Big Hartson Shows Other Ex-Celts The Way In Standing Up For Our Players.

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I was delighted, last night, to see that John Hartson went to bat for Giorgios Giakoumakis.

Too many of our ex-players specialise in putting the boot in. They see quick headlines, with their own names in them, and take advantage of those who are struggling in order to read their own thoughts in inane tabloids without a shred of credibility.

Hartson does not do that.

When he criticises he does so in a measured manner, and he is more interested in exploring what’s going on at Celtic than profiting off the scraps of it.

He brings great credit to himself in doing so.

But what’s more, he gives those players who require support and time those very important things.

He has realised, if others haven’t, that a player who’s in a new country needs that more than he needs to read about how the captain should have whipped the ball off him at the weekend and given it to somebody else.

Hartson remembers what it is like to miss a penalty in a big moment; he did it in a cup final against Rangers.

A few days later, the support of the fans and the management and his friends inspired him to his legendary goal at Anfield.

I read some of our players at times and think some of them have forgotten what that spotlight is like.

Either that or there is a streak of sadism in them and they remember it very well, and found it so uncomfortable that they take pleasure in inflicting its worst effects on others. I do get that sense from some of them at times. Never from Hartson though.

Giakoumakis does need support. Hartson has offered him a helping hand instead of sneering at him.

The player should be immensely grateful for that, and I am sure there are people inside the club who have brought it to his attention.

I know that I am personally delighted that the big man has lent him backing and understood his situation.

That’s what the moment calls for.

Big Bad John was a beast on the park, and we could use his kind of aggression and will to win right now … but what a gentleman he is off the pitch and what a fine ambassador for Celtic. He is a credit to the club and himself.

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  • Jim fleming says:

    Yes Honest John.,assessing well without venom????????

  • Jack says:

    Big John knows support in work and life is important does these people who call out players or anything in life not nice if you are suffering mental wise think of others not themselve well done big John most people needs support so happen u don’t get paid for nice comments

  • John Trainor says:

    I’d have big John and Sutton on the wage roll

  • John S says:

    If my memory is correct, didn’t Dixie Deans miss a penalty in a European cup semi and then score a hat-trick in the cup final the following week ? (AC Milan & Hibs ?)

  • Jim Duffy says:

    I have no problem with giakomakis being penalty taker as every player will miss a penalty at some time,the only thought I have on it is that maybe we should have stuck with juranovic taking them till he missed,is that not the usual routine,I’m not really sure but juranovic looks very capable from the spot.

  • Tommy McQuillan says:

    I couldn’t agree more James, big John is a gentleman and a real Celtic man. Even the greatest miss penalties, Messi who in my opinion is the best player I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen them all Pele, Cruyff, Maradona, Beckenbauer and Ronaldo, has missed a few in his time. The fallout from his miss is a bit over the top, I had a feeling he was going to miss I said to my mate at the time he’d miss it. I thought Juranovic should’ve taken it but the manager made the call and that’s why he’s paid the big bucks. All the people saying Callum should’ve overruled the manager are idiots that would unsettle the dressing room and leave a chasm between the captain and manager and this group are a tight bunch they’re fighting for each other. Although GG missed the penalty he had another 10 team mates who couldn’t break Livingston down so you can’t saddle one man with the blame, we win and lose as a team and I hope guys like Callum and Joe Hart and the manager put an arm round him to tell him that.

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