John Hartson leaps to defence of Celtic star Giorgos Giakoumakis after winding up rivals

By David Walton

February 22, 2022

Celtic great John Hartson has leaped to the defence of striker Giorgos Giakoumakis after he left a couple of pro-Rangers pundits on strings.

Giakoumakis was full of confidence after rattling home a hat-trick against Dundee that extended our lead over Rangers to 3 points. He stated post-match that he believed the Hoops were better than Rangers in “every department” and that he was certain we would win the title [Clyde 1].

That appeared to absolutely rattle both pro-Rangers pundits and their supporters. Maurice Ross was the first to come out and state we had only been top of the league for “10 minutes” [Daily Record]. Then it was Brian Laudrup who tried to state Ange Postecoglou wouldn’t be pleased with the Celtic striker’s comments [Daily Mail].

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

However, Hartson has tonight come out and launched a defence of Giakoumakis as he stated there was “nothing wrong” with what he said if he believed it. Speaking on Go Radio’s Football Show [Go Radio, 22/02, 17:05], John said: “Well, he’ll learn. I’m not sure if he’s got a Twitter account or not.

“No, he’s obviously showing great confidence. He’s on a high after scoring his first hat-trick for the club. He’s made a big difference, coming in and being a focal point. That’s what Celtic centre-forwards have to do. You have to be in the position to go and win your team games, and be the outstanding player on the pitch.

“He’s stuck in there and the manager really likes him. You can see he’s a confident boy with his comments.

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“There’s nothing wrong with saying that if you think it. Sometimes you can maybe wait until the deal is done before you go out on a limb and say things. That’s where I’ve gone wrong in the past.”

Giorgos Giakoumakis has shown how easy it is to wind Rangers up

I mean, you just knew these comments were going to have many going way over the top. Ross was absolutely hilarious. He simply couldn’t take it. And whilst Laudrup had a classier tone with his comments, you could see it irked him too.

It’s incredible the lengths some will go to to try and bring Giakoumakis down after the weekend. Too many are acting as if he’s let the manager down or that he’s put our title chances in jeopardy with his comments. That he’s unleashed some sort of motivational tool for Rangers.

Are people forgetting what’s at stake this season? Automatic entry for the UEFA Champions League almost certainly awaits the winner of the Premiership. Is that really not motivation enough for Rangers to be giving their all?

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Also, aren’t they supposed to be champions? A team of winners? Proper winners brush this kind of thing off. They laugh about it in the changing room and forget about it the next day. They don’t pin it up on the wall because they need some sort of motivation. They should know how to win without it.

Giakoumakis has done absolutely nothing wrong here. He’s made some comments that’s caused a stir amongst rival supporters and pundits. People who just can’t take Celtic being 3 clear at the top of the Premiership.

That’s all Giakoumakis is guilty of.

In other news, Opinion: What’s become clear about Chris Jullien and Ange’s Celtic team