The end is nigh at Celtic for Scott Brown as a central figure – and he should go gracefully.
That is according to ex-England striker Darren Bent, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams after Celtic’s 1-0 Old Firm loss on Saturday.
Brown, 35, had started the last 30 Glasgow derbies but was replaced by the in-form Ismailia Soro as Celtic fell 19 points behind Rangers in the title race.
He was brought on two minutes after Callum McGregor’s decisive own-goal but was ultimately unable to turn the game around.
Drawing on his own experience, Darren Bent expressed his sympathy with Brown but said that he still has a part to play in helping younger players like Soro progress.
He told Football Insider: “That was one of the things that I found toughest, knowing that people now see you as no longer the player you were and that they think you can’t do what you used to do.
“You know it’s coming. It happens to us all.
“He’s been a superb servant for them, but maybe he just can’t do the things that he used to be able to do. And it’s tough for a player to take that.
“But he’s been their captain for so long. He will have seen it happen, when he was a youngster he will have done this to somebody else.
“As captain, you’d like him to be out there and saying to the youngsters ‘right, you’ve taken my spot but here’s what you can do to improve.’ For a senior player, that’s a really big role, making sure you help out the next generation.”
This is Brown’s 14th seasons at Parkhead after joining from Hibs in 2007 for £4.4million, turning down Rangers in the process.
Since then, he has made 603 appearances for the club – only six men have turned out for the Bhoys more times.