Former Rangers skipper and international teammate of Scott Brown, Barry Ferguson, has claimed that the Celtic captain is their key man and remains instrumental in them continuing their recent domination of Scottish football.
Who is Celtic's key player?
Ferguson, speaking on his own Fergie Time podcast and reported by The Scottish Sun claims that Brown, like a fine wine, has improved with age.
When reflecting on Brown’s role at Celtic and what he brings to the side, Ferguson said:
“He’s definitely improved as a player as he’s got older. There’s no doubt he’s the key man for Celtic”.
“He’s not going to be a match winner but he’s going to be a leader in the middle of the park, keep things ticking over, get onto the players if things are going wrong, keep focus…a lot of things”.
“Flip that over and I look at Rangers and I see Steven Davis. Scott Brown to Celtic is what Steven Davis is to Rangers. Davo’s not scoring goals but go and watch what he does. He keeps the ball moving. He starts build-up play”.
“He’s just a very good football player. That’s where I can’t wait [for next month’s Betfred Cup Final]”.
To an extent, yes, Brown remains a hugely influential player but unlike 4-5 years ago, he is no longer the key player.
If Brown is taken out of the team, Olivier Ntcham is usually his replacement with Callum McGregor dropping into a deeper role. McGregor, arguably, has a better passing range and greater mobility (as noted by Total Football Analysis) than Brown and is well suited to being the side’s metronome.
A team’s key player is the one component that has a guaranteed detrimental effect on the side, for Rangers, it is Alfredo Morelos, yes, Jermain Defoe can offer goals but he has largely been used as an auxiliary to the Colombian.
The one player that Celtic simply can’t do without is Odsonne Edouard, aside from the fact that there are no other fit strikers at the club, Edouard is becoming a more complete forward. Praised in the Daily Record by manager Neil Lennon for his ability to lead the line and ‘beautiful feet’, the Frenchman leads the way for assists this season, as well as having scored 13 goals in all competitions, so his importance on the attacking front is clear for all to see.
Brown, despite his importance, is no longer indispensable in that there are more options to come in for him.
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