They come and go, some kiss the badge, they all talk about how great the fans are. Of all those who played with Celtic in recent years, it was Christopher Jullien, in a private moment, who asked, “Why would anyone want to leave Celtic?” At the age of 26, he found his paradise.
We rated him not for what he said in private, but for his performances on the field. He was the most dominant central defender Celtic had since Virgil van Dijk departed four years earlier. It was his head, chest, leg, on the ball, when we were under pressure. He could then pass the ball out of defence with both feet.
Of all the glories during our second nine-in-a-row years and the Quadruple Treble, the 2019 League Cup Final holds a special place. Celtic were on the rack throughout; with an inspired keeper, Christopher holding the defensive line and scoring the winning goal, the win felt so much sweeter.
His 89th minute winner against Lazio was a perfect example of his aerial dominance. Celtic were a shambles a year later, when he collided with a post at an empty Celtic Park, but they were not yet out of touch. Had he remained fit, who knows? As it was, the shambles continued.
Chirstopher’s exclusion from action on return from injury was down to team tactics. Ange wants his central defenders wide, leaving them plenty of ground to cover, in the event of a breakaway attack. This is not Chris’ forte, it wouldn’t work.
Best of luck, Chris, don’t be a stranger.
Ignore it all you like, but the most important game of the season in Scottish football takes place tonight. It will determine the competitive balance, perhaps beyond even this season. Football in Glasgow is a zero-sum game.