It is difficult to understate the importance of a Celtic striker scoring early in his career at the club, and especially if he has cost us a lot of money.
The signing of Giakoumakis shocked our media who never expected us to land Holland’s top scorer; they were, and are, desperate for him to fail, all the better so that they can paint Kyogo as our only attacking weapon.
No player at Celtic ever gets time to “settle in.” I wrote earlier about the defenders, and we know about Barkas and others. But strikers need to be off and running right away or the pressure starts to build on them. At Ibrox, they never suffer the same.
Take a look at the top scoring players in the league right now.
There are three Celtic players – Turnbull, Kyogo and Abada – alongside Roofe with four goals.
The BBC’s is a long list.
Although the top scorer in the league is at Hearts (Boyce, on six) and Celtic’s top scorers have a mere four (Turnbull and Kyogo, of course) Morelos has three, the same as Abada. Jota is on two right now.
And Edouard, who hasn’t been in Scotland for two months.
You know who isn’t on the list? Fashion Sakala, who we were told was a superstar after he scored against Real Madrid Reserves.
Is he under pressure? No, he isn’t.
He has one league goal – one goal in total at Ibrox. Nobody in the media seems to care.
Morelos was on the same number as Ralston until today; was he under pressure? Of course not.
But Giakoumakis would not have gotten that kind of time, or space, to settle.
If he hadn’t scored today the pressure would already be on him.
Before he even arrived here there were people in the media asking why we had been able to land him if he was that good.
If he had started slowly the volume on that narrative – that he was a one season wonder – would have been increased with every day that passed and every game where he failed to find the net.
All of that has been shut down today with his goal, and there are plenty more to come.
In this team a guy with his movement and awareness and first touch and desire to succeed will be a star, and when the manager finds the best way to combine him with Kyogo those two will put defences to the sword with an ease that will be embarrassing.
It was great to see the big number 7 – and think for a moment on that, on the confidence it takes for any player to pull that shirt on for us – bag his opener today.
Talking after the match, you could sense his joy and his admission that he’s been raring to go was most welcome.
We’ve been raring to see him go, and now he’s got the first we will see many more.