Scott BrownDuring a football career in which he has played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Welshpool Town, Bristol City and nearly 10 years at Cheltenham Town, goalkeeper Scott Brown is suddenly acquiring a decent reputation at Scottish Premiership outfit Aberdeen as the team currently leads that particular league. Since assuming the number one ‘keeper role when replacing long-serving Jamie Langfield, Aberdeen have conceded just two goals during the eleven league games in which he has started and have won their latest eight games via a clean sheet.
Aberdeen are currently leading reigning Scottish champions Glasgow Celtic by four points although they have played two games more than their challengers but the signing and introduction of Brown appears to have coincided with serious turnaround in form for the team. The death of his father, following a long-term illness, was one reason for the English-born goalkeeper agreeing to leave English fourth tier team Cheltenham and sign for the Dons in May 2014 and he was initially understudy to Langfield. He was restricted to a League Cup appearance in September in which Aberdeen beat Livingston 4-0 but a 3-0 defeat at Hamilton seemed to have been the catalyst for a change in goalkeeping roles.
Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes then decided to select Scott Brown for his league debut with the team hovering just above mid-table and with seven goals conceded in the previous three matches. A 1-0 home victory against Motherwell was the outcome and clean sheets have been a regular occurrence for the Dons ever since that day.
12 matches have been played by Aberdeen following that slender Motherwell victory and in only two games have goals been conceded. A 2-l Scottish Cup loss at Dundee was disappointing and a 2-1 league defeat by Celtic at Pittodrie was a setback but the Dons have won each of their subsequent Premiership games without conceding and also gained revenge on Hamilton by a similar 3-0 scoreline.
By earning eight successive league victories via clean sheets, Aberdeen have probably the best current playing record of all teams in the main European football leagues which also takes into account of pre-winter break performances of those clubs awaiting the second half of their season. Although the arrival in the first team of Brown has been a contributory factor for this surge in Aberdeen form, the rest of the defence and the attacking units must not be overlooked as goals still have to be scored and some protection offered to the goalkeeper.
For now the Aberdeen management and players will be eager to prove that the current situation can lead to further success in May when the trophies are awarded. Their Scottish League Cup win last season was their first item of silverware in nearly 20 years but that win has offered some hope that the team can repeat the success of the mid 1980’s when Sir Alex Ferguson inspired the Dons into claiming the Scottish league title and European Cup Winners Cup among other trophies.
There are still many games to play in the current season and Celtic remain favourites to clinch the Scottish crown but after many years playing his trade at Cheltenham Town, Scott Brown will hope to help his Aberdeen team mates break the current Celtic monopoly of the Premiership title.