Jullien and Ajer deserve credit for overcoming blip in form

By John Reid

November 22, 2019

When you look at Celtic’s current winning run of seven games, what is striking is that it came on the back of a very poor league performance.

The Hoops slumped to a 2-0 loss to Livingston last month, in a game which was notable for how poor the team performed, but in particular the centre-back pairing of Christopher Jullien and Kristoffer Ajer. The duo just couldn’t deal with how aggressive Livingston were.

However, things have changed for the duo since then. The pair have become the heartbeat of a Celtic side which is in an excellent run of form.

Didn’t let poor performance affect game

(Photo by Silvia Lore/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

They deserve plenty of credit for not letting the poor performance against Livingston affect how they have performed since. The duo seem to have put that down as a blip, and got back to business.

That is the sign of good players. Being able to overcome a poor performance so quickly shows that they don’t dwell on what they have done wrong.

There is no doubt that even with the likes of Jozo Simunovic and Nir Bitton at the club, Ajer and Jullien are Celtic’s first choice centre-backs. Perhaps if the poor form had continued after the Livingston game there could have been a doubt about that.

Duo have to be amongst first names on team-sheet

(photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

But so well have the duo played that they have to be amongst the first names on Neil Lennon’s team-sheet. In the seven game winning run Celtic are currently on the Hoops have conceded four goals. That is a more than respectable record, especially when you consider that one of the games was against Lazio.

Naturally the likes of Fraser Forster deserve credit for the few goals the Hoops have conceded. But that shouldn’t take away from how well Ajer and Jullien have done.

There is no reason why the duo cannot be Celtic’s centre-back pairing for many seasons to come.