Olivier Ntcham’s happiness at Celtic has certainly taken an upward turn over the last few months, and Sunday was yet further proof of that.
The Frenchman had a nasty summer as we all know after touting himself for a move to Marseille (L’Equipe). It was a frustrating interview to read for the supporters, but he’s managed to win some trust back after his recent displays and comments about his situation (The Herald).
Ntcham was an unused substitute against Rangers. In fairness, he’s actually struggled to win a regular place back in the team all season. He’s only started 10 of a possible 33 matches in the campaign so far (Transfermarkt).
Yet for anyone who’s worried that it’s put a downer on his attitude, they need to see Celtic’s backstage video of the Betfred Cup final on Sunday or some of the photos from the trophy celebration:
The emotion at full-time 🙌
Dressing room scenes 🍾
Bringing the #BetfredCup back home 🏠
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) December 9, 2019
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) December 8, 2019
Despite not featuring in the game, Ntcham was right in the thick of the celebrations in the changing room. Full of smiles, he didn’t look like a player who wasn’t enjoying the occasion.
He just seems a different player this season with regards to his mentality. There seems to be a buzz to him, and he looks a much happier footballer than he did in spells last term. These things are important for supporters to see. It helps prove to them that things have genuinely smoothed over.
It can’t be easy for Ntcham of course. With Scott Brown and Callum McGregor operating in his position, it’s been difficult for him to get any joy. Chances in the team have been limited, but still there appears to be an acknowledgment of having to work hard to earn his place back.
Ntcham didn’t paint the look of a player who remains in a deep huff. Having a player like that could be a huge danger to dressing-room morale too. Fortunately, the Frenchman seems relaxed and happy at Celtic once again. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have looked so buzzing on Sunday.
There were plenty of things to love about the backstage video Celtic posted on Monday. Jeremie Frimpong’s cuddle for Dermot Desmond, the roar when the full-time whistle went. You could list them. Ntcham’s mood, however, can also be included as he continues to look a changed man.