PUNDITS. Love them or hate them, every one has an opinion. That’s what you get paid for at the end of the day, isn’t it? Whether that be the shock jock, abrasive approach of a Chris Sutton or the more measured approach of say a Michael Stewart.

They are entitled to have their say and are probably two of the best pundits in Scotland. Guys who will stick the knife in if they think it’s warranted.

People enjoy listening to guys like that as they know they will speak honestly without fear of reprisal. And it makes for great TV. I would like to think I am of the same ilk, in terms of speaking my mind, although it’s pretty easy for me as I have no pals anyway, let alone in football.

Read more: Kilmarnock 1 Aberdeen 3: Boyd talk no motivation for us, insists McInnes

It is certainly changed days from ex-players or managers who would go on the radio or TV and toe the party line in that they would never criticise their mates, or actually anyone whatsoever inside the football fraternity. It was all too pally, all a bit too vanilla. Not any more thankfully.

Retired ex-pros can say what they like, with little effect on the player or the rest of the teams involved in the league. After all it’s only someone’s opinion. You can shake it off. They are done playing anyway. But when you are filleting your fellow professionals in the way that Kris Boyd has done with several players at Aberdeen, I don’t care what anyone says, it has repercussions.

First and foremost, I’ll state I have a lot of respect for Kris as a player and pundit. His goalscoring record has been incredible over the years, and I know first-hand how hard it was to stick the ball in the onion bag. As a pundit, again, he is very honest and forthright in his views.

The crucial difference is he is still a player. You surely need to reign your feelings in a little because other people are going to be affected by what you say in public. It’s almost like a conflict of interests to be honest. Are you a player or a pundit? For me, you just can’t be both. His bread and butter is his club, Kilmarnock. That’s his main income and job.

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Kris needs to realise that what he says doesn’t just impact on him. It impacts on his teammates, coaching staff and the people who pay his wages, even the punters in the stand.

His comments were more disrespectful to a lot of people at his own club more than the players he blasted. Did I disagree with some things he said about the Aberdeen lads and the Scotland squad? No, I didn’t.

Would Graeme Shinnie get in the Scotland team if everyone is fit? No, probably he wouldn’t. But saying that we are going back to the days of Berti Vogts and giving caps away. That was a scandalous dig at a very good professional who has played nearly every game for his club in the last couple of seasons and been arguably Aberdeen’s best player.

He merited an opportunity to at least be looked at for the high level of consistency he has churned out, week in, week out for his club. It was earned, not given. To insinuate that he was in as a bit of a patsy to boost the attendance was out of order in my opinion.

Many of the Killie fans I know have been bitterly disappointed by Boyd’s comments as they know it is hard enough at the moment for their team to win games without one of their own giving opposition players and teams extra motivation to beat them.

Read more: Kilmarnock 1 Aberdeen 3: Boyd talk no motivation for us, insists McInnes

In under a minute on Sunday two Aberdeen players he criticised heavily – Shinnie and Kenny McLean combined to score. What a great riposte.

Listen, Kilmarnock didn’t lose the game because of Kris Boyd’s views but it didn’t help them that’s for sure. But it was Kilmarnock’s worst performance under Stevie Clarke and the Dons best for number of weeks. Coincidence? Probably. But things get pinned up on dressing room walls.

Managers use it for motivation and players are like elephants in that they never forget. Kilmarnock are in a relegation battle and don’t need to be opponents any sort of advantage.

Maybe a quiet word in the ear of the star striker to keep his opinions on opposition players confined to his own dressing room would be well advised.

Oh, and those criticised Aberdeen players; the beat Killie 3-1 yesterday.

And another thing

THE Green Machine rumbles on. Not all plain sailing at Hampden for Celtic but they still took the League Cup back to their Parkhead trophy cabinet and the double-treble now looks odds-on.

They did though have a helping hand from an inept Craig Thomson. His decision to award a penalty and send off Cedric Kipre after minimal contact on Scott Sinclair was a shocker.

But here’s the thing. Until stricter punishments are handed out for diving in the box or falling when barely touched, strikers will continue to go over. It’s worth chancing it to win a game as the glory outweighs the current punishment.

Not a nice thing to say, but it’s undeniably true. Motherwell were on the wrong end of that refereeing roulette yesterday.