“I see Big Christopher has been mouthing off to the media,” I said to my dad and my brother in laws during my holiday. For a moment not one of them had a clue who I meant. “Jullien,” I said, and that was when recognition dawned, but it dawned with a sort of collective shrug. “What’s he been saying?” my dad asked, utterly without concern.
The exchange summed up the way most fans feel about the big guy. He’s not really been on too many people’s radar. When I was last on Endless Celts we had a chat about what the future held for him at Celtic and we were all of the view that he had one if he wanted one, but that it might be as a backup. It seems clear he has no interest in that.
He told the media that he’s been fit for months and that rather than select him, Ange has at times gone with a “midfielder playing at central defence.” I scratched my head over that one, not just the claim but the timing of it and the manifest stupidity of it too.
Imagine coming out with this in the week we clinch the title? What was he thinking? Simply that it might be a good way to be shown the exit door? Cause that, I strongly suspect, will be the consequences of such an act.
In running to the press and effectively slagging Ange’s decision making – and getting his facts wrong into the bargain – I think he’s almost decided his future at Celtic whether willingly or not, and it’s that he doesn’t have one any longer.
Let’s be honest, the big lad looked a player when we signed him but eighteen months after the injury which ruled him out of the back half of last season, he seems as far away from a first team place as it’s possible to get. He didn’t even make the squad for the Motherwell game, which I reckon was Ange’s magisterial snubbing for those daft remarks.
It might be that behind the scenes he and Ange have sorted things out and he’s been told he’ll be part of the plan for the next campaign, but he’s entering the final year of his deal and I doubt that the club will be in any hurry to offer him an extension. To put it bluntly, we didn’t need him to win things in this campaign and as a result I think he’d struggle here.
He certainly doesn’t seem to relish the prospect of fighting for his place, and that alone suggests that the curtain has come down on time at our club. It’s a shame, because I thought we would get one last year out of him at the very least … but the words out of his own mouth might have made that impossible. It’s hard to imagine Ange having been impressed.