The next two games are massive for our club, and for Giorgios Giakoumakis.
The big Greek was signed from Holland, where he’d been top scorer last season.
His pedigree should have spoken for himself, but from almost the moment he signed he was being singled out by this relentlessly negative media. We all expected it, or should have, but it was still infuriating.
The penalty miss against Livingston was mana from the heavens for those who want to put a Celtic striker under that kind of pressure. It didn’t matter that he had that stellar record in the Dutch league; this guy was targeted, and a lot of folks who should know better went along for the ride. He was written off before his feet were even under the table.
But like his Greek contemporary, I always suspect that Giakoumakis would have the last laugh.
Those goals last season were scored in a better league than this one and in a far less potent attacking side. That suggested that he had plenty more in him. It was just a matter of getting the opportunity to show us what he could do.
That time has come.
He has nothing to worry about. We don’t know when Kyogo will be back, and Maeda will not play in either of these games as he’s away playing for Japan. So the field is clear. He’s on his own, and he is more than happy to be.
This is a big weight for a new player to carry; I like his confidence.
I like that he thinks he can handle it and he’s stepping up for a big series of games. That comes with additional pressure … but wow, the rewards and the acclaim if he does it right.
This guy can answer every question they are asking about him over the next two matches.
He has two in the last two and that’s very decent as far as it goes, but the real tests are coming and if he can show us what he’s got in the next two he will cement his place as a real contender in this squad and as a vital cog in the wheel.
Just as he was meant to be.
A goal at Parkhead against the Ibrox club would reposition this guy completely.
He knows it and he believes that he can do it. His confidence is soaring. His interview to the press yesterday showed a man who thinks he’s ready for anything.
“I never doubted myself because I believe in my abilities,” he said. “I have a big motivation, I have big dreams, big targets and the only thing I was wishing was to be healthy. This was the only thing I was worrying about. I can say I feel confident now.”
And watching him in those last two games, so are we.