Football

Wes Brown Identifies Celtic Legend As His Toughest Ever Opponent

Wes Brown Identifies Celtic Legend As His Toughest Ever Opponent

A largely peripheral figure when one pauses to consider the great Manchester United players of the last twenty years, Wes Brown's United career was not short of amazing moments.

Playing 362 games across fourteen seasons, Brown counts two Champions League winners medals, five Premier League titles, two FA and League Cups amongst his impressive haul.

Perhaps most memorably providing the cross from which Cristiano Ronaldo would open the scoring in United's 2008 Champions League final win against Chelsea, Brown has recently been reflecting on his career with the club.

Discussing the greatest challenge the versatile defender faced in his career, Brown was able to call upon an impressive list of opponents - Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo amongst the most memorable.

However, when tasked with identifying the greatest challenge of all, Brown looked to a forward that very few would have taken the time to consider:

You might expect me to say some of the lads from Real Madrid or Barcelona or wherever, but it was John Hartson at Coventry City.

That's right, the former Arsenal, Wimbledon and soon to be Celtic striker, John Hartson.

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Having only joined Coventry on a short-term deal in the early months of 2001, Brown would find himself facing Coventry and Hartson in April 2001.

Paired alongside Jaap Stam in the centre of the United defence, the 21-year old Brown would find himself on the winning side. Yet, the 4-2 scoreline didn't hide the fact that it was Brown's man Hartson who had scored Coventry's brace:

I tried to be aggressive and bully him, but he bullied me all over the pitch.

I was young, I learned a lot from him. It took me time to learn that you could play opponents in different ways.

While injury had hampered Hartson's progress up to this point, the Welsh international would soon move to Celtic and write a glittering new chapter in his impressive career.

Scoring over 100 goals in his next five seasons in Glasgow, it is clear that Brown ran into Hartson just as he was on an upward curve.

See Also: Marouane Fellaini Slams "That Attack By Shane Long" As Potential Leg-Breaker

 

Arthur James O'Dea

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