SCOTT BROWN wasn’t missed in any shape or form at Pittodrie last Friday night, well for the first eleven minutes.
After that his worth to the Celtic team was apparent to the 2000 Celtic supporters in the ground and the hundreds of thousands watching the Aberdeen fightback on BT Sports.
Celtic held out for a 3-1 win but and after the goals were all scored both sides – not just Aberdeen – had chances. Tom Rogic could have made it 4-1 just after Jonny Hayes’ wonderful strike, Scotty Sinclair almost curled one into the postage stamp in the second half and only a great recovery tackle by Hayes prevented the Player of the Year scoring in the second half as Celtic countered at speed.
So it wasn’t all one way traffic by any means but Aberdeen did press Celtic hard and had a good shout for a penalty.
This incidentally was highlighted at length on Sunday’s Sportscene. It is worth noting that in the 6 games played Hearts could have had a penalty when Clint Hill tackled from behind inside the box. The Hearts player fell to the ground but Bobby Madden waved away the appeals. Hearts were 1-0 down at that point and had 11 men on the park. And there was a similarly strong in Dundee’s 1-1 draw with Ross County that wasn’t given.
So there were not 1 or 2 but 3 controversial penalty decisions shown on Sportscene but they only focused on Craig Gordon’s challenge.
All 3 looked like they were from the ‘I’ve seen them given category,’ but only Aberdeen’s claim merited analysis.
Anyway back to Scott Brown, who has now back from his holidays and ready to pick up where he left off at Ibrox a few weeks ago when Celtic won 5-1. He will be available having served his 2 match suspension, for the game on Thursday evening against Patrick Thistle at Firhill.
Yesterday he looked a little further forward and declared that he wants to finish his career at the club he has grown to love. Broonie wants to be here as long as he possibly can. He wants to be here for Ten in a Row.
“I would love to stay here as long as I possibly could and finish at this club,” he stated.
“I have one year left and we haven’t spoken about extending – not yet. We will wait till after this season is out the way and see what happens.
“We have three important games left so there is no point in talking about contracts now.
“For me it’s the best club I have ever been and the best club I ever will be at.
“The fanbase, the football base and training base is first class.
“There is no harm in dropping down a level if you feel you can’t compete or I feel my body can’t compete at this level.
‘Hence the reason I retired for Scotland because I felt I couldn’t compete at the level I wanted to compete at and as soon as I can’t do that, that will be me.
Broonie has had a remarkable season and it came as a big surprise to manager Brendan Rodgers when he was omitted from the various Player of the Year awards. Perhaps if the voting took place after last Friday, Brown would have picked up one or two additional votes.
His value to this Celtic team may have been somewhat under-estimated by his fellow Premiership players but that’s certainly not the case for managers such as Neil Lennon, Gordon Strachan , Ronny Deila and Brendan Rodgers, all of them know what he brings to the team.
Others reckon that perhaps he didn’t take the chances to go to England that came along occasionally, saying he was in a comfort zone in Scottish football. It’s water off a duck’s back to Broonie though.
“People can judge me if they want but I’m not going to prove I need to be in England.
“I play for Scotland, I captain my country and the only thing I want to do is lead my country to a World Cup and win trophies for Celtic. I don’t need to prove anything to anybody. I’ve been tempted yes. There have been offers to go down south.
“My contract was almost up and I got a couple of offers to go down to the Premier League but I spoke to Peter (Lawwell) and he said, ‘Look, we’ll sit down have a chat and get it sorted’.
“He asked, ‘Did I want to be here?’ I said yes and he assured me they wanted to keep me here as long as they could.
“For me trust and loyalty is huge. Peter has given me that, Celtic have given me that, the manager has given me that as well and I have tried to give as much back as possible.”