Earlier in the week, I said that we’d survive if Kyogo was going to be out for a while.
Today the manager will tell us what’s what.
The press is already saying he’ll be out for seven games at a minimum. They have no direct information to that end, so it might well be that this is an overblown estimate. When Ange Postecoglou sits down with them today we’ll know.
But let’s assume that this is correct and that Kyogo will be out for the month of September, and into October as well. It’s a blow. Of course it is. He’s started so well that anything that puts him out of action for a spell is not welcome.
Yet this is why you have more than one option up front.
This is why you have a squad of players to choose from.
There are some who will say it was a mistake not buying another striker in the window.
I am broadly sympathetic to that view, except it would have meant signing a player as a backup and anyone good enough to do that job would have been an expensive footballer to have sat in the stands most weeks.
Those who believe it will point to the departures of Klimala, Griffiths and Bayo; three out and two in. I’d remind them that Bayo was already out on loan and Griffiths was never fit. That left us with three strikers, including the Pole.
Edouard and Ajeti were our first and second choices.
Bur nobody would really have trusted Klimala. The manager who signed him (allegedly anyway) didn’t fully trust him. There’s no point in including him in our deliberations if you accept that he was a fish out of water, the wrong type of player for our system.
The truth is that in many ways we’re no worse off right now than we were in the last campaign.
A disinterested Edouard may or may not have offered us more than Giakoumakis, but I doubt it. I suspect that he’ll show more intent and intensity than the Frenchman did, and a keener eye in front of goal.
The problem with our team before this campaign was that Edouard was really our only reliable option.
If something happened to him, we were in bother.
Now we have two strikers we can trust. One is injured. The other steps in.
You can worry, if you like, about Giakoumakis getting injured as well, but that’s jumping at shadows in the same way as people who are fretting about what happens if we lose Callum McGregor are. You can’t worry about everything. You take it one game at a time.
If we had lost Edouard for critical games over the last two years we’d have been in a bigger hole than we are right now.
There was no top scorer from the Dutch league ready to step into his shoes, no wonder kid from Portugal ready to take up the slack if the Swiss international striker we’ve had on the books for the past 16 months proves not to be very good.
I had one concern about Kyogo right from the start; he was halfway through the Japanese league campaign when we snapped him up.
An extended period on the side-lines was going to be required one way or the other; be glad it’s happened now, it means he’ll be fresher for the run-in and in better shape for the second half of the season.
Losing him for any spell isn’t great. Of course it’s not.
But there’s little point in freaking out over it or in getting stressed.
Giakoumakis is a player I’m exciting about, and he’s now going to get an extended opportunity to show us what he can do.
I’m not happy about this news; none of us will be.
But I am not despondent over it either.
This is a time for others to step up. It may well be that by the time Kyogo is fit again that Giakoumakis is so well established that the manager has yet another nice selection headache to occupy him.
I suspect that’s exactly how it will be.
It looks very much like we’re going to find out.