Neil Lennon said today that he and Ntcham have kissed and made up over the comments the Frenchman made to a newspaper back home. The midfielder isn’t claiming to have been misquoted as such, just misunderstood.
Lennon says he accepts that and everything is good again, or at least as good as it can be.
Ntcham is back in his plans.
At least for the time being, because what choice does anyone have here?
Ntcham is too good a footballer – and too valuable an asset – to be sitting on the side-lines.
Celtic has shown over Kieran Tierney that we’re not going to be messed about over transfer fees when we have very specific valuations in mind for our players, and right now there is no club out there, even Marseille if they were able, who is going to pay big money for this guy.
Everyone at Celtic knows that’s the case.
There is a player there and everyone knows it, or Porto and Marseille wouldn’t have been interested in the big money moves in the first place. But since he spat out the dummy when Dembele left we have not seen him turn in anything other than perfunctory displays. He wanders around aimlessly. He misplaces passes.
On one occasion – at St Mirren – he got himself sent off presumably so he didn’t have to endure the rigours of doing his job for the day.
I don’t want to be over-critical, or too harsh – the manager has made up with him and that’s a good enough reason for the rest of us to let it go – but honestly, if he’s gets opportunities from here on in he really has to take them, for his own sake as well as ours.
The simple truth is this; whether he stays or goes, he better seriously up his game.
Olivier Ntcham may or may not want to stay at Celtic, but if he does he needs to show the manager why he should start ahead of others. And if he wants to go he better realise quick that there’s only one way out of Celtic Park whilst we hold his contract … and that’s to earn the move to the level he believes he should be playing at.
Either way, no more sulking or strolling around like a guy without a care in the world.
If he wants to be “more” than an SPL footballer, he needs to earn it.