CHARLIE NICHOLAS has implored Neil Lennon to put sentiment to one side on Sunday and not start his captain in the Scottish Cup Final.

After the win against Kilmarnock at Celtic Park, the manager suggested he’s going to give some of the guys who got us to the final the chance to win it, rather than play the team who have won the last two games.

It might be last season’s trophy but it should be won with this season’s team.

Nicholas details why the Celtic manager would be foolish to break up what he has in the middle of the park to allow Brown back in at this point. Scott still has his place and will no doubt get game time but what are these guys doing if they’re coming in, taking their chance then being dropped.

Speaking to the express, as cited by SunSport, Nicholas states his case:

“Scott Brown should not start for Celtic in this Sunday’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts at Hampden.

“Last weekend Neil Lennon said the ‘hardcore’ players who got them to the national stadium deserved the chance to take the last step on the journey.

“Yet, there’s no getting away from the fact that in the last two games the manager has been handsomely rewarded by the players he had never really given a chance to until last week.

“We are talking about midfield duo David Turnbull and Ismaila Soro and keeper Conor Hazard.

“Now Lennon is considering recalling captain Brown, who has been kept on the bench for Celtic’s last two games, which they won in his absence.

“Lenny has to clear his head and take the blinkers off.

“As things stand, he is only surviving on a short-term basis.

“I know the quadruple treble from last season can be won this weekend but he is still fighting to remain in a job.

“Celtic must lift the Scottish Cup if Lenny is to have any chance of quelling the clamour for his removal from his club’s own fans.

“I could understand the logic behind Ryan Christie coming back into the starting line-up, but not Brown.

“His legs aren’t there and he is not playing like he used to.

“Brown is no longer a controlling presence in midfield and isn’t as influential to the team as he once was.

“In the big games over the past 18 months, it has been more about Brown’s nuisance value and not what he actually does on the ball.

“He had become a spoiler but that role was diminished when Lenny moved away from Brendan Rodgers’ preferred style of play and now it carries little weight or relevance.

“Brown is still a big personality in the dressing room but Celtic are not going to miss the 35-year-old if he doesn’t play.

“I understand that Brown remains the figurehead for Celtic and if they win the final then, rightly, he should lift the trophy, but the manager has to go with the players in form, namely Mohamed Elyounoussi, Turnbull, Soro and Hazard.

“They have done everything that’s been asked of them. Would it be a risk too far to play them at Hampden? Not at all.

“By freshening up the side, Lennon has managed to get away from the usual suspects and pick players who will play without fear.

“Soro, Turnbull and Hazard have given Celtic a lift and real energy to spark them back into life.”

We asked Celtic fans on our social media if they believe the Celtic captain should start the Scottish Cup final and they were clear in their answer.

This isn’t a crusade against Scott Brown, not at all. This is about wanting the best team to start on the day. Right now, to achieve that starting XI, Scott Brown must be content with a seat on the bench.

If things aren’t going our way in the game and someone is having an off day, can he come on and make a difference? Yes! His role in the team should be more clear, and Neil Lennon should have been leaning on his captain less since the start of this campaign.

It’s time to be brave and there’s no room for sentiment when trophies are on the line.


  1. Does it really matter who plays? They should know by now what a medal means to them, and TV viewers, and the 4T.
    And history beckoning celebrations. Its up to Neil and Co to make it so. Lucky though. Not playing Rust County or Invernest Swally.

  2. Maybe someone felt that the criticism of him at the end of his career was unfair and is trying to prove people were wrong, by risking tainting part of the memory of a Celtic great and legend, Scot Brown. ( reminds me of similar psychological disturbance in parents trying to live their failed lives through their children !!! ) The problem is that Neil’s time should be up at Celtic and his arrogance prevents him admitting it.


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