Ange Postecoglou loves a cryptic Celtic update so don’t be surprised if he springs a Rangers shock – Chris Sutton – Chris Sutton


Ange Postecoglou has been busy in the January transfer window but it’s one of his summer captures who looks like a new signing..0

We’re finally starting to see what Giorgos Giakoumakis brings to the party – and it’s looking encouraging.

It’s been a tough beginning for him at Celtic and he’s not had much luck. He had issues when he arrived, he got injured in the warm up against Raith Rovers and then he missed the penalty against Livingston.

It was the worst possible start for him and some people were a bit too quick to write him off.

This is a player who scored a ton of goals in Holland, and it wasn’t for a team that would have been dominating play and creating lots of chances.

There’s no doubt he had a rotten start in Scotland but fair play to him. Giakoumakis has got himself fit and he looks determined to make an impact.

I really liked his goals against Alloa and Hearts. They were instinctive, intelligent finishes – proper striker goals.


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His movement was good and the way he stuck them away was impressive.

It’s his all-round game I like though. He brings Celtic something different. He’s more physical and uses his body than he well, holding up the ball.

We know about the speed and movement of Kyogo and Daizen Maeda but Giakoumakis brings a different dimension to the side.

They need that. It’s important to mix it up at times and find other ways to win.

The pacey strikers can play on the shoulder but it’s good to be able to fire a ball in to the box and know there is a forward who is going to attack it.

It’s good to have a bit of height in both boxes as well as Celtic have looked a bit susceptible to set pieces – while not looking like scoring from their own set plays in general.

There is a big opportunity for Giakoumakis now with Kyogo seemingly out long term and he could become a key player for Celtic after being a forgotten man a few months ago.

A fair few players in the squad will need to step up with so many important men out.

The loss of Callum McGregor is enormous. He makes Celtic tick and Postecoglou can only hope he’s not going to be missing for the long term.

The manager likes to be a bit cryptic when it comes to injuries and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him facing Rangers next week.

Celtic can’t think about that game right now though – they have to completely ignore it.

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I know it’s easier said than done when it comes to the supporters but the team simply has to park it because it’s essential they take maximum points against Dundee United today.

I don’t think the Glasgow Derby will decide the title at this stage but there’s no doubt a Celtic defeat would make it a tougher task to haul Rangers in.

However, points dropped to Dundee United would crank up the pressure so they can’t take their eye off the ball this afternoon.

I don’t think they will though. It’s been a pretty solid return from the January break for Celtic.

They survived against Barry Ferguson’s Alloa men and then toughed it out at Tynecastle.

The win the other night was massive.

Celtic still have a tendency to run out of legs towards the end of games the way they play and it can leave them hanging on a touch.

But that will change when everyone is fit and there is more competition for places as there will be stronger options from the bench.

They probably should have been out of sight by the time Hearts mounted their fightback.

It’s just a case of being a bit more ruthless in putting games to bed but there’s a sense someone is going to be on the end of a doing at some point.

But it said a lot about the character of the team to withstand the pressure in the capital and get the result.

Celtic were down to the bare bones, with top performers missing and others thrown in at the deep end. They managed to dig out a victory and it shows how far they’ve come from the last visit to Tynecastle when they went under on the opening day of the season.

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Reo Hatate’s goal was out of the top drawer and his performance was excellent too. I liked what I saw from Matt O’Riley as well. He was full of energy and although he cramped up by the end, the fitness will come.

It was a huge bonus to have Jack back for an hour also. He is so good at holding on to the ball and creating in the final third.

He’ll kick on as his fitness returns and all of these guys are going to have to step up in the short term until Postecoglou has a full squad at his disposal.

The likes of Kyogo, Hatate, Jota and Maeda have been hogging the headlines but it may just be Giakoumakis who turns out to be an important figure in the second half of the season.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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