Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist clash over Rangers favourite John Lundstram for team of the year
Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist clashed over Rangers fan-favourite John Lundstram as the BT Sport pundits selected their team of the season.
The English midfielder has become a pivotal performer in Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side, and netted the winner at Ibrox to book the team’s place in the Europa League final.
Scenes of a deafening stadium singing the “John Lundstram is the best on earth” song after the goal and again after the final whistle will be some of the enduring moments from the historic European run, but former Hoop striker Sutton hasn’t been impressed.
McCoist placed the 28-year-old alongside Bhoys captain Callum McGregor in his team of the year in a clip shared on BT Sport’s Twitter page, saying: “My middle two will take a bit of beating. Lundstram and McGregor. McGregor you know I’m a big fan of…”
But Sutton interjected with: “Lundstram’s been good for five minutes, he’s only just broken into the Rangers team.”
When McCoist then insisted on referring to the ex-Sheffield United man as “Big John”, Sutton again butted in with: “Hang on a minute, he’s not the Big John. He’s not the Big John, he’s not a Big Bad John.”
The ex-Gers man responded: “He’s Big Bad John to me and thousands of Rangers fans.”
“No he’s not!” Sutton cried.
McCoist continued: “Big Bad John can patrol the area and let Callum go and do his wee stuff there.”
Sutton was asking trouble by saying: “Big Bad John isn’t getting in the Celtic team alongside Callum McGregor.”
And an outraged McCoist screamed back: “What?! Big Bad John’s walking into that Celtic team! It’s Big Bad John and 10 others!”
The rise of Lundstram has been something to behold as the unheralded midfielder who was relegated from the Premier League last year is now a Bears hero.
Fans have taken to him for his standout performances in run to the Europa League final, which has included a wonderful goal in Dortmund as well as the crucial score against RB Leipzig, as well as turns in defence.
But his now infamous stare-down of Celtic fans hurling abuse at him outside Parkhead is likely what has cemented his status as a cult-hero at the club, and possibly what makes Sutton so dismissive of him.
He didn’t start the season as strongly as he’s finishing it, but 46 appearances and a key role at the business end of the season proves he has been a success as a free transfer arrival.
If he can continue in the same vein in Europe and help the club lift the trophy his place in the hearts of the Ibrox faithful will be secure, whatever fury rains down on him from opposing supporters.