and are unbeaten in domestic competitions since the start of the former Liverpool boss’ tenure.
They won the Scottish League Cup earlier in the season, while their victory over Albion in the Scottish Cup last week saw them move once step closer to their second title.
While Sutton praised the talent in the current Celtic squad, he admitted that there was still a lot of improvement to be made before they could reach the level of of the 2001 squad, with iconic figures such as Neil Lennon, Alan Thompson and Henrik Larsson.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
His brutal verdict will come as a surprise to fans, considering the run of form Brendan Rodgers’ side have put together this season.
In his column for the Daily Record on Saturday, he picked just two current Celtic players in his combined XI from with the 2001 season – goalkeeper Craig Gordon and defender Mikael Lustig.
He said: “If I had to select a team today from the combined squads of January 2001 and January 2017, I’d go for a 3-5-2 and play: Gordon, Lustig, Mjallby, Valgaeren, Agathe, Thompson, Lennon, Petrov, Moravcik, Larsson, Sutton.
“Clearly there’s far more from the past in there, but that’s just down to longevity.
“This season and in the years ahead, some of Rodgers’s team such as Kieran Tierney, Erik Sviatchenko, Stuart Armstrong, Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele, have the opportunity to overshadow boys in our squad.”
Celtic can maintain their excellent start to the campaign with a victory over Hearts at Parkhead on Sunday.
In other Celtic news, the club have joined West Ham in a two-horse race for this international defender.