Peter Grant stunned by Celtic strikers; loved 88th minute moment on Saturday
There’s a number of areas where the recruitment the Bhoys have done that deserve applause, but former Hoops favourite Peter Grant identified the Celtic strikers as a particular highlight.
Grant, who made over 300 Celtic appearances between 1982 and 1997, went on to become an assistant under Tony Mowbray at Paradise. He also coached in England, specifically Fulham, where he worked with current Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley.
And while he always has a kind word to say about the Denmark U21 international, the options in front of O’Riley also deserve immense credit. Specifically their work ethic, which was identified by Grant after a fantastic moment for Celtic in the 88th minute against Ross County.
Grant said [Scottish Daily Mail, print edition 23/3, p.74]: “Kyogo Furuhashi has been out for a long time but people don’t talk about it as much with Giorgos Giakoumakis doing so well.
“As a coach, I’ve watched him play and always thought his movement was excellent. I just didn’t think Celtic put the ball in the box enough. You can see if you do that, he will score. He gets across the front post and doesn’t just lurk around the back like some bigger strikers.
“Daizen Maeda starts them, he leads them, he sparks them. After 88 minutes last weekend, he closed the goalkeeper down and it was 4-0 at the time.
“They thrive off that at Celtic and it shows the manager knows the players to keep on the pitch. He knows it keeps the tempo up and it also keeps the fans up because they are cheering at a man who is running 40 yards to close the keeper down at 4-0 up with two minutes to go.”
Peter Grant sums up the mood in the Celtic support over exciting strikers
It feels surreal to say it, and it’s with no disrespect intended, but Celtic haven’t missed Kyogo too badly at all.
Obviously, if Ange Postecoglou had a full-strength squad to choose from, Kyogo would be starting. There seems little question of that. But if he came back to full fitness tomorrow, Giakoumakis would surely be the one leading the line for Celtic, on current form.
Daizen Maeda, too, is getting the credit his play deserves. Even when he doesn’t score goals, his work-rate is phenomenal. There was genuine applause at Celtic Park when he was seen chasing down the Ross County goalkeeper after a solid 88 minutes of running prior.
For a while, certainly at the start of the season, it looked like this Celtic team’s success was in large part predicated on Kyogo scoring goals. Now, when he comes back, it’ll be a huge, huge bonus. Another weapon in the armoury. That is, in itself, quite astonishing.
Giakouamakis and Maeda have been brilliant. They absolutely deserve credit.
When Kyogo’s back, we’ll be even more dangerous. Celtic have strikers the rest of the league can only dream of.
Read more: Ange Postecoglou explains the role Peter Lawwell had in bringing him to Celtic