The response to Scott Brown’s SFA citation from Celtic, Neil Lennon, the support and everyone connected with the club has been so overwhelming, I had to check if the Celtic top the Pope held in St Peter’s Square this week had “Brown, 8” on the back (it didn’t).
Celtic will present a litany of precedents with players celebrating in a similar fashion without censure from referees or the Association. I would also expect them to ask Judicial Panel members associated with their opponents last Sunday to excuse themselves from proceedings.
At this stage of his career, with contract talks still on going, the captain deserves this support, although let’s not confuse his stoic resilience for Player of the Year qualifications. That subject is worthy of greater scrutiny.
There is a lot of anger at Steven Gerrard over his antagonistic remarks towards Scott Brown since the weekend, but I think we need to cut the Newco manager some slack.
With the many distractions since Sunday, it may have escaped your notice that Celtic are now further ahead of second placed Newco (13 points) than they were ahead of both Aberdeen (9 points) and Newco (12 points) at the end of last season.
The harsh reality facing Gerrard this week is that he spent significantly more money than Pedro Caixinha but his side is even further adrift from the champions than the team managed by Caixinha and Graeme Murty a year earlier. Caixinha was given 229 days before being sacked. Gerrard now knows his team is doing worse than before he took over. He is not the first to lash out in the face of failure.
This is his first season in management, Caixinha was a manager for 14 years before arriving at Ibrox. He has a long way to go to catch up with the Portuguese’. Gerrard’s feelings of frustration are new. A year from now he will be more accepting of reality, including his own limitations in comparison to Pedro. Nine-in-a-row will not hurt him as much as this season’s eight.