Big John Hartson is getting a bit of stick again for his contention that Kyogo Furuhashi must start when we visit the Palace of Pandemonium at the end of this week. I wrote this time last week that the little guy is not at his best right now.
But he’s scoring goals for all that, and at the weekend he added another two. If he scores tonight, he will get the nod.
And you know what? He’ll deserve to get the nod, because he’s now the top scorer in the top flight and he is guy who is setting the pace at our club. When it comes to games of this magnitude you cannot ignore the ones who are doing the business.
And right now, Kyogo is delivering the goods.
Giakoumakis needs a goal or two and he needs them badly. He was frustrated to miss a couple of clear-cut chances at the weekend, and I like that he’s feeling that, I like that he wants nothing more than to be back on form again. But right now, he’s not.
Towards the end of the last campaign, I was all for starting him in the game there. He was riding high. He gave us a physical presence and defenders were clearly petrified of him. In the end, the decision was easy because Kyogo wasn’t fit … and he made no impact in the game at all. That sounds harsh, but it’s a fact nonetheless. He was poor.
Barring something disastrous, both will be fit for this one and the manager will have a genuine choice to make. But right now, it will not be a tough one to make.
I feel a sense of frustration at Giakoumakis, in no small part because I am convinced he’d have played against St Johnstone but for his little stunt on Instagram. The manager wanted to shake things up a bit, and that was a good chance to do it … but Giakoumakis’ silly post could easily be interpreted as a challenge to the boss, and he couldn’t have that.
So Kyogo played instead, and helped himself to two more goals, strengthening his hand and that of the boss at the same time. If he plays and scores tonight, then there’s really no debate to be had. Big Hartson, who loves both of them and thinks that the club and the big Greek have to come to an agreement for the benefit of both, already thinks it’s a lock.
“He had a little bit of a run for two of three games, Kyogo, when he hadn’t scored,” the big man said. “But he’s banging in the goals again and I think you play your form players.”
I strongly suspect that Ange Postecoglou sees it the same way.