Social media erupted last night, when Christopher Jullien published a picture which revealed that he was on a plane. He deleted it, but you have to wonder how stupid the guy was to post that in the first place and hope that nobody would notice.
It’s the second time in a few months that he’s done something that seems utterly without thought. The first was the one that guaranteed that plane trip; his decision to go in front of the media and slag the manager for not giving him more games.
Chris Jullien was a big fan favourite from the moment he signed. He scored a cup winning goal for us, and was a fantastic player when on his game. The injury which started the unravelling looked innocuous; nobody could have predicted that it would be well over a year until we saw him in the Hoops again, or that our club would look totally different.
Few would have believed that 18 months after that injury he’d have played a minor cameo role and no more than that, prior to getting on an aircraft to go and find his next deal. That it has ended like this only became inevitable with that press briefing when, just as the team was about to wrap up the title, he unloaded both barrels … into his own foot, I think.
Jullien may or may not have been in the manager’s plans. But the moment he spoke out of class, in the manner in which he did, all the bridges were burning merrily behind him. Ange is not the sort of boss who will tolerate that. It speaks of ill-discipline.
This was not the way any of us wanted it to end, but it’s kind of been inevitable since he made those remarks. The manager couldn’t overlook them, and although there were ways that the club and the player could have come together that would have meant Jullien accepting those very same realities which he was complaining about in the first place.
He was never going to be a guaranteed first pick.
So the end was written in the stars. What’s interesting about it is that he’s off to Schalke, a club who have two centre backs on the books who we’re linked to. One of them is Ko Itakura. The other is a guy called Malick Thiaw.
Rumours – and that’s all they are – suggest that this might be a two way deal, with Jullien going there and us taking one of those guys. It would certainly fill the gap in the squad that he leaves and answer the question as to what the plan for the back line is.
We’ve all had a tense week, and it’s not over yet. Until the Jota and Bernabei deals are done – and I have said from the start I still think we’ll do them both – we’re going to be sweating. A lot of people think that we’re waiting until tomorrow or the day after to fold the deals into the new financial year; that would be typical of Celtic, and whilst I don’t like the manager having to wait whilst we shuffle money around the board I can’t say it isn’t smart in its way.
It’s not impossible, though, that we might wrap up three signings before the weekend, and we’d need to spend big money to do that but the money is there. I think that the will to spend it is too, because the manager has earned that and proved he knows good value when he sees it.
This is not the end we wanted for Chris Jullien, but the end has certainly come. Now we have to focus on what’s next. I would not be surprised if that management team already has.