Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer’s form over the past few weeks has taken a drastic downward change. The consistent dominant and composed Norwegian has had a couple of poor opposition goals in the last two weeks.
His recent mistakes have come in matches against Rennes and Hibernian respectively. He conceded a shocking penalty to allow Mbaye Niang to give the french side the lead in a Europa League clash. He then proceeded to exchange Jersey with opposition players after the game to risk further punishment.
Against Hibernian, Ajer made little effort with his block from Christian Doidge’s cross. It bounces beyond Fraser Forster into the net. He has been struggling, and he has admitted that he hasn’t been playing the way he should.
He said, ” I’ve looked through the penalty in Rennes many times and learned from that. It will, hopefully, not happen again. I have looked through the own goal against Hibs as few times, as well.
” The penalty against Rennes? I absolutely could have and should have done better. It’s a learning experience. I looked through all the clips with my teammate Kendo, and we try to learn from it. The most important thing is that it doesn’t happen regularly and hopefully it won’t”.
The mistakes from Ajer seem to have shown in his game since he has been in partnership with Christopher Jullien in the defense. However, there’s no reason for Jullien’s display to affect the performance of the Norwegian.
Instead, they’ve forced Ajer to improve his game. He has never played alongside a player like Jullien in his career. So, this is a simple step up for him, and everyone has the belief that he can perform together with Jullien at the back.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has said he won’t do anything but stick with the Norwegian centre-back and sees him as a first choice alongside Christopher.
It’s good to see Ajer admitting his mistakes. It’s a tough time for him at the club, but he’s shown in the past how good he can be, and it’s only a matter of time before he replicates that again.
Celtic climbed top of their Europa League group as they defeated Cluj 2-0 last night.
Celtic are backed at 1.26 to defeat Livingston FC in their next fixture, while Livingston are fancied at 11.25 to win.
Written by: Olumide Akinnifesi