The Celtic midfield has always been strong. For as long as I can remember, that area of the team more or less picked itself and none more so than recent seasons. Brown, Christie, McGregor, Forrest and N’tcham. Four players generally guaranteed selection for the biggest games of the season, and when fit, the Wizard of Oz Tom Rogic was also a guaranteed starter.
This season though, the debate on two specific positions in the team has been raging on for weeks and as the kick off to the Glasgow Derby approaches the biggest question for the fans right now is “Brown or Soro”? There is also the “Turnbull or Christie?” argument as well but for me those two can easily be accommodated into the team with James Forrest still out
Rewind the clock back to the start of the season, there was no debate. Our Captain had just led us to nine in a row, we were on the brink of a Quadruple Treble and the board were shelling out the cash strengthening the team for the push for the “Ten”. No one could have foresaw the dip in form of not just Brown, but the team as a collective. We lost the first derby, struggled in Europe and got knocked out of the first cup competition in four seasons and the fans were not happy.
Some question Browns fitness and whether he still has it in him to last the pace of a full 90 minutes. In the Scottish Cup Final, Brown asnwered those critics when he threw himself at the header which led to Griffiths goal in extra time and the passion in which he celebrated like the Scott Brown we all know and love. Our Captain was back. I don’t believe his legs have gone. I still believe Brown has a lot to offer on the pitch.
Young Soro has come into the team like a breath of fresh air. Before December hit, he had only played 38 minutes of first team football since he signed for the club. The dip in form of not just Brown, but the whole team, had left supporters crying out for a fresh injection into the starting eleven and did this young man deliver! Dynamic, enthiusiastic and full of energy, it looked like Soro had been playing for Celtic for years. Tough in the tackle and clever with his distribution, it is no coincidence that results started to turn as the young man was introduced. A delightful first goal at the weekend will do his chances of selection no harm for todays fixture.
But, as always, the midfield question can only be answered depending on what system the manager plays. A diamond or a 3-5-2? If it is the latter, Lennon could accommodate Brown and Soro but, assuming Lennon plays Edouard and Griffiths, then that throws up a question of does Turnbull or Christie?
The diamond would mean one of the two would miss out. Would Lennon go with the experience of Brown or the dynamism and enthiusiasm of Soro? It’s a massive call in what is without doubt a season defining game. Let’s hope Lennon gets it correct.