Celtic centre-back Christopher Jullien has stated that he isn’t a fan of the amount of elbowing that goes on in Scottish football.
The Frenchman has been a highly-successful signing for the Hoops after arriving in the summer for £7million from Toulouse (Scottish Sun). He’s played 21 of Celtic’s 27 matches this season, and has formed a promising partnership with Norwegian talent Kristoffer Ajer (Transfermarkt).
It’s a combination that has helped Celtic qualify for the Europa League last-32 with two games to spare. As well as that, the Bhoys are in the Betfred Cup final and remain top of the Premiership.
So it’s all going smoothly for big Jullien so far. But as he spoke to beIN Sports in France about Scottish football, he touched on one aspect he isn’t keen on:
🎙 Christopher Jullien revient sur le niveau du championnat écossais
🗯 "En Ecosse, il n'y a pas la VAR, c'est un peu plus physique. Dans le jeu, c'est beaucoup plus rugueux." pic.twitter.com/VY5rtidomC
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) November 17, 2019
“There is no VAR in Scotland. I don’t want to say that everything is anything goes, but it is a bit more physical. I think the game in England and Scotland is known for that.
“Yes, yes, during stoppages and even in the game it’s a lot rougher. I wouldn’t say I like it or that I like the elbowing but there’s give and take and it’s not bad.”
Jullien has already suffered his fair share of knocks
The Celtic stopper has certainly been in plenty of battles already this season. He sent out a rather controversial tweet after defeat at Livingston when he claimed he was “nervous”, and that Livi’s Lyndon Dykes helped to open his eyes to how physical Scottish football can be (Christopher Jullien’s Twitter).
He also suffered a nasty collision in the Betfred Cup semi-final against Hibernian. Christian Doidge caught the big centre-back with an elbow that left Jullien with a noticeable bump.
Jullien has been up against the likes of Dykes, Doidge, Sam Cosgrove, and Alfredo Morelos during his time in Scotland. All of those forwards can be deemed physical, and Jullien has stood up to the task.
He’s been a fine addition to the squad by Neil Lennon. Even at this early stage, he looks to be a serious upgrade on the departing Dedryck Boyata. He also looks a more mature centre-back than Filip Benkovic too – Celtic are seriously onto a winner here.
Elbowing, meanwhile, has been a prominent part of aerial challenges in Scottish football for as long as anyone can remember. Jullien is in a place where he can comment on how it compares to other nations like France for example.
Clearly, the situation is worse in Scotland than it is in Jullien’s homeland. But despite that, the big defender is still thriving in the heated cauldron of the Scottish Premiership.