Neil Lennon has stated that Celtic have the data that proves Scott Brown is nowhere near finished and that the legs haven’t gone just yet.
Brown produced a much more rounded display against Hibernian this afternoon at Celtic Park. The captain played a big part in today’s 3-0 win – breaking up the play nicely and being relatively tidy with his movement of the ball.
Brown has come under criticism from those who have watched him this season despite having played every single game for the club. Some even believe that the player himself is next to finished and that it’s time to phase in his replacement (Daily Record).
However, whilst that remains a popular argument, Lennon has launched another defence of the Celtic legend today. Speaking to Celtic TV post-math, the Hoops boss made the following remarks:
💬 Neil Lennon on @ScottBrown8: "I thought he was man of the match and brilliant. I know he's been getting questioned but his legs haven't gone, we've got all the data and see it every day. He's so important on and off the field. His performance today was magnificent." #CELHIB
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 27, 2020
Brown did a job today – still more to come
There’s no denying that today’s performances was a big improvement from Brown. He moved the ball a touch quicker and looked tidier.
As well as that, there were plenty of moments when Brown stepped out and managed to regain possession for the Hoops – picking up loose balls sharply and efficiently.
However, that doesn’t mean he was at his peak level. The captain still has a way to go. There were still some heavy and loose passes from him today, and when we face better opposition he’ll need to perform to a higher standard.
But it’s baby steps for now. Brown did the job he was asked to do today, and was part of a midfield who simply overpowered Hibs in any aspect you can imagine.
When you compare his performance this afternoon with his outing against Riga on Thursday night, the improvement is vast. But it’s about improving from here and not sinking back into the lacklustre displays he showed in the first month or two of the campaign.
There’s no reason to believe Brown’s fitness is an issue. He continues to last 90 minutes on a weekly-basis. So it would be interesting to know if Lennon’s data revolves around that. But if we’re talking about performances, let’s not pretend they’ve been better than what they have been.
Fortunately, he looked closer to his best against Hibs.