Olivier Ntcham’s week has certainly been eventful, and it appears that the Celtic midfielder is in a better place than he was in the summer.
It was certainly a concerning summer when it came to Ntcham’s future at the club. He stated that he would blossom with Marseille if he moved to the French club when speaking to L’Equipe. They were comments that angered many in the Celtic support, and he was always going to have to do something special to turn things around.
He did just that last Thursday night. His stunning winner in Lazio helped secure history as Celtic won their first-ever game on Italian soil. It also secured qualification with two games to spare – another club first.
Ntcham spoke in the Celtic View this week (Volume 55, Issue 19, Page 12) about the memorable night in Rome. Here’s a look at what the Frenchman had to say:
“They looked so proud of the team. Every Celtic fan can be proud. The way we played, the spirit of the team – it was really nice.
“I was proud of my finishing in the game. Winning in Italy, breaking a record – that’s great news for everybody involved with the club.
“It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy for my team. The atmosphere in the team is great and I’m so happy now.”
Ntcham couldn’t seem further from the exit door
Since the summer squabble, there have been no reported problems between the club and Ntcham. He’s been terrific when it comes to his patience, as he hasn’t been a regular starter all season either.
Yet Ntcham still has 19 appearances to his name this term (Transfermarkt). That’s three more than the most used substitute at the club, Jonny Hayes. So Lennon has clearly allowed his comments over the summer to be put to rest.
The Frenchman is now reaping the rewards of getting his head down and working hard. Last year proved to be a tough campaign for him. He did manage a solid 37 appearances, but his performances were hardly noteworthy (Transfermarkt). He only managed to secure one assist throughout the entirety of the last campaign. For a box-to-box midfielder, that shows just how ineffective he was.
Ntcham’s comments are notably full of praise for the fans and his team. They’re also full of happiness. Sure, he’s hardly going to rant to the Celtic View about his discontent with the club. But you can feel the passion in his words here.
He knows how historic Thursday night was to the club. The fact he followed it up with another impressive performance against Motherwell on Sunday was another boost for him.
All of a sudden, he seems to be in a much better place than he was in the summer. With a bit of luck, it leads to a highly-successful campaign for him overall.