When Kieran Tierney greeted Nir Bitton at the entrance to Celtic’s Lennoxtown complex a few weeks back and asked him ‘s’happening Bitton?’ the support had a right good laugh to ourselves.
Here was a player, talking to team mate the same way we would talk to our pals. In other words, like everything Kieran does, we could relate to it. ‘Bitton’, who was in and out of the team at the time, just gave KT a high five and moved on.
I’m sure they still greet each other the same way but maybe the answer might be a bit different, because the in the last two games, Nir Bitton, first as a substitute in Trondheim on Wednesday, then playing the full ninety minutes at Celtic Park yesterday, has been outstanding.
With injuries to Dedryck Boyata and Erik Sviatchenko, the support were asking if Brendan would go into the transfer market for another central defender? Knowing Jozo also has to be carefully managed in case of injury, it seemed a logical step.
But the boss had other ideas, and after watching him play the same role in training, he decided Nir Bitton would fit the bill in the centre of the back four. The 6’4” Israeli international has the attributes to do the job, and unlike a new signing, doesn’t need time to get settle and get to know his team mates.
Whether the move works long term remains to be seen, but for now, he’s doing just fine…