Hooper best since Larsson?


Neil Lennon suggested Gary Hooper, unquestionably his favourite son, was Celtic’s best striker since Henrik Larsson.  It’s an interesting question.

The list is long: Chris Sutton, John Hartson, Henri Camara, Craig Bellamy, Dion Dublin, Scott McDonald, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Chris Killen, Maciej Zurawski, Kenny Miller, Derek Riordan, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink, Georgios Samaras, Robbie Keane, Diomansy Kamara, Olivier Kapo, Anthony Stokes, Pawel Brozek, Moh Bangura, Daryl Murphy, Miku and Lassad.

Apologies if I’ve overlooked someone.  That’s 22 strikers in nine years (it’s a bit soon to consider Amido Balde), some of whom were loans, but the list doesn’t include the many Celtic youth players who got their shot at first team football, or those, like Tony Watt, who were signed for low fees from lower league Scottish clubs.

Chris Sutton and John Hartson were already at the club when Henrik left, but it quickly became evident they were past their best.  Robbie Keane and Craig Bellamy were quality but only played a dozen or so games, so can’t really be considered as competition to Hooper.

Maciej Zurawski arrived a year after Larsson left and had a phenomenal first season at the club.  He made his debut after the 5-0 reversal to Artmedia but inspired Celtic to a 4-0 win six days later.  Maciej was on fire when he joined and only failed to score in five league games before the league win in April but he never found anything close to that consistency again.  Record: 22 goals in 55 games.

Scott McDonald’s YouTube clip of goals in the Champions League and against Rangers will have featured heavily in the portfolio as his agent looked for a new club this year.  His goals got us into the Champions League, beat European champions, Milan, and regularly put our (then) nearest rivals to the sword. Record: 51 goals in 88 games.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink arrived in summer 2006 and immediately outshone Zurawski.  His debut as a substitute against Hibs transformed Celtic and won the game.  His signing was pivotal in Celtic winning the title in 2007.  Record: 34 goals in 78 games.

Georgios Samaras arrived 18 months after Vennegoor of Hesselink and alongside Barry Robson pushed Celtic over the line for three in a row.  2008 was a fabulous year for Georgios but although he’s still a forward, he’s not really been a striker since.  Record: 41 goals in 138 games.

With 63 goals, 95 games, Gary Hooper’s scoring record is better than anyone else’s, but the challenge to be best since Larsson was simple, just outperform Scott McDonald.  With all those strikers as competition, that’s not as high as the bar could be.
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  1. Cannae believe u beat me by a minute son.


    Quick draw McGraw indeed.


    2nd my best ever placing though , will take that

  2. Sutton & Hartson were both better than Hooper. Hooper was a good player for us over a three year period but as I said to my sons I think I could name a dozen plus better strikers that I have seen play for us

  3. Kelvins family hasn’t settled up here.


    If the player has requested a move for personal reasons then so be it.


    IRRESPECTIVE of weds game…


    Injury will wreck a move therefore will his head be in it at such an important game?


    Lustig mulgrew at centre half are more than competent imo

  4. Teuchter



    Who would ever thought that would happen.


    2 Burgh laddies topping the famous CQN podium!!

  5. I remember the striker who stopped our Neil from walking away from Celtic


    Antony stokes…


    HE stood up and grabbed the killie game by the throat.


    Stokes has more natural ability than hooper…


    I just HOPE this is the season where he shows his true worth and FINALLY ARRIVES

  6. kevinlasvegas on

    Not too fussed if Kelvin goes as well. looked good in flashes and not in others, not totally convinced, Lustig looked better for me and more consistant.




  7. South Of Tunis on

    Paul 67



    Zurawski ?



    ” he made his debut after the 5-0 reversal to Artmedia ”



    Help ! ———— I was at that game and can remember Zurawski being replaced by Maloney in the second half .



    Am I wrong ? [ it’s not often that my memory is accurate these days !]

  8. leftclicktic on

    1. Bobby Lennox


    2. Jinky.




    4.Danny Mcgrain.


    5.Paul McStay.



    My top 5 celts like others I could name many more but if pushed that would be my 5.



    I just fell in love with watching BL as a child and the memories have never left me :))

  9. ‘Hooper best since Larsson’?



    What about Skippy?!



    (Aye – what about him? – Ed)




  10. Top 5 on players seen.




    2. Danny McGrain


    3. Paul McStay





  11. Hooper is the best goalscorer since Henrik for me. Nowhere near as good an overall player of course, but predatory and with a very good record. A different type of player, Hooper for me was more of an old fashioned penalty box striker than a modern froward.

  12. My top 5 Celts



    1. Jinky


    2. Bobby Lennox


    3. Danny McGrain


    4. Henrik


    5. Kenny

  13. leftclicktic on

    jude2005 is Neil Lennon \o/




    13:41 on 28 July, 2013




    16s beat on pens. Guess who missed his?





    Tell J that only a fraction of the poulation ever get a chance to take one, and to be proud that he is one of the chosen few . He will get other oportunities.


    Till later all

  14. Top 5 players seen.





    Bobby Murdoch


    George Connelly


    Bobby Lennox


    Henrik Larsson.



    Christ that was hard!




  15. leftclicktic on





    13:47 on 28 July, 2013






    What about Skippy?!



    (Aye – what about him? – Ed)




    Im away with a broad smile on my face Sir :)))

  16. Mike in Toronto on

    I see more posts this morning about who is or isn’t a hun…. this is becoming like ShiiteQN vs. SuuniQN … they’re both muslims, for God’ (Allah’s) sake!… you’d think they had bigger enemies to fight than each other!



    Similarly, this nonsense about ‘hunspotting’ and ‘anyone who criticizes the team/board,manager/DD, etc. must be a hun’ really has to stop.



    What is the difference between Celtic and Sevco? In the past, I would have said their history and identity. But now, the biggest difference is ….



    One survived and one didn’t.



    And why?



    Because, when Celtic were ‘on the brink’, some (‘rebels’) stood up and said ‘something isn’t right’… and were sneered at by many for their troubles (even though, we now honour them).



    Conversely, many of us (including P67) have been saying for years that something wasn’t right over at Ibrox… but the bears went round like happyclappers, unquestioning, pretending that everything was peachy keen….until it was too late.



    Sure, the club needs fans who are ‘dyed in the wool’ unquestioning fans… they do keep people’s spirits up…. but the club also needs people like neg anon and Canamalar who also serve an important purpose ….They might not always be right… but the act of questioning is important to ensure that we (Celtic) never end up like Sevco…. or nothing more than a Corporation like Man U.



    So, you might not agree with them…. (I often do, sometimes dont, and sometimes they lose me with their choice of language… but that goes for both sides)…. but respect their right to express an opinion (as long as they follow P67′s rules).



    I think we all know people like neg and canamalar, and they are no hunfiltrators… that alone entitles them, and their opinions, to be accorded some respect, and courtesy.



    And, as for the hunfiltrators that we all know do come on here….I welcome it … in fact, it makes me laugh ….. they can come here and question, and cause s**t all they want …. I just think that, had they done that 10 years ago on FF or RM, R****s might still be in existence!



    I think everyone on here wants the same things …. a strong Celtic .. sure, we might not always agree on exactly what that means, or how to get there … but those are subjects for a discussion and debate, not a slagging match.



    Remember: the greatest trick the devil ever played was convincing us that he no longer existed. The devil still does exist …. but its not each other! There is still a battle that needs to be fought, but its not with our brothers.



    United in Celtic



    Hail Hail

  17. Right am offski to the Brazin for some cleansing, where you have an opinion and no one questions you on it, and they would NEVER say that a Tim was dim, unless they where seeking attention, and to be honest….they would get it, why? Well it’s. not nice is it, it’s the kind of thing a Hun would say, cough! cough! Hail-Hail.

  18. South Of Tunis on

    Hooper scored a lot of goals but I never managed to be enthusiastic about him.



    Negative me can still see the stupid penalty he gave Udinese and the sitter he missed in Torino.

  19. Five not enough!



    My next best 5.



    Danny McGrain


    Kenny Dalglish


    Bertie Auld


    Lubo Moravcik


    Paul McStay




  20. Clashcitybhoy on

    Auldheid, from previous


    You are on the right lines around DD’s thinking around the team formerly known as.



    I would imagine most of DDs answers were prepared by a PR type, and it was for him to deliver.


    If he had given the opinion that many fans have ie he is glad to see the back of them, then it would have been reported in a way that would denigrate the club.


    It may even be that those are his genuine views – only he knows.


    Even if they are his views, in a way they are inconsequential, and if his view is contradictory to those of most Celtic fans, then so be it. It is also refreshing that he didn’t roll out the old “we will be playing in England in 5 years”



    My own view is that DD is a good landlord for us, not great, good.


    I suspect his enthusiasm his eroded since the Seville / MoN era, but equally we don’t cost him any money, he makes a small return from some of the share types he owns, and, I suspect if he wanted to he could easily have sold his shares.



    Paul 67


    Your analysis of our recent goalscorers, also tells a story about our recruitment strategy of strikers. We have been very successful in recent years in signing keepers, defenders and midfielders. We have also been able to get a stability.


    Our strategy of signing guys at 22/23 and giving them a shop window has worked well, except for strikers.


    I don’t know the answer, but I think we need to consider a coach for the strikers, an alternative approach to scouting, or quite simply we pay the cash that is necessary to give us “guaranteed quality”

  21. kevinlasvegas on

    Brutal of late Mike in Toronto, I’ve not been on as much which is rare. Hard reading.




  22. This is an easy exam question Paul!



    Ans: Yes, but a country mile behind Ghod as an overall footballer.


    Looking to the season ahead I would like to see Tony Watt getting more time on the pitch. He shows real pace and a hunger to close down defenders that a certain dreadlocked Swede brought to our team to great effect.



    HH – JamesGang

  23. Hooper is a goal scorer, a bit like McDonald but with more to his all-round game.



    Since the Henrik era, I think Hartson has been our best striker. Lots of goals and great link up ability too.



    Hooper after him.

  24. tonydonnelly67


    13:53 on


    28 July, 2013


    ”Right am offski to the Brazin for some cleansing, where you have an opinion and no one questions you on it, and they would NEVER say that a Tim was dim,”







    Yeah but by your reasoning ( I use the word loosely) it’s not a Tim who would be dim, it would be a hun, who thought he was a Tim, but was too dim to realise he was in fact a hun.

  25. South Of Tunis on

    5 ——





    Bobby Murdoch


    George Connelly




    Henrik Larsson ..



    Primary school me thought Willie Fernie was the bees knees.

  26. 1. Henrik












    5.Sutton/Hartson I have to get my Welsh Dragon in and you cant stop me.



    Hail Hail.

  27. Clashcitybhoy


    13:55 on


    28 July, 2013



    I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in the number of posters who, like yourself, are stating unequivocally that they think The Great Desmondo is an out and out liar.

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