Weighty comparison for Ntcham


Roy Keane played 13 games for Celtic and the first two of those were memorably for a disastrous performance and result away to Clyde, then what looked like an out of shape performance by the former Ireland international at home to Kilmarnock.

The remaining 11 games of his Celtic career were a lesson on what a great central midfield player looks like.  This was an era when we had recently seen Champions League winner, Paul Lambert, and Neil Lennon, play central mid, both masters of their craft, but Keane fulfilled the role better than anyone I had seen in a Celtic shirt, even as a 34-year-old.

There’s a video of his solitary performance away to Rangers (@FocusOnCeltic), where he asserts himself effortlessly, a lesson on how it should be done.  I watched a similar video of Olivier Ntcham against Newco on Sunday (@CelticBible).

The obvious point should be made.  The Rangers team of 2006 that Keane faced had players like Barry Ferguson and Dado Prso, and had a proper manager, whereas the team Olivier Ntcham faced are not of the same calibre, nor were they at home, but you and me have watched rubbish Oldco/Newco teams over the years without seeing such a complete performance from a Celtic central mid as Olivier’s.

Last month I suggested we drop Olivier and pull Callum McGregor deep, as the former’s passing and effectiveness was off the pace during the qualifiers.  He was one of several subject to bids and contract talks over the summer.  A clear head seems to have elevated the 22-year-old’s game to a new level.

The King is in town, get along to see Henrik and pals do their stuff at Celtic Park tomorrow.

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  1. Will be in Gorey Co Wexford on the evening that we play ST Mirren. Does anyone know if there is a club/bar where I could watch the game?

  2. From first sights I’ve been raving to embdy that Olivier is one of the silkiest young mids to grace Paradise.


    His balance, poise and peripheral vision are on a different dimension: He has heaps of improvement in him yet (shooting boots and aerial challenges). While I hope he hangs around, I guess his personal plan may not be the same as our team plans. Let’s enjoy his skills as long as he’s around and FFS plan a succession plan to avoid a MB balls-up again. HH

  3. One thing I noticed between those 2 videos is in the earlier one there seemed to be a lot more one touch passing near the edge of the opponents box… something which is very difficult to defend against without fouling the player

  4. Oldtim



    like starry plough i must agree a robust wee challenge from Tam Boyd,:-)



    hope your good Celts



    Enjoy your day




  5. P67



    Your earlier thoughts on ON were up their with understanding of amortisation from days gone past. He is a different type of player to RK — vision means he plays with a bigger park.



    He will be worth £100K pw at some point in his career and we should pay it.



    We need to get into the CL groups stages next season at all cost — yes at all cost as he needs that platform to develop.



    As noted with our projects — 2 years is a minimum.


    Then 4 years is good but 6 years is better.



    26 / 27 is peak flogging age — we should work towards that milestone.

  6. glendalystonsils on

    Could we PLEASE stop bigging up Oli, or big Peter will be flogging him off in the January window! -))

  7. Love Big Oli….blessed to see him in the Hoops as he passes through (and he will)…



    Would you push him higher with Mulumbu taking his place alongside Broonie ?



    Continuing with 3 big monsters at the back (Benkovic, Ajer and Boyata) we could have a midfield 6 of :



    Forrest Brown Mulumbu Tierney



    Ntcham Rogic



    Behind big Eddie….



    Niiiccceeee csc

  8. Absolutely no idea who any of the hun midfielders were on Sunday apart from Ryan jack, and the only reason I know who he is, is that he’s always getting battered. Ntchams good, but he’s no maestro.

  9. Just getting ready to travel up to the Kerrydale Suite for the Foundation Dinner for Stan Petrov and James Milnor, any other CQN’r s going?

  10. mullet and co 2 on

    I’d say Ntcham is more a McStay than a Keane. Though he could improve his shooting and ability to turn and pass. He can turn and hold the man off but a wee bit of work in earlier passes and vision.



    His passing was off because he has taken on responsibility to feed those in front of him with longer passes. We could also move a wee bit better for him to create the space. He did give the ball away more than any other player at Rosenberg as an example but he was asked to be the main creator and therefore had to take more risks than those around him.



    I wouldn’t bet against Zidane taking him to Manchester.



    What’s Peter Lawwell done today boys



    Any orphanages burnt down or the like ?






    I believe Peter Lawell’s aroma attracts bears. FFS he’s putting the whole stadium in danger.




  12. Sitting here bored out of my tree with another useless international break I’ve been giving a lot of thought about where we are now, how we got here and where I see us going.



    I grew up during a period when we rarely beat them in “big” games in fact during one occasion it was by the toss of the coin and that was in the Glasgow Cup, we did have 10 draws but then got gubbed in replays or again by the coin toss in 5 of them.



    What was it like, just normal too be honest, I do recall running down the street jubilant after delivering the Evening Times on hearing we had won in extra time, again in one of Glasgow’s minor trophies.



    When we did finally beat them in a League game it looked as if a corner had been turned as we won quite convincingly, yet in the national stadium 7 weeks later we were once again undone due to honest mistakes and went on a tail spin.



    Big Billy was looking to move, possibly Spurs, Bobby Murdoch was thinking of Oz, the Buzz Bomb and the Bear looked like heading for brockville and the wee mhan after getting sent off at hades for retaliation to a nondescript Icelander, who hardly kicked a ball for them and allegedly was only signed as a result of a deal with the local government in “Scotland’s largest town” and the owner of one of the largest home builders at the time, was now persona non grata and his jaiket was on a shoogly peg.



    And then all was saved when the Latter Day Christ arrived back at his spiritual home, all moves were off and the greatest ever Celts career was saved although not right away as he did miss out on our first trophy in 7 ½ years.



    As we are all aware our first ever game was against them on May 28 1888 where we won 5-2, somehow in recent year’s revisionists have said it was their “swifts” side we played, however in our first official game against them on October 27 1888 we beat them 6-1 in the Glasgow Football Association Cup although that has now been deemed as unofficial.



    The GC was competed from 1897 until 1989 and used to be seen as an important competition, on a par with the League or the Scottish Cup and was contested by the senior clubs in the Glasgow area, with the winners receiving a globular silver trophy.



    In fact it was 5 years before they beat us and that was in the same GC as well, although they did repeat the scoreline in a friendly 4 weeks later order was restored when within a month when we took 5 (that score again) off them in the Glasgow Charity Cup.



    Our last game against them was on April 29, 2012 where we again won with a 3 goal margin and then they died, kaput, gone, not forgiven but forgotten.



    Between these 2 dates we have played an estimated total of 402 games, not included are defunct competitions such as the Glasgow Cup, Glasgow Charities Cup, Dryborough Cup and shipyard loyal tournaments.



    There was a period though that I mentioned above between October 19, 1957 and March 8, 1965 when we had a deplorable record against them, I recall my mother saying we might be paying for the 7-1 game, mibbees she was right.



    We played them a total of 35 times winning 4, one of those was after extra time in the Glasgow Cup, another was by the toss of the coin in the Charity Cup, once in a Scottish Cup tie where we contrived to lose in the following round to Clyde at home and the only League game we won I happened to be there, my first hun victory, I was a lhad of 16 summers by that time.



    We did tie 10 but lost 3 of those on the toss of the coin and 2 where we were humiliated in replays at the national stadium.



    It’s not as if we had a dearth of talent, far from it, but the alleged shambles in the board room always gets the blame and yet after Jock took over the reserves we had a decent record at this level winning both the Reserve and Combined Reserve titles, as well as the 2nd 11 Cup, there may have been other sinister reasons.



    Fortunately for us and what may have masked this abysmal period in our history was there were other good sides out there including League winners Hearts (2), Dundee and Killie, Cup winners Clyde, St. Mirren and Dunfermline and League Cup winners Hearts (3). Thistle, the sheep and the hi hi were also runners up in these competitions.



    And yet less than 8 weeks after the Messiah arrived we beat them rather more easily than the 2-1 score suggests on a Friday night in front of a crowd of 41,000 in a Glasgow Cup tie. The Bhoys Were Back In Town!!!!!



    Since the new side called sevco evolved they have played us 14 times, we have won 11 and tied 3 although they love to claim a win over a miscued Tom Rogic penalty, a wee bit like us and our toss of the coin Charity Cup win in 1959 which they scoffed at although unlike them we actually went on to win the trophy that year gubbin the Bully Wee 5-0.



    Just like the early years of our existence, when we were instrumental in the formation of Scottish Football, as we now know it, at the bequest of “World Champions” Renton and with the backing of the majority of other clubs including the kinning park side led by archbigot primrose-ure, we were running away from them until they played the goatshaggin card.



    Prior to this shameful event to stop the mighty Celts’ aided and abetted by the body that ran the game, in their 40 years of existence up to that point they had won only 4 1/2 titles as one of those shared with the super sons, 2 Scottish Cups, 7 Glasgow Cups which was open only to senior clubs based in the Glasgow area and 2 Glasgow Charities Cup open to teams from in and around Glasgow and later on in the tournament’s history, teams from outwith Glasgow, they were just another average side like Third Lanark or Queens Park, in fact the latter had won 22 cups up to that point while still remaining amateur, their failure to join the SPL halted their progress in that tournament.



    Meanwhile that plucky wee side from the east end, 18 years younger it should be noted, had won 10 titles, 8 Scottish Cups and 9 each of Glasgow and Charity Cups, something had to give and ABC was set in motion.



    After a spell where they won trophies regularly we did fight back and were once again the top side in the country when WWII kicked in and again the craft was invoked to protect their players while the rest went off to save the world.



    They are still playing this sleekit card as is evident with the amateurs at the hampden 6th floor making outrageous decisions but we have simply outgrown them. The Celtic Tiger continues to roar and this time as one of our old anthems says “we shall not be moved”.

  13. STARRY PLOUGH 12.25pm.



    AN TEARNANN 12.32 pm.



    There are a lot of games on that Clip, Went on it by mistake but I enjoyed every minute off it.



    AN TEARNANN. I’m fine, but I’m not on the blog much these days, it’s a bit better at the moment, but I get a bit depressed when Tom, Dick & Harry comes on and slag Celtic off, The Last couple of weeks were dreadful to read most posts, Heart breaking at times ,I’m suffering from a bit of Depression at the moment and don’t need the blog to depress me any more.



    I was a very lucky Bhoy, when I started supporting my team, they were playing crap,the odd good game but overall they were woeful more times than they were good,it is a good apprenticeship for anyone, I learned to love my team and from the crap, there were the good times, and I’ve had plenty of good times since.



    It would be nice to see you again,I’m not fit enough to get through to any games,but you know where I live and there’s plenty of booze in the house.



    I’ll be an octogenarian next year and I’m get my garden ready for it, BBQs and booze to wash it down

  14. Mullet and co



    Oli’s pass inside the fullback away to Anderlecht was a classic Maestro pass

  15. I hope someone can help me with an argument I had with a Canadian hun friend ( I know , I know,).


    His misguided view was that all Celtic fans were Roman Catholics and huns the opposite.


    I said, look ,I guarantee there are way more prods supporting Celtic than Catholics supporting them, but does anyone out there have any figures to substantiate my claim and even offer a percentage breakdown, if one has ever been done.


    As I say, any help I can get will help me to attempt to cure him and come to the other side, thanks in anticipation.




  16. Tontine Tim .



    A very interesting read .



    I’ve often wondered about the shenanigans that went on in the Struth era but we’ll never know .

  17. We won’t be paying Olivier N’tcham – or anyone else – £100k per week, in my lifetime.


    The suggestion that we should is madness, appropriately.

  18. With the recent success of Dembele, Nt’cham, Eduoard and earlier success of Agathe then what is wrong with Celtic tracking the kids for their National Football academies like INF Clairefontaine. There are 12 centres throughout France and most of the current World Cup winners attended these academies.



    France had never won anything at Football and decided to start the first Academy in the 1980’s. This was a huge success and produced the backbone of the team who won the 98 world cup and has continued to produce International class players for teams all over Europe. They also have produced players for the Former French colonies.



    We could do with Scouting these players bearing in mind the success for the last 3.



    PSG have unlimited Budget and prefer to sign players than develop their own so these young guys don’t get a chance.





    My Dad will beat you to the octo by a bawhair in real terms,a fraction of a %age. He’d be gutted to think that you won’t be lapping up every minute of it.



    The pair of you have taken the pension and annuities systems to the cleaners over the years.



    I’m well proud of you both. Every penny you spend is a penny some Tory basturt never thought you would live to see.



    I hope you take them for every penny,beyond the Lizzie telegram.



    There ye are,oul’ yin-that’s yer new goal in life!

  20. Old Tim






    Keep your spirits up my Friend(especially the Gin?) and hope to see your cheery self soon,l missed your slagging anyway ?


    I am about to post know so if slagging has not posted correctly blame predictive texting ?




    When I was a young bhoy. Octogenarians were given a big Party Celebrated by the street you lived in, I can tell you there weren’t many parties had, in our street.I mentioned I’ll have a BBQ on my birthday,you and your old man are welcome to come, if I’m still fit enough to have one.

  22. Through A Green Glass Brightly on




    Sorry to hear you’re a bit in the dumps. Hope your mood perks up soon and please don’t stay off the blog as your posts brighten up this place which seems to be twinned with purgatory or indeed yon other place downstairs from it a bit too often these days. :io)

  23. oldtim67



    dont let the so called celtic men get you down, if you dont think like them be it celtic or politics they can be pretty rude.



    not my kind of men to have a beer with.


    keep your chin up, i remember the bad times as well.

  24. Malorbhoy.



    I miss your smiling face now,I haven’t been too a game since the Astana game last season,I miss the football now,But I just aint that fit at the moment,the rest will do me good,I still have my season book,and may use it one day.



    Glad your up for the game tomorrow, Have a good time pal.

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