Olivier Ntcham’s performance at Easter Road yesterday showed he’s still not at the level Celtic need him at.
The Frenchman featured for just over an hour before being replaced by Tom Rogic. It didn’t make much difference in the end considering the Hoops still stumbled to a 0-0 draw.
In saying that, however, it was clear that Ntcham was struggling throughout the contest. He was misplacing some bread and butter passes, and often slowed Celtic’s attacks down. It was clear he wasn’t in the form we needed him to be in, and Celtic suffered for it.
This didn’t get past some of the Celtic supporters either. Reacting to Ntcham’s display on Twitter, there weren’t many sympathisers for the Frenchman.
Ntcham was abysmal today. Can't recall a #Celtic player making as many dreadfully misplaced passes as he did in an embarrassing first half performance. He hasn't really looked interested since Dembele left. (Yes, I know he scored v Rangers).
Expect him to leave this summer.
— Brian McNally (@McNallyMirror) April 21, 2019
Ntcham is up there with the worst players we have ever signed
— Tactical celtic (@TacticalCeltic) April 21, 2019
What kind of boots has Ntcham got on?
— Bunbeg Brian (@BunbegB) April 21, 2019
Ntcham gets away with murder 1 bit of quality from every 10 bad passes
— Rikos (@Rikos67_) April 21, 2019
Just take Ntcham off already. Put the poor bloke out of his misery #HIBCEL
— A Club Open To All. (@celticcommunit1) April 21, 2019
You always know within the first two minutes what Ntcham is going to turn up. Has had more pathetic performances than good. I’d be looking to sell him in the summer personally. Bring someone in with more hunger and desire to replace him.
— Murray (@DMMacdonald96) April 21, 2019
Fs I’m now officially leaving in the ”punt ntcham” brigade. Shambles of a player since Ibrox
— The Shithouse Era (@TheNum7) April 21, 2019
Ntcham is the new Samaras, there’s talent there but it’s turned on and off like a tap, he’s very much a player who prefers matches at home.
— CelticBhoy1888 (@Bhoy1888Celtic1) April 21, 2019
Lack of consistency has haunted Ntcham all season
Today wasn’t a day to make a Ntcham compilation video, to say the least.
The Frenchman is capable of so much more. It wasn’t so much the lack of speed in Ntcham’s game today. Just as frustrating was his final ball and some of the basic passes he was messing up.
When on his game, Ntcham is by far the best passer of the ball in the country. He has a tremendous range of distribution on him, and showed that for large spells last season. But since the 1-0 loss to Rangers at Ibrox, the midfielder has struggled to make any sort of positive influence.
The arrival of Neil Lennon hasn’t seemed to do anything positive to his game either. Ntcham has only appeared in three of Lennon’s nine matches in charge so far too, so he’s still struggling for consistent game-time.
Some of the negative reaction to his display is over the top. Ntcham is going through a rough patch at Parkhead, but there’s clearly a hugely-talented player in there. He has it in him to produce genuinely top-class performances on his day, even if his day has been rare in recent memory.
Hibs was another one to forget for Ntcham. His place in the team is under huge threat for next week’s visit of Kilmarnock. If he wants it back, he’ll have to show a lot more than he did in Edinburgh yesterday.