Celtic boss Neil Lennon offers up more Olivier Ntcham praise

By David Walton

August 8, 2019

Neil Lennon has offered up yet more Olivier Ntcham praise after a fine return to first-team action.

The Frenchman has now made four outings for the Hoops since his summer saga. Ntcham’s comments to L’Equipe about being too good for Scottish football certainly didn’t help his popularity amongst the Celtic fans.

But it appears that he’s managed to put it all behind him for now. He’s returned to form with some good cameo displays combined with a goal-scoring return against St Johnstone on Saturday. He also looked terrific from the start in Estonia against Nomme Kalju last week.

Olivier Ntcham could get back in the good books once more (Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

There remains an element of the support who still believe he could be sold before the transfer window is finished. But speaking to the Celtic View (Volume 55, Issue 5, Page 6), Lennon talked up Ntcham’s future at Parkhead.

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“Olivier Ntcham is an excellent player and it’s really up to him to keep that consistency. He’s a great trainer and already he’s made a significant start to the season.

“When he is in the mood, he’s fantastic. If we can just get that consistent level from him, we’ll have one hell of a player on our hands – as we already do.

“I’m enjoying watching him play and work.”

Olivier Ntcham praise simply builds on the hope many still have for him

You’ll never get everyone in the Celtic supporters to all agree on this. Some will feel Ntcham’s comments were unforgivable. Others will feel they were either misinterpreted or blown out of proportion.

But at the end of the day, with regards to his future at the club, there’s only one man’s opinion that matters – Lennon. The Celtic fans at Parkhead haven’t exactly booed Ntcham off the pitch. There’s an opening for the Frenchman to be accepted by the majority of Hoops once again.

Ntcham has been given a lucky opportunity by Neil Lennon (Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Lennon’s comments, meanwhile, shows that he still has a big part to play at Celtic Park. It doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t sell him this summer. If a big bid comes in then it would be unlike Celtic to reject it. But it does offer Ntcham the opportunity to rebuild his bridges.

Ntcham must’ve been fearing being dismissed by Lennon after word had gotten back to Lennoxtown over his comments. But Lenny has pretty much confirmed he has a future at Parkhead after all.

Performances will win over the supporters (David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Speculation on his future has certainly died down since his return. Whether Ligue 1 interest in him persists heading into the closing stages of the summer remains to be seen.

At the moment, however, Ntcham’s focus will be on simply making an impression in green-and-white once again.