Gary Dicker has used his eyes to watch Greg Taylor earn his role at Celtic.
It comes as no shock having had his ears burned listening to him constantly asking the questions in his quest to reach the top.
Taylor’s rise under Ange Postecoglou has been outstanding.
The left-back has solidified his position at left-back as the Aussie’s side have charged into pole position in the Premiership.
Taylor capped his recent form with a brilliant display against Rangers at Ibrox last weekend as he played a crucial role in the derby triumph.
The 24-year-old has taken criticism from sections of the support during his time at Parkhead, but his old Kilmarnock captain Dicker said: “Greg doesn’t always get the plaudits when it is going well, but, when it isn’t going so good, he’s one of the first to get it in the neck.
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“In all the games I’ve watched him since he’s been at Celtic, he’s done well.
“He’s a good defender, he gets forward and has probably had a new lease of life under Ange with his runs whether it is inside, popping up in midfield or making runs in behind.
“He was always enthusiastic, always asking questions, always wanting to know and you could demand from him.
“When you are a young lad, you need that. He wasn’t shy asking questions of players and staff wanting to learn.
“He always had a bit about himself on the pitch, whether that was against the opposition or giving you a bit back.
“His performances overall this season for Celtic have been outstanding.”
For Dicker, it’s no surprise. He was a senior figure in the Rugby Park dressing room when Taylor progressed into the top-team set-up.
Immediately, he could sense the hunger. The desire to learn. The determination to improve and, most importantly, to work.
Taylor was a budding midfielder at that time, but a chance change of position was the catalyst for a career which has taken him to trophies at Celtic and caps for Scotland.
Dicker, now a coach at Brighton, said: “Greg will tell you himself that there was probably a bit of luck in him ending up at left back.
“He was playing in the middle of the pitch, but his career took off when switching and massive credit to him.
“We were struggling for left backs at the time at Killie, Greg was left footed and Lee Clark just threw him in there.
“Greg was tenacious, he was eager and willing to learn and ended up playing until the end of the season. He’s never looked back.
“Steve Clarke came into Killie and his game came on so much, but it’s down to Greg.
“He got the bit between his teeth and he has a work ethic that I find some people are actually embarrassed to have these days.
“Even when he wasn’t in the Celtic team, I’m sure he’d have been doing everything and his attitude would have been spot on.
“You’d need character to play Celtic and you are never going to please everyone, that’s just life.
“When Greg was at Killie, he’d done well in the big games and you knew he would be capable of taking that on. He does what he is good at.
“He’s a good defender. He might lack a bit physically, but he makes up for it in all the other areas.
“He is getting better going forward and he’ll tell you himself that he’d want to improve that.
“You need to have something you as a footballer to go into any first-team dressing room.
“Greg has a personality and he wasn’t a quiet one who was going to sit there and be quiet with it and not give an opinion.
“He was a pain in the a**e the first few months he came up being loud and brash with Jordan Jones and all the rest of them!
“But, nah, seriously, he always brought something to the dressing room and that takes balls as a young player to go in and do it and he backed it up with how he played.
“Greg is one who will share his opinion if asked and also ask questions himself.”
Taylor holds the role now, but, as ever at a major club, the squad will evolve and improvements will be made through the summer.
Postecoglou will be on the lookout for new blood and left-back may well be one of the areas which is targeted.
But Dicker backs Taylor to stay in place as he said: “In football, you are always looking over your shoulder. Whether it’s a young lad coming into the club, or a new signing coming in.
“At a big club like Celtic, that will always be the case and I’m sure it’ll help him. He’s not one to duck a challenge.
“Boli Bolingoli was there and he was being told that he could do this and do that, Greg’s seen him off and probably seen others off, too.
“The more you have challenges like that, the more successful the team will be. Greg’s had a bit already at Celtic where it’s been up and down. Times out of the team. Times injured. People questioning him.
“But how he has transformed it and come out the opposite side is credit to him. Also the manager to give him the chance, but Greg has done it himself to take it.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.