Any chance to mention Celtic captain Scott Brown.
14 years after the sting of rejection [Guardian], the Celtic captain still winds them up. He doesn’t need have actually done anything, either. When Steven Gerrard was announced as Rangers boss in 2018, the most viral clip of that day was a supporter bleating about Scott Brown on live TV.
Because Scott Brown represents everything our rivals have missed out on. He’s held up trophy, after trophy, after trophy. Meanwhile, our rivals scrambled around the lower reaches of Scottish football. As Broony has captained us in the Champions League, Europa League or to an almost embarrassing medal haul, they’ve looked on.
Listen, it makes sense.
Search for Broony’s name and you’ll see our rivals talking about how he’s leaving Celtic because he’s “terrified” about the Rangers. Or that he’s no Steven Davis, or this, that and the next. The perception is that a midfielder, soon to turn 36, is winding down an illustrious career. It coincides with our own collapse and so, the natural conclusion to leap to is that Broony and Celtic are both spent forces.
When, the truth is, they would’ve loved to have had Scott Brown on their side for the last 14 years, and make no mistake.
But now Celtic supporters are looking, rightly worried, about a post-Brown future. But it should worry our rivals, too. When we’ve gone down, we’ve come back fighting. Doubting an institution like Celtic at any time is a folly. But a wounded Celtic is even more dangerous to anyone with plans to win next season’s title.
Celtic get ready for life after Scott Brown
Celtic already have considerable reserves tucked away ahead of the summer’s rebuild. The sales of Frimpong, Elhamed, Klimala and potentially plenty of others will leave us in very sound financial shape. Even without selling several players, Celtic live within their means and can spend big when it’s necessary.
For example: after John Barnes’ doomed era at the club, the Bhoys brought in a Premier League manager, and spent the best part of £30m [Transfermarkt]. Covid or not, the money is there. And clearly, when provoked, the Celtic board have previous in making sure embarrassments aren’t repeated.
Scott Brown leaving, and being celebrated for his outrageous total of honours, will act as the true starter pistol for the Celtic rebuild. By then, a top manager will be at work. The club will have continued to shift some deadwood to increase the coffers. Excitingly, the focus will be on Champions League qualification.
For all it’s easy to feel gloomy about what’s happening, and sad that Brown is leaving, it’s possible to be sentimental and optimistic simultaneously. Yes, it’s the end of an era, and not the way we would’ve wanted.
But the latest attempts to besmirch the name of our number 8 shows the nerves across the Clyde.