Ntcham hits new low in France; Celtic star subbed in shock cup loss

By David Walton

March 8, 2021

Olivier Ntcham has plummeted to new depths in France after the Celtic midfielder endured a horrific evening in the French Cup.

On loan with Marseille for the rest of the season, things have gone disastrously for Ntcham in Ligue 1. The former Manchester City prodigy has struggled for regular minutes under interim boss Nasser Larguet.

Before last Wednesday’s game against Lille, Ntcham had yet to start a single game despite joining at the start of February. However, he was hooked at half-time in that one as his new club lost 2-0.

Last night, however, was the worst of the lot for Olivier. He was again given a start against lowly National 2 outfit Canet Roussilon. It was expected to be a walkover for Ntcham’s side, and an opportunity for him to make his mark.

In the end, Ntcham suffered the same result as Lille. He was on for 45 minutes, hooked at half-time, and his side went on to lose the game. Only this time the embarrassment was magnified due to the fact Canet Roussilon are a fourth-tier side.

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Marseille are under new management now after the appointment of Jorge Sampaoli. He wasn’t in charge of the team last night, but will be coming in to take over this week.

Ntcham had been promised minutes last week by Larguet [RMC Sport]. However, he’s since had two starts and has messed both of them up with uninspiring performances.

It’s fair to say the Celtic midfielder now has a massive challenge on his hands. He has a new manager to impress and one that didn’t actually sign him in the first place. If he’s going to tempt Marseille to take up their option-to-buy clause, he needs to be a standout for Sampaoli.

Olivier Ntcham in action for Marseille (Photo by ROMAIN PERROCHEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

Unfortunately for Olivier, however, time is running out. Marseille only have 11 league fixtures remaining. Their shock cup exit means there’ll be no glory at the end of the season for them. Ntcham needs to hurry if he’s going to leave any sort of impression on his loan club.

At this stage, it looks likely that Celtic will see him back at Parkhead again. Nothing has gone right for him. Marseille have had nine matches since he’s joined. In over half of them he hasn’t been selected for action. He’s still to play more than 45 minutes in a single game too.

The imminent arrival of Sampaoli will hopefully spur Ntcham on. But as his time in France goes into freefall mode, this is starting to look like a grim January window decision.

In other news, Kennedy must show Celtic fans that he’s his own man after Lennon-esque decisions.