Chris Sutton takes another unfair pop at Treble hero
Former Celtic striker Chris Sutton has aimed another dig at Odsonne Edouard before a ball has even been kicked in the new season.
The last time Edouard played a competitive match in the hoops, he scored a double in the cup final as Celtic came from behind to secure a historic treble Treble.
That came at the end of a season where Eddie had carried the Celtic forward line, for large parts on his own.
Despite this, writing in his Daily Record column at the weekend, Sutton wondered about the French striker’s reliability, saying he has at times looked ‘almost lazy’.
He said: “Edouard has shown his talents in the past with big goals in big games but I see matches where he looks almost lazy and floats round the periphery of things.
“Add to that a penchant for picking up injuries and it makes you think he can’t be fully relied upon, despite his outstanding natural talent.”
It’s not the first time Sutton has had a go at Edouard. Speaking in March, he said: “Edouard has nabbed a couple of last-gasp goals away to Hearts and Dundee to win games but I’ve got to be honest, I haven’t seen anything which compensates or makes up for Griffiths’ absence.”
Sutton is a fan of Griffiths, who is undeniably a fantastic goalscorer. Leaving aside the last six months absence, Griffiths also had spells of inconsistency (he was almost sent out on loan to Hibs ahead of his remarkable 40-goal season), while he has suffered a number of recurring injuries in the last three years.
Notably, he started 2016/17 as the first-choice striker and it was an injury that gave Moussa Dembele his chance in the first Rangers clash of the season, which he took and then some with a fantastic hat-trick.
Also to be considered, aside from being two different players, Griffiths and Edouard are at different stages of their careers.
Commentating on European games, Sutton has often bemoaned Eddie’s lack of movement and suggested that Edouard was ‘hiding’ in games.
At 21, however, Eddie can’t be expected to be the finished article. With every game, especially at that higher level, he’s gaining experience.
Sutton himself only scored twice in 22 appearances in Europe for Norwich, Blackburn and Chelsea, before he really hit his stride in that arena for Celtic.
Thereafter, he would score against the likes of Ajax, Barcelona, Juventus, Lyon, Stuttgart and Anderlecht.
There’s no doubting Sutton knows all about what it takes to be a Celtic striker. A towering presence, he was part of one of the best double acts at Parkhead in many a long year.
Having faltered at Chelsea, Sutton was revitalised alongside Henrik Larsson and what a player to have up front beside you at Celtic!
He also had 100-goal John Hartson and a young Shaun Maloney on occasion to play alongside.
It would have been a big ask for even them to lead the line on their own in their own era.
Eddie, playing for a team going for an unprecedented treble Treble, faced a different kind of pressure.
He stepped up when Dembele pressed the ejector seat button and Griffiths had to take time out, weighing in with goals in big games at home and in Europe.
With Griffiths on his way back, a new face in Bayo, and whispers of another big signing to come, Edouard’s meteoric rise may yet take him to another level.