Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham captained the club for the first time in last night’s 0-2 defeat to CFR Cluj in the Europa League.
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The 23-year-old was given the armband in place of the suspended Scott Brown as Hoops manager Neil Lennon took the liberty of making nine changes to his team after they had already ensured they would top their group.
As tweeted by @CelticFC, Lennon was full of praise for his stand-in skipper afterwards, lauding his overall performance as “absolutely top class” and commending his leadership skills.
🗣️ Neil Lennon on @OlivierNtcham: "I thought Ntcham was unbelievable. To give him the captaincy and then for him to take on the responsibility the way he did was excellent. I thought his all-round game tonight was absolutely top class.” #CLUCEL #UEL
— Celtic Football Club (from 🏡) (@CelticFC) December 12, 2019
Statistically, Ntcham was one of the Hoops’ more distinguished players in last night’s loss in Romania. He had the most shots of anyone on his team (three), played the most passes (87) and had more successful dribbles (four) than any of his team-mates, as well as winning one tackle and making one interception. [via WhoScored]
His performance was also praised by some reporters, with the Daily Record‘s Gordon Parks saying that he “appeared to relish wearing the captain’s armband and was full of creative invention all game”, while Ryan Brown of Read Celtic wrote that he “played slightly deeper than usual but led the team well”.
However, these Celtic fans on Twitter clearly disagreed with Lennon’s comments on the midfielder, who lost possession 23 times last night according to SofaScore:
I was watching a different game
— onlytheproudwalktall (@billybean1968) December 12, 2019
— Mark Cravens 🍋 (@Cravie1888) December 12, 2019
He was absolutely terrible and Lenny knows that
— Liam Mcconville (@LiamMcconville9) December 12, 2019
Think I watched a different game from him then 🙈
— Scoosh-1 (@Scoosh_1) December 12, 2019
game where u watching? one of his worst performances to date. capatin as well? 🤷♂️
— Poolander® (@hodgeinho) December 12, 2019
I thought overall that N’tcham was poor. Some sloppy passing, giving the ball away cheaply and getting caught on the ball. Sorry Gaffer, love you but don’t agree with your take on him tonight.
— Mark Cosmo McAuley (@MarkMcAuley3) December 12, 2019
He was garbage. Didn’t track back and tried outrageous self glorifying passes and shots
— Richy Hughes (@RichyHughes) December 12, 2019
Do you think Lennon was right about Ntcham or did you feel that the stand-in skipper had a poor night against Cluj? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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