Yesterday, when I heard that the Giakoumakis wasn’t in the team, or even in the line-up, I knew that a lot of pressure had just been heaped onto the shoulders of Albian Ajeti. It was important that he stepped up to the mark. At half time, he hadn’t yet.
Indeed, at half time we’d created a lot of chances without making any sort of breakthrough in the game. But it was coming. You could see that it was.
The only question was how long it would take before it did.
We were deep into the second half before that question was answered, and although it wasn’t the Swiss striker who provided that answer he was decisive in making sure that the points did not get away from us, with his double.
And that’s all you can ask of a striker, and especially one a lot of people had doubts about.
Did he answer all those doubts yesterday?
Of course not, but he finally got the spotlight to himself and put the ball in the net for us.
It will not be the last time he plays from the start of a game, nor the last time in which he secures us vital points or victories.
At last, it feels like the striker is getting his fresh start at Parkhead.
A few more games and a few more goals and people will look on him in a very different light than they do now. He is one of the misfits from last season, one of the notable failures, a tag which hangs all the heavier when you consider that Barkas no longer appears to have a future here.
A lot of people simply presumed that Ajeti was similarly written off.
But last season was a dreadful one on which to judge footballers at Parkhead; too many were off the boil, too many were resistant to the ideas of the manager, too many were side-lined by him for no apparent reason.
Ajeti has to have felt like he stepped into a disaster zone.
All of that is at an end.
This is the new beginning he must have hoped for. The manager put his faith in him, and it doesn’t matter that he was largely given no choice in that. From the moment Ajeti was told he was in the team it was up to him to prove he belonged.
A double is a good way to start.
With that monkey off his back he should have his head up going into the next game. As he plays more and scores more you’ll see his confidence grow and as it does we’ll start to see the player Celtic and West Ham paid big money for.