Soro bosses Lille at Celtic Park; now in driving seat to replace Brown
Ismaila Soro was given his first 90 minutes of the season tonight and produced one of the best individual performances we’ve seen from a Celtic player all campaign.
The former Bnei Yehuda midfielder was entrusted by Neil Lennon to feature against Lille in tonight’s Europa League dead-rubber. Yes, the game didn’t have too much meaning in terms of the competition, but it was key for boosting our morale.
David Turnbull shined whilst Patryk Klimala also looked lively as Lennon rang the changes tonight. However, for me, the absolute standout this evening was Soro.
Operating in Brown’s defensive-midfield role, the Ivorian bossed the likes of Boubakary Soumare and Xeka who just couldn’t get anything going in the engine room for Lille.
Soro was battling away and picking up so many loose balls or forcing Lille into slack passes that were picked up by his Hoops team-mates. However, what was most important about how he managed to break up the play without conceding any notable fouls.
So many of the midfielder’s challenges were clean. Contrast that to Scott Brown’s recent performances, where he gave away a clumsy penalty against Hibernian and consistently concedes needless free-kicks.
Soro even came out in the second half and looked more impressive, making vital blocks to deny the likes of Soumare and Timo Weah in what looked like big opportunities for the visitors.
The truth is Brown has been slowing up for some time and his all-round game is becoming messier by the week. This has had a direct result on results in recent times, and tonight’s win against Lille should be enough evidence for the manager to make the brave decision.
Celtic host Kilmarnock in the Premiership on Sunday. Lennon will undoubtedly feel a temptation to throw Brown in, but it can’t happen. Soro is Brown’s natural long-term successor if he can put performances like this in on a consistent basis. The only way we’re going to find out whether he can produce that is by giving him the opportunities.
If he can produce against the side sitting two points behind the top of Ligue 1, he can produce against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park.
And it appears as though the supporters were left delighted with what they saw from Celtic’s January signing. Here’s a look at some of the reaction to his display:
Ismaila Soro could single handedly save 10 in a row
— 4 Tims and a Podcast (@PodTims) December 10, 2020
Ismaila Soro’s everything Neil Lennon expects from a 35 year old Scott Brown – reality check tonight.
— Calum MacMillan (@CalumMac1997) December 10, 2020
Ismaila Soro > N'Golo Kante. Must get a chance over Brown on this evidence
— Michael Doran (@michaeldoran_) December 10, 2020
Soro reminds me of peak Kayal. #celtic
— Michael Nield (@nield84) December 10, 2020
I love scott brown been my favourite player for the last 10 years. But he cannot start another game for celtic soro is the new scott brown 🍀🍀🍀
— Stephen Kennedy (@steviejkennedy) December 10, 2020
Soro looks like he's been in the team for years
— The Celtic Symphony (@jockmartincfc) December 10, 2020
— Celtic Gossip (@CelticGossip) December 10, 2020
Anyone going to parkhead put a banner up on they fences telling Celtic to start turnbull and soro. They have been outstanding!
— Paul (@PaulCherry14) December 10, 2020