The modern football fan is adept at writing off players he or she has hardly seen, and Celtic fans have gotten very good at it these last couple of years.
I have bemoaned it in this blog time and time again.
They can be forgiven for having doubts this season. Things have been so abysmal for us that nobody really looks on form. It’s hard to tell who’ll make it and who won’t.
The media is a different beast entirely, motivated by an entirely different agenda. They want Ajeti and Barkas and all the other signings we’ve made recently to fail.
Remember, they had written off Soro as a waste of money as well.
In recent years, they couldn’t understand why we’d brought Edouard on loan, or why Ryan Christie wasn’t just given to Aberdeen gift wrapped with a bow on top or what the purpose of Kris Ajer was.
At Ibrox signings get all the time in the work.
No player who pulls on a green and white hooped jersey will ever get that luxury.
The number of people who’d written off Albian Ajeti was highly amusing to me. Last night – and not for the first time – I thought he showed a lot of them up. There’s a player there, and you don’t have to see a lot of him to know it. There’s also a very good goal scorer there and I think next season when Edouard is no longer at the club he’ll prove it.
The press would like nothing more than to be able to happily write him off as a flop, in the way they’ve done with Barkas. The idea that we squandered £10 million in the summer window pleases them no end. I am going to enjoy watching them eat their words when Ajeti finally gets an extended run and Barkas starts showing us what he can do.
The keeper has a harder road to travel, and make no mistake about that. He has a lot to prove to people. But don’t underestimate the sheer will out there for Ajeti to fall flat on his face. The media was terrified when he started the season so well; they could see a potent goal scorer more than capable of shooting us to ten in a row.
So what went wrong? In two words I’ll give it to you; Neil Lennon. The coaching at Parkhead is simply dreadful. Ajeti couldn’t get fit for months.
He has drifted in and out of the team, in part because the manager delayed for too long playing two up front and then went with Griffiths instead.
Last night was one of our first chances to see Ajeti and Eddie together … and they formed an intelligent partnership which I’d say will grow into something special except that it won’t because Edouard won’t be around long enough for it to.
But we’ll sign another striker in the summer, once the new structure is in place, and then we’ll give Ajeti a more permanent partner. At that point I think we’ll see a real show. He has a great eye for goal. He has excellent positional awareness.
He has a great first touch and he’s capable of little flicks and tricks which are very pleasing on the eye and can bamboozle defenders. I was really pleased that he played last night and even more pleased that he got a goal. You can probably tell, right?