The Celtic hero who beautifully shut up his media critics today
Celtic winger Jota must be having a nice night. Not only has he helped his team take a crucial step towards a Scottish Premiership, but he has shown all his doubters just how effective he can be as an individual.
There have been some odd discussions around the Portuguese star over the last week. No effect, playing for himself – all the usual nonsense.
Hugh Keevins seemed particularly irked with him in his Sunday Mail column today saying: “There’s now a question mark against the Portuguese in particular.
“Is the appetite to pay Benfica £6.5m to get Jota signed on a permanent deal still as strong as it was earlier in the season? At the moment he’s all step-overs and no end product. Time to step up, not step over.”
There’s no real basis to the conclusion that Jota hasn’t significantly added to Celtic’s title charge, not just in the early stages of the season, but recently too.
In his last nine games, he’s scored three goals and assisted four more. He’s made crucial direct goal contributions in wins away to Aberdeen, Livingston and now Ross County.
Jota is now in double figures for both goals and assists this season. It’s a bigger combined total that the much-heralded Ryan Kent across the city, that’s for sure – in fewer minutes too.
Where are the columns questioning his mentality and his desire to do well for his club?
The only real criticism you can lay on Jota this season is that he hasn’t produced big performances in derby matches this season. But the reality is these games against Rangers have been really tough – less about individuals and more about the overall team effort.
There’s always next week when it comes to that accusation too.
Whatever his future holds, this has been a very productive loan spell for Jota, for Celtic and for our title ambitions.
I’m sure more media noise will arrive but thankfully Ange Postecoglou has built a team that can superbly shut them up.