Joe Ledley has today been talking up Celtic star Scott Brown as he claimed he’s never seen a player like him throughout his career.
Ledley teamed up with Brown for three-and-a-half years at Parkhead under Neil Lennon. It was during this period that Ledley’s most successful spell of his career would come with four trophies to his name.
The Welsh international, now with Newport County, will likely be tuning into this Sunday’s Glasgow Derby at Ibrox from the comfort of his home. But he remembers Broony’s ice-cold emotions pre-match when he came up against Rangers during Ledley’s time.
And as he talked up the departing Celtic captain, his former midfield partner was emphatic in his praise. Speaking on the Celtic Huddle Podcast, Ledley said:
“He’s massive. He’s a character off the pitch, but he switches completely. I’ve never seen someone just go from having jokes and messing around in the changing room to how he is on a matchday. He’s completely different. He could be standing next to his best mate and he wouldn’t speak to him.
“He’s so determined to go on that pitch and win, and that’s the person he is. An unbelievable character, a massive influence in that dressing room. He’s the one who goes up there and dedicates his ability and gives 100% for everyone as well and make sure they’re up to standard.
“That’s the sort of player he is. He likes to go out and have a laugh, but once he crosses that line he’s so focused. I’ve never seen a player like that in my career.”
Scott Brown’s previous Glasgow Derby performance puts him in a good place for Sunday
It’s clear that John Kennedy will start Brown on Sunday. In fact that seems a given when you take into consideration he’s started all five games under the interim manager.
Earlier in the season, fans would’ve squirmed at that prospect. Given how poor Brown was in the October derby at Celtic Park, it was no wonder supporters wanted Ismaila Soro in at Ibrox and even in last month’s 1-1 draw at Parkhead.
Yet whilst Ismaila has been impressive this season and deserves to take Brown’s place when he departs for Aberdeen this summer, the captain merits his spot this weekend. Not out of sentimentality of course, but due to his own individual form.
Brown has started to turn it on again. Too little too late of course. But he shone in the derby at Parkhead and bossed the Rangers midfield with a level of aggression they didn’t appear to expect from him. He’s managed to build on that with dominant displays against Falkirk and a battle-hardened Livingston engine room.
The legendary captain will have extra motivation too. This is the last Glasgow Derby he’ll compete in that will actually mean something. The last one that can see him land a truly gut-wrenching blow on on Rangers. He’s in a good place to do that with his recent performance levels combined with his consistency in the starting line-up under Kennedy.
Hopefully, he produces his best display of the season in Govan this weekend. It would certainly be a handy consolation after the disappointment of the campaign overall.