"He is an icon"; Lennon drops Celtic midfield hint ahead of Cup Final

By Euan Davidson

December 18, 2020

Celtic boss Neil Lennon is likely to start Scott Brown for Sunday’s Scottish Cup Final.

In quotes attributed to David Friel of the Scottish Sun, Lenny talked up Scott Brown’s credentials as a leader.

Ismaila Soro has been preferred in recent matches against Lille and Kilmarnock. However, Broony has captained Celtic through 3 treble-winning seasons over as many years, and may get the nod.

Lennon said:

“Scott has been fantastic and he is quite a unique individual.

“He has carried the dressing-room for a long, long time – through thick and thin.

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“Even being left out of the team, his attitude has been magnificent. He still tries to galvanise everyone.”

 

Scott Brown and Neil Lennon / (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Sunday selection headache for Celtic and Lennon

Lennon continued:

“At the end of the day, he is an icon at the club – a modern-day great.

“And he may have a chance of starting on Sunday!

“I have been there when you start to come to the end of your career. It’s tough.

“You want to hang in there and he still has plenty to offer on and off the field, there is no question of that.”

Even the most hardcore Soro supporters – of which we include ourselves – can sympathise with the idea of Lennon starting Scott Brown.

As good as the Ivorian’s been in our recent matches, there’s a prevailing school of thought which dictates that Broony deserves to captain Celtic in another Cup Final.

To be honest, on reputation, he absolutely does. Still, winning Cup Finals isn’t about reputation, it’s about having the best players on the pitch. This season, Brown hasn’t been his usual, imperious self.

 

Celtic manager Neil Lennon / (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Under no illusions

Speaking about the task at hand, Lennon was determined that Sunday’s opposition would be no pushover.

“It’s really important for me personally as a manager as it would be my first Treble.

“And also for the players to finish off a great four years for the club.

“It’s an important game against a side full of Premiership stars – even though their status is the Championship.

“There is a cup up for grabs and it could complete something very special – but we respect Hearts.”

Our manager has been criticised heavily this season. Given his team selection and tactical decisions, that’s been fair. However, it would be fantastic to see Lenny grab his first treble as a manager.

Equally, he’s right about Hearts. They may be a tier below but they boast the goalscoring talents of Liam Boyce and the midfield invention of Josh Ginnelly. You can read our preview of the Jam Tarts, with our colleague Ben Banks of Not the Old Firm, here.

This Sunday represents a chance to make history. With leaders needed on the pitch, you could forgive Lennon for starting Scott Brown. In our view, though, we should start the game with much of the same core as the teams who played Lille and Killie.

Brown will get onto the pitch, there’s no doubt about that. Whether that’s from kick-off or the bench will be a huge decision for Neil Lennon.

 


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