Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said that he’ll finally be willing to start dropping the underperforming Scott Brown more often, but disagrees that his form hasn’t been good.
The captain has started every game for the club this season. That’s left the likes of exciting summer signing David Turnbull rooted to the bench, with just a couple of cameos to his name so far.
However, Brown just hasn’t been at it. Sloppy use of the ball, slower reaction times, and not enough dynamism from him have been some of the noticeable aspects of his displays this season.
But Lennon has said he’s still going to use him in the club’s big games this season. In order to get him up to speed for them then, the Celtic boss will he’ll look to rotate a bit more from here on in.
As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Lennon said: “It’s common sense (rotation). Broony knows he’ll not be able to play all the games — but he’s very fit, as he always has been.
“He’s injury free and his form is good because in these last few games he’s come into his own. We’ll have a conversation with him as we go along about dipping in and out.
“There may be games where he could do with putting his feet up or getting a bit of breathing space. We’ll try to have him ready for the really intense games where his experience and quality are valuable.”
Turnbull needs to seize his chance
Lennon’s love for the iconic Celtic captain is as much as anyone’s. Brown has done so much for Celtic – captaining the side to all nine of their consecutive Premiership triumphs.
However, there comes a point where you have to allow your head to rule over your heart. We would all love Brown to be able to play every game and see his ability match his determination and availability. But you can’t let sentiment blind your own two eyes.
It’s perhaps a tad draining for the likes of Turnbull to hear that Brown will be first choice for the “really intense” games. That’s where you really make your mark at Celtic, and the former Motherwell man will surely have eyes on the Celtic captain’s place.
Yet he has to take the positives from this. Lennon is clearly going to take Brown out considerably over the course of the coming weeks. If Turnbull shines and attracts a real fondness from the supporters, he can give the Celtic manager something to think about.
It’s looking more and more likely that Turnbull won’t be featuring regularly in games such as those against Rangers or in the Europa Leagu. Perhaps the manager feels it’s best to integrate him gradually this season.
But it’s important that Lennon dosn’t guarantee Brown his spot automatically. He has to take a serious look at some of these performances and realise things haven’t been as great as he makes out over the last few weeks.