Charlie Nicholas loves a good headline. Controversy is his game and to be fair to him, he does it well. But sometimes, just sometimes, he can too far and this is one of those times. The former Celtic hitman has taken to the media today to exclaim his opinion on not only Scott Brown’s position in the team for the Scottish Cup final, but also his overall worth to the team this season.
Scott Brown has been synonymous with Celtic’s successes over the past ten years. One of only two players to have participated in all nine of Celtic’s title winning sides, his drive and determination helped the team to a Treble Treble and an unprecedented Quadruple Treble if the Hoops overcome Hearts in the Scottish Cup Final this Sunday.
But Nicholas asstertion that Brown is no longer “a big influence on the team” in wrong and just plain headline hunting. Nicholas, as reported in the Scottish Media, said of the captain, “He no longer has a big influence on the team. In the huge games over the last 18 months – Aberdeen and Hibs away, the Old Firm and Euro ties – it’s been about his nuisance value, not what he does on the ball. His role diminished when Celtic scrapped Brendan Rodgers’ style. He’s a spoiler and that carries little relevance.
“He’s still a big personality and he always gives 100% – but Celtic are not going to miss him if he doesn’t play”
Brown was as influential in turning around Celtic’s fortunes last season as any player in the team to drag Celtic to their ninth title in a row. A last minute goal against Hamilton in December last season, scoring against Hibs in the Betfred Cup semi final but not only his goals last season, he was called upon against St Johnstone and helped to pull the team forward to a 2-0 win after being subbed on late in the game.
Brown’s legacy is not just on the pitch but his job behind the scenes making new signings feel welcome and helping them settle into life in Glasgow is common knowledge.
Criticism of the Captain, like any other player, is fine as long as it’s fair and proportionate but Nicholas is way off the mark to suggest that Celtic will not miss Brown if he doesn’t play.