Former Celtic favourite and pundit Chris Sutton feels it could be time to use Scott Brown less in the heart of the Hoops midfield, writing in his weekly Daily Record column.
The Celtic captain remains a big part of manager Neil Lennon’s plans regardless of mistakes or form and doesn’t look like budging from the middle of the park any time soon.
However, discussion around his future is certainly increasing and for Sutton, there’s a potential headache on the horizon for Lennon.
Should he show loyalty to Brown for his incredible service at Celtic Park? Or should he recognise it’s time to make a change in matches on a more frequent basis?
As quoted by The Daily Record, Sutton said of it all: “Maybe it’s just a dip in form but maybe the time really is coming for him to start being eased out of the action.
“Let’s get one thing straight here. This is not some Brown is finished rant. He laughs himself about the fact critics have written him off time and again and he’s proved them wrong.
“He is not finished. But I also think it’s fair to say there are signs that he may also not be the first name on the teamsheet anymore and that goes for the bigger games as well.”
Is Sutton right?
Brown’s recent performances have been far from vintage. However, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s attracted critics.
You’ll remember that after a dire performance at Ibrox in December he rallied to become one of our most important players in the tail-end of last season.
Sutton does raise an interesting thought though. Without writing the captain off entirely, it’s perhaps time to explore what a Celtic midfield looks like without him in it.
It’s not as if we’re struggling for talent in the middle of the park.
Not only do we have Callum McGregor’s excellent positional awareness and distribution, but also Ryan Christie’s attacking ambition and Olivier Ntcham’s vision.
That may not be the right trio for every match but they deserve a run of games together to see how they fare.
Brown isn’t going anywhere if it doesn’t work out and we can’t afford to show sentimentality and keep him in the team on a regular basis longer than required.
It’s something Lennon must show the leadership to consider and experiment with, even if it raises eyebrows.
The captain is enough of a professional and a servant to Celtic to serve the greater good.