Jullien: Celtic hero Olivier Ntcham has had "problems" this season

By David Walton

November 14, 2019

Christopher Jullien hopes last week’s last-minute history-making goal can help put an end to Olivier Ntcham’s “problems” this season.

Ntcham made Celtic history on two counts with his winner in Italy. As we all know, it secured qualification with two games to spare and nabbed us our first ever win in Italy – both being huge firsts for the club.

It was the perfect way for the Frenchman to bounce back from his injury issues which kept him out of a few fixtures towards the end of October.

Olivier Ntcham fired himself into the Celtic history books (Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Jullien couldn’t hide his delight for his countryman either. Speaking in the Evening Times, Jullien had the following to say on Ntcham:

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“It was really good, I was really happy for him. He’s had some problems this season so far, so I’m really happy.

“Since I arrived here, he has stayed with me as a friend and has made me feel better on the field, which has been really nice. We all know his talent, so I’m not afraid for him. The fact he has been in and out of the team says a lot about or squad.

“When you have quality and talent like that, sometimes you won’t be playing every game. We are all together though, and that just shows the strength that we have.”

Ntcham has played as often as can be expected

When Jullien refers to Ntcham’s “problems” this season, he appears to be hinting towards his lack of appearances. Considering he goes on to talk about how he’s been in and out of the team, this seems to be what the towering defender is pointing towards.

Ntcham hasn’t been a regular starter this season (Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

But Ntcham has been in the team just as much as we would’ve expected at the start of the season. He’s made 19 appearances so far, albeit only eight of those have seen him in the starting XI (Transfermarkt).

We spoke yesterday about how Ntcham’s recent comments seem to suggest that he’s in a better place. That certainly seems to be the case. After all, he hasn’t been complaining about a lack of game-time, and there have been no reports of bickering about a potential future move.

As far as we’re all aware, Ntcham has simply been getting on with things. So Jullien’s remark surely just points to his lack of starts as opposed to anything more sinister.

Christopher Jullien is delighted for Ntcham (Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images)

With the quality of performances that Scott Brown and Callum McGregor are producing together, Ntcham just needs to stay patient. He’ll know that Neil Lennon will have plenty of affection for him after his goal in Italy. The fact he started against Motherwell proves that the manager will reward him for good performances and big moments.

But as for whatever problems Jullien is indeed referring to, here’s hoping they’re firmly in the past.