Key Celtic man no longer up to scratch says pundit

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Celtic have really struggled this season.

Under Neil Lennon, the club were expected to win their 10th successive Scottish Premiership title in 2020/21.

However, they are currently a staggering 13 points behind leaders Rangers, having lost once this league and drawing four times.

They have played 14 games in the top-flight this term, taking 31 points, and have two games in hand on the league leaders.

However, even if they were to win both games, Celtic would be seven points behind the Gers. At this point, they also have a goal difference of positive 21, compared to Rangers’ 42.

And there have been a fair share of potential culprits for their failure to actually challenge domestically.

It should be said at this point, too, that Celtic finished bottom of Group H in the Europa League, taking four points from six games against AC Milan, Lille, and Sparta Prague.

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Noel Whelan has identified who he believes is the main culprit: Scott Brown.

The Celtic captain remains a key member of Lennon’s squad, making 24 appearances in all competitions, but he has not scored a goal or provided an assist.

And Whelan does not believe he is offering anywhere near enough protection to the backline.

Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “He’s in there to win battles, in there to command the midfield area, to get people going forward as a team but also to make yourself nice and strong and secure as a unit.

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“It scares me they’re getting through too easily, you can’t say you’re doing your job right if you’re conceding goals, it’s as simple as that.

“Players will be disappointed themselves, I’m very critical but you’ve got to be critical of yourself as well – could you do better, can I do better, am I at top of my game? No is the answer to all of that backline and the midfield in front as well, they’re not doing a good enough job protecting them – defensively, as a unit, they’ve got a hell of a lot of work on.

“If there’s no fight in them, they’re going to struggle, massively. That’s what they need, pride in their own performances, fight not to let this happen again, fight between one another to dig out the best in one another.

“If you don’t have that kind of leadership in there, and those kind of weak mentality and weak players, then you’re going to be struggling massively, it could get a lot worse.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Brown is the captain and he really needs to be leading by example.

He has not been doing his job effectively, with Celtic shipping 14 goals in their 14 games.

That actually doesn’t sound that bad when one says it aloud, but Rangers have conceded three goals in their 16 games.

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When the two are compared, it sharpens the focus on Celtic and their failures.

Brown is the measuring stick, the player with the armband and the player who has been there and done it all for the club.

He needs to up his game, or Celtic could be out of the title race sooner rather than later.

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