Ange had patience in Giakoumakis all along; now Celtic supporters are reaping the rewards
With all the best will in the world, it’s not hard to remember when Celtic supporters were hearing updates on Giorgos Giakoumakis from Ange Postecoglou and wondering when we’d see the guy.
The Greek striker cut something of a mysterious figure when he signed for Celtic. That wasn’t by design, given that he was nursing an injury all summer. When he did make his Celtic Park debut, it was a memorable one, scoring against St Johnstone with a trademark one-touch finish.
Then came a meek penalty against Livingston, another few months out, and myriad questions. Through the whole process, Ange Postecoglou kept his faith in the Celtic striker. After said penalty incident, Postecoglou said [Scotsman]: “The good strikers dust themselves off knowing that when the next chance comes they’ll put it away. I’m sure that’s what he’ll do. That’s what I’ll be telling him to do.
“It’s not about feeling sorry for yourself. That’s his role in the team, he’s got to be there and take opportunities when they come. He didn’t today but if he gets himself in the right areas on Thursday I’m sure he’ll take them.”
Then, not much of anything until January. But then, Giakoumakis burst into life. After goals against Alloa Athletic and Hearts, the Greek striker said [Sun]: “[Ange] was really important for me since the first day I arrived.
He was really patient with me and my injuries and he was always saying to me, “I really believe in you, I’m waiting for you, try to get fit”. That was really important for me. It made me more determined.”
And now? We’re in March and Giakoumakis is our third-top scorer. He’s averaging a goal every 118 minutes for Celtic, and has been vital without Kyogo Furuhashi in the side.
That patience has been rewarded.
Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis has ended up being an inspired signing by Ange Postecoglou, all he needed was time
When you’re in a title race, you need all kinds of players. Having a striker unafraid to score ugly goals, get in defenders’ faces and finish in crowded 6-yard boxes is a real asset.
It’s hard to compare him with a Celtic player of the past. He’s not a target man in the traditional sense, nor is he purely a goal poacher. Boxing him into a category isn’t necessarily easy. Perhaps it doesn’t even matter.
Either way, both the Celtic supporters and Ange Postecoglou himself have had to preach patience when it came to the big Greek striker.
Now he’s scoring on a regular basis, and even when he’s not, he’s putting in star performances. He didn’t score against Rangers, but not a soul could reasonably argue he wasn’t extremely effective.
That variety is precisely what you need in a title race.
He didn’t feel sorry for himself when injuries hampered him. Nor when his penalty miss led to howls of frustration from around Celtic Park. Instead, he knuckled down, used the international breaks as opportunities, worked extra hard inside and outside of Lennoxtown, and is now reaping his rewards.
And, in turn, so are we.