Celtic player "doing everything right in training" despite not being selected by Ange Postecoglou

By David Walton

February 8, 2022

Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien is impressing Ange Postecoglou in training, but the Hoops boss still can’t commit to when he’ll return to the team.

Jullien has recently recovered from knee ligament damage that kept him out for over a year stretching back to December 2020. The Frenchman was a key part of the 9-in-a-row winning Celtic side, but has yet to make an appearance for the club since making matchday squads again last month.

The former Toulouse man was on the bench against Alloa, Hearts, and Dundee United respectively. However, he wasn’t involved against Rangers or Motherwell in Celtic’s last 2 matches.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Thankfully, it doesn’t appear as though that’s down to any further injury concerns. Instead, Ange stated at his pre-match presser on Celtic TV that it’s just a matter of being patient for the player:

“I don’t know. It depends how the games go. It depends where the opportunities are. I’ve said all along, he’s training, he’s fine from his injury. There are no injury issues and it’s just a matter of waiting for his opportunity now.

“When that will come, I don’t know. It’ll depend on how the team’s going and when we need to give him that opportunity. But he’s doing everything right in terms of training and he’s available for selection.”

Callum McGregor details Kris Boyd chat as Pittodrie awaits Celtic | Aberdeen vs Celtic Preview

Callum McGregor details Kris Boyd chat as Pittodrie awaits Celtic | Aberdeen vs Celtic Preview
67 Hail Hail (Youtube)

Christopher Jullien needs to be patient – there’s a new first-choice pairing at Celtic

It’s absolutely fantastic having Jullien back available for action once again. You simply can’t underestimate just how important it is to have quality of that level ready to step in when necessary. It’s sensational depth and considering Jullien’s experience, he’s going to be invaluable in the title run-in.

However, at the same time, here’s the brutal new reality – there’s a new first-choice centre-back pairing at Celtic Park. Under no circumstances whatsoever should either Carl Starfelt nor Cameron Carter-Vickers be dropped in any of our Premiership games if neither man needs a rest.

There isn’t the same desperation in terms of needing Jullien back as there was a year ago. Celtic have evolved and that includes their backline. We’ve only conceded 13 goals in the Premiership all season after all. If Ange tinkers with that and we start losing goals, the manager will undoubtedly be called out for such a big error of judgement.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

So we’re now at the stage where Jullien needs to understand his position in the squad. At the moment, that’s as a squad player. Granted, why he dropped out of the squad entirely for Rangers and Motherwell is a touch disappointing.

But it is what it is. Ange is the manager and we’ll back every decision he makes. If he doesn’t believe that Jullien should return right away then it’s clearly because he doesn’t think he’ll necessarily improve the starting XI.

Make no mistake, it’s superb having Chris back in the fold and his chance will come. Most likely against Raith Rovers on Sunday. But as things stand, Ange can’t justify dropping his first-choice pairing.

In other news, Aberdeen look set to take an extremely risky approach against Celtic tomorrow