Viewers tuning into BT Sport’s pre-match coverage of Celtic’s trip to Partick Thistle were treated to a fiery debate between pundits Chris Sutton and Stephen Craigan over the merits of Ian Cathro as new head coach of Hearts.
It’s been the leading discussion in Scottish football this week after the 30-year-old was selected to replace Robbie Neilson at the Tynecastle club.
Some point to his lack of knowledge in terms of playing the game, while others cite his varied experience as an assistant manager in Portugal, Spain and England.
As they tend to do, the BT Sports analysts went head-to-head on the subject, with Craigan becoming visibly annoyed at Sutton’s support of the hiring.
Here’s a transcript of the conversation after Sutton asked fellow panelist Alan Stubbs why the appointment should be considered “brave”:
Craigan interjects: “Because he has never had a job before.”
Sutton: “But he’s had four years of experience, in Portugal at Rio Ave, at Valencia and at Newcastle! He’s got every right. I think there’s a jealousy factor here, Darrell!”
Craigan turns away and mumbles, possibly expletive before: “Nonsense.”
Sutton: “He’s a young man, he deserves his opportunity. He’s better qualified than you, Crags!”
Craigan: “I know he is! So what!?”
Sutton: “What’s the big problem?”
Craigan: “He hasn’t got his pro-licence I have. There you go. He hasn’t completed it so he’s not.”
Sutton: “He’s got more coaching experience.”
Craigan: “So what?! I don’t care. I don’t want his job. I never wanted his job. I’ve no issues with Ian Cathro one little bit, none at all. Good luck to him. But it is the cheerleading round about (him) as if he is something different, he’s new.”
Sutton: “He fits their model.”
Craigan: “I’ve heard ridiculous, ludicrous . . . a pioneer of football? He’s a football coach, an innovator. He’s not Thomas Edison, he didn’t invent the lightbulb.”