Celtic’s stuttering start to the new season continued as they played out a 0-0 stalemate at St Mirren on Friday night, with one player in particular coming in for plenty of criticism from the Bhoys faithful.
Olivier Ntcham received a first-half red card for two bookable offences and felt the wrath of fans on social media in the game’s aftermath.
Both incidents came after the France under-21 international had given away possession cheaply and lunged into tackles in an attempt to win the ball back.
And while manager Brendan Rodgers criticised the officials for the decision to give the 22-year-old his marching orders, few supporters were willing to afford the midfielder the same leniency.
In truth, the dismissal had little effect on the pattern of play at The Simple Digital Arena, with Celtic dominating possession and territory for the majority of the 90 minutes without seriously testing Craig Samson in the home side’s goal.
On chances alone, St Mirren may have felt that they should have won the game, Cammy Smith, Lee Hodson and Ryan Flynn all going close to giving new boss Oran Kearney the perfect start to his tenure.
The Hoops threatened late on through a tame Callum McGregor effort and Dedryck Boyata’s looping header, while Leigh Griffiths’ right-footed volley was correctly ruled out for offside.
But a defeat would have been tough on the Saints, who fought valiantly against opponents who have far greater quality in their ranks.
Ntcham’s 37th-minute departure from proceedings may or may not have affected the outcome of the clash, but fans were quick to vent their frustration at his recklessness.
The team as a whole have been below par since the campaign began, struggling to find the fluency of play that has been the hallmark of Rodgers’ time at the club.
Attentions now turn to Europe as they welcome Rosenborg to Parkhead for a Europa League group stage encounter on Thursday night.
Whether Ntcham will start that tie remains to be seen, but the reaction of the Celtic faithful to his red card at St Mirren can be found below:
Very poor performance by the Bhoys tonight. Ntcham definitely a red then the ref shocking for both teams. Broony immense as usual!!! 🍀
— Stevie Gall (@Steviegall1888) September 14, 2018
Honestly how obvious was it that Ntcham was going to get sent off??? Id have took him off long ago 🙈🙄absolutely nuts what was he thinking 🤷🏻♀️😩
— Pamela McDade (@PamelaMcDade) September 14, 2018
Was always gettin sent off. Shoulda been substituted as soon as he was booked
— Patnatim (@patnatim) September 14, 2018
Ntcham red carded. Daft challenge after he’d been booked earlier.
— Electronic Tims (@ETimsNet) September 14, 2018
Dont talk pish brendan. Ntcham deserved to go
— Stevie Burns (@BurnsStevie) September 14, 2018
Ntcham doing his usual, one great game, followed by a nightmare
— Kevin (@kevindempsey81) September 14, 2018
Ntcham looked as if he didn't want to play tonight, think he wanted sent off, he’s gonna follow Dembele 😣
— stacey (@lisbonceltic67) September 14, 2018
Disappointing performance from #celticfc tonight. Ntcham obviously negligent but too many other players were spiritless and insipid.
— Philip Sweeney (@PSween81) September 14, 2018
Why has Ntcham actually done that?
— Lachy (@Lachy67_) September 14, 2018
anyone questioning the red card ??? Take the green tinted glasses off Ntcham was stupid/careless …
— ParcelBhoy (@TheBhoyGordon) September 14, 2018
We can appeal both of Ntcham's bookings can't we?
— 10 in a row (@celtichoff) September 14, 2018
As good as Ntcham is he’s definitely got an attitude problem
— Ciarán Farrell (@CiaranF96) September 14, 2018