Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie really should consider the damage he is doing to his own reputation regarding the complete and utter nonsense that he’s been coming out with over recent months regarding various Celtic players. Previously Mikey Johnston was his target but today he’s moved on the Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis who has hardly had a chance to play for the club due to injury yet McAvennie is today calling time on his Celtic career.
Ange Postecoglou takes a different view and his opinion is the one that matters. Speaking in his interview on Greek TV earlier this week the Celtic manager had this to say about Giorgos Giakoumakis: “I believe in him. He had a great season with Venlo. He came after preparation and he was a bit unlucky. Celtic is a great opportunity for his career. You saw what happened with Samaras.”
McAvennie clearly missed that and instead he seems fairly certain that Giorgos Giakoumakis – the top goalscorer in Dutch football last season – will be on his way from Celtic, should the Hoops sign a further two forwards in the transfer window, and he’s been somewhat cutting when it comes to his assessment of our Greek summer signing.
Speaking to Football Insider rent a quote McAvennie has been quoted as saying: “I’ll never say no to new strikers coming in. I think we have some great strikers. Kyogo has obviously proved it and the new guy Maeda is really exciting.
“I look at Ajeti and he’s not done it. I’ve said enough about him at this point. Giakoumakis, he’s not done anything really, has he? He barely plays and I do wonder why did we sign him?
“I don’t know if it’s a fitness thing or if he’s not up to the task but he was on fire last season. He doesn’t look right here. I just wonder if a loan spell might be best for him. I think if another striker comes in then he will definitely leave. The squad needs to be smaller now, not bigger.”
Celtic have been looking at forward options in recent weeks, however with the arrival of Daizen Maeda and Johnny Kenny adding to those already in the squad, Kyogo Furuhashi, Albian Ajeti and Giorgos Giakoumakis, there have been few links with centre forwards.
💬 “I’m so excited and I want to do really well and score if I can. My game is about putting everything into the match and hopefully, I can excite the fans.”@M_daizen_1020 can’t wait to get started! 👊#JapaneseBhoys 🇯🇵 @CelticFCJPN
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) January 11, 2022
Instead, it has mainly been wide players who appear to have been targeted, with names such as Shabab Al Ahli striker Mehdi Ghayedi, the 23-year-old Iranian forward, AZ Alkmaar’s Albert Gudmundsson and Hibs Martin Boyle prominent names linked with the club.
Giakoumakis has struggled with both form and injuries since signing for Celtic, but a lack of pre-season training has played a big part. And when there was an international break and an opportunity for the player to gain some intensive fitness work, he again picked up an injury and missed out once more.
What Giakoumakis does bring Celtic is something different in the forward areas. He brings a physical presence compared to some of our slighter forwards, and as an option late in games to hold the ball up, or if we are struggling to break teams down, he brings an option to mix our play up and go a little more direct, and as the top scorer in the Dutch top flight last season he certainly has goals in his locker.
With an alternative skillset and the faith of his manager, it is far too early for McAvennie or anyone else to be passing judgement on Giakoumakis and brining any kind of fairness to the argument.
Celtic are about to enter another tough run of fixtures in three tournaments over the next few weeks. Hopefully both Celtic and Giakoumakis have taken the opportunity of the winter break to build up the striker’s fitness. If so a fit and firing Giakoumakis will get gametime in a hectic schedule and we may get to see what the player really does offer.
There is little to no chance Giakoumakis will be heading out the door without a chance to prove his point, and despite McAvennie’s protestations Giakoumakis simply hasn’t had the rub of the green so far. He deserves the second half of the season at least to show us all just what urged the club to sign him up, and he will get his opportunities to show just that in a hectic end to the season.
Back in December Ange Postecoglou told The Celtic Star at his Fan Media Conference that one of the big differences he’s noticed in Scottish football compared to elsewhere is the number of former players who are opinionated pundits and are prepared to put the boot in. That’s not something that gone unnoticed. McAvennie really is destroying his own legacy as a Celtic hero from the Centenary double winning side with his ill-considered click-bait nonsense. It might grab a headline or two Frank, but at what cost?
Is it not about time that someone did some due diligence on Giorgos Giakoumakis? A quick look at Wikipedia will reveal that since 2013 he has scored 55 goals in 188 career appearances. In 12 matches in European competition he has yet to score. In three seasons between 2017 and 2020 he scored just 5 goals in the Greek Superleague. Only twice up to this point had he made more than 20 appearances in a single season.
At Venlo in 2020-21 he scored 29 goals. Of these 11 were scored in January including twice scoring 4 in a single game. Venlo failed to win even one of their final fourteen games.
Given this track record we can only expect sporadic appearances and one goal in every four or five games.
Hope I’m proved wrong.