Steven Thompson slams Scott Brown cup final behaviour

BBC Scotland pundit Steven Thompson has slammed Celtic skipper Scott Brown’s behaviour following the full time whistle at Hampden Park on Saturday.

Brown was booked after the full time whistle after getting in the face of Hearts substitute Uche Ikpeazu as Celtic secured an historic treble treble.

But while Ikpeazu brushed off the incident after the match, Thompson was itching to criticise Brown for showing a ‘lack of class’ - despite the former Hibernian player being on the end of abuse throughout the game from Hearts fans and digs from the players.

Speaking to BBC Sportsound, Thompson said: "I think a lack of sportsmanship is a word I would use. He's got such a decorated career. He's been such a phenomenal footballer, he really has and still is.

"And there is no need to act in that manner. We don't know what was being said to him by the Hearts players. But as Scott (McDonald) is right, there are more important things to do. Go celebrate with your supporters, team-mates and enjoy the occasion.

"Like Michael (Stewart) I don't think there it's a massive issue but it just lacked a wee bit of sportsmanship. There is nothing more frustrating than losing a cup final. The Hearts players would have been, especially with how close they were to winning that final, absolutely dejected.

"So to have Brown rub it in their faces, yeah it lacked class."

Neil Lennon, who was announced as the permanent manager of Celtic following the cup final victory, saw his team come from a goal behind to win 2-1 thanks to a double from Odsonne Edouard, after Ryan Edward’s had given Hearts an unlikely lead.

As funny as being speared

Thompson’s comments on Brown are a bit rich given that he speared team mate John McGinn with a pole in a training ground prank gone wrong in April 2015.

McGinn, who was linked with a move to Celtic last summer and has now secured promotion to the EPL with Aston Villa, had robbed Thompson of possession of the ball - before the striker thought it would be funny to throw a pole at the midfielder which penetrated his thigh.

The-then 20-year-old midfielder was left with a gaping wound in his left and was out injured for six to eight weeks, leaving the Paisley side at the end of that season to join Hibs on a free transfer.

Speaking about the incident months later, McGinn said: "At the time, all I could think about was 'is my leg going to be okay?'. Thankfully the doctor was on the scene right away and I'll be forever grateful to Gerry Canning for being on the spot.

"The physios and staff were really good. Thankfully it missed the serious muscles in my leg or it could have been a lot worse. There was a lot of blood, but I can't really remember much because it happened so quickly. I just remember looking down, I was glad the pole came back out. I’ll be keeping an eye out for them in the future!

"But it wasn't ideal. I'm just glad to have moved on and fully recovered. I'm lucky in that it could have been worse. I was only out for six to eight weeks, which was good. I've got a scar but it's only small."

He added: "It's been really tough, ever since the injury, I just missed football. I haven't played any sort of game since April and that's why I'm not being rushed back in. I need to be ready. I missed an awful lot and it's just good to be back on the training pitch. 

When asked about the incident, Thompson claimed he was ‘mortified’ and that it was just a ‘daft prank’.

The 36-year-old said: "I threw it for a laugh, stupid me trying to be funny, and unfortunately it's anything but. It's a total disaster."

To my recollection Scott Brown has never thrown a corner flag or any other object and injured a team mate as part of a daft prank or trying to be funny?

While Hearts players themselves have not covered themselves in glory with their antics towards injured Celtic players as Steven Naismith had done to Jonny Hayes or Steven MacLean grabbing the privates of Celtic’s Eboue Kouassi before claiming it was a ‘wee wind up’.

It’s funny how that if Hearts players do it, it is either part of the game or just a ‘wee wind up’ - but when Scott Brown or Celtic do it, they are lacking class.

Sour grapes anyone?