The writing was on the wall for Chris Jullien before this weekend.
It was on the wall when Celtic turned down a major bid from France for Stephen Welsh.
The manager likes him. The coaches like him. He remains our best defender in the air, and our most potent threat from set pieces launched into the box. And he can cover a lot of ground as well.
Welsh is a good player, and we’ve always know it, since he was the one bright spot in the Lennon disaster and meltdown season of two years ago. Welsh showed his early reserves of mental strength to come out of that as our one positive … last season he was overlooked a lot, but not by anyone at the club itself. In fact, across all competitions last season he featured 22 times including ten games in the league. Not bad for a bit-part player.
Few see him having much impact this season once there are three fit centre backs in front of him … but therein lies the key. There are four centre backs who, in theory, should be ahead of him in the pecking order … but one of them is clearly not going to be.
Chris Jullien is done. That performance, more than anything else, is the nail in the coffin.
The big Frenchman is now fifth out of five centre backs at Celtic and even if he hadn’t mouthed off about the manager before this season started, that would have been Game Over.
Taking into account those extraordinarily foolish remarks, and based on Welsh’s performance at the weekend, against one of the better teams in the league, there’s probably no way back now, even if a club doesn’t come in for him in the next few weeks.
And one will, by the way, because Jullien himself is too good to sit on the bench.
He would walk into any other defence in this league, and that’s a fact.