GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS last started a Celtic game in the 4-2 Premiership win over Dundee United at Parkhead on November 5.
The Greek striker has made substitute appearances in all seven subsequent fixtures – six times as a replacement for Kyogo Furuhashi and once for Daizen Maeda.
The total of the regulation time Giakoumakis has been on the pitch over the seven games is 126 minutes – just over two hours.
His last goal came in the 1-1 Champions League group draw with the Ukrainians of Shakhtar Donetsk in the east end of Glasgow on October 25 in an encounter that was all about pride as the Hoops slipped out of European competition for another year.
ALONE WITH HIS THOUGHTS…Giorgos Giakoumakis arrives at Easter Road last midweek for the last match of an eventful 2022.
Giakoumakis has netted eight goals in this campaign to add to the 17 he collected last season for a tally of 25 strikes from 55 outings.
The 28-year-old powerhouse forward cost £2.5million when he joined from Dutch minnows VVV-Venlo in August 2021. He went from relegation in the Eredivisie to a champion’s medal in the Premiership in a whirlwind 12 months.
He has knocked back enhanced terms from the club and, despite being under contract until June 2026, it looks as though he is heading for the end of his time in Paradise.
Sherlock Homes qualities are not required to detect all is not well with the player. He came on in the 67th minute in the 4-0 victory over Hibs at Easter Road nine days ago and, shortly after his introduction, began arguing with referee Alan Muir.
His frustration was obvious to all. He had been welcomed into the action with a bit of a buffeting from opposing defenders, but, at his age and with his experience, he must be aware and accept this is part and parcel of the beautiful game.
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY…Giorgos Giakoumakis still cuts a frustrated figure as he applauds the Celtic fans in Edinburgh after the 4-0 win over Hibs.
If a player loses concentration and spends time bickering with match officials, it does his team no good whatsoever.
Look at the treatment Henrik Larsson took in just about every game when he stepped out onto the pitch in Celtic colours. Can anyone remember the Swede getting in the face of a referee? He maintained his focus at all times – and his goal tally tells its own story.
Giakoumakis craves more game time and the only way to ensure that is to do the business on the field of play and make it impossible for the manager to overlook your attributes.
Spending too many valuable minutes in the midst of the affray mouthing off at the possessor of the whistle is not the way to impress the man who selects the match day line-up.
Of course, the player has his merits, but only when his mindset is correct.
Giakoumakis replaced Maeda at Ibrox in the 77th minute and played his part in the equalising goal 11 minutes later for Kyogo. He was in there bustling and fighting and aiming to get a shot on target. His presence was a major factor in the Japanese striker being afforded valuable space in the penalty area to clip in the team’s second goal.
FRUSTRATION…Giorgos Giakoumakis displays his annoyance as he misses a chance in Perth in October.
ELATION…Giorgos Giakoumakis and the ball are in the net after his stoppage-time winner against St Johnstone.
However, it’s apparent that Kyogo is Ange Postecoglou’s first pick to lead the line. The strike in Govan was Kyogo’s 16th of the current crusade following his 20-goal haul in his injury-interruped debut term.
Can Kyogo and Giakoumakis dovetail from the start in a fixture? The great Jock Stein insisted good players could play anywhere with anyone.
That’s the dilemma for Postecoglou. Does the manager tinker with his favoured formation or tweak the line-up to accommodate both the Japanese and Greek performers?
We haven’t seen enough of the players blending their skills in the same forward line to determine if their qualities can complement each other within the same structure.
That’s one for the manager to answer and, as we all know by now, he hasn’t got too many wrong since he stepped into Celtic on June 23 2021.
If Giakoumakis allows his concentration to waver or off-field distractions to interfere with what he contributes to the team, then there will surely only be one outcome.