For a striker, getting your first goal at a new club is a huge mark. The longer it takes, the more pressure lands on your shoulders. Giorgos Giakoumakis settled that liability on his first start for Celtic against St Johnstone on Saturday.
After an inauspicious start off the bench against Hearts, Kyogo Furuhashi also scored on his first Celtic start, away to Jablonec in the Europa qualifiers. The flurry of goals that followed changed the trajectory of Celtic’s season. Giorgos goal on Saturday could be just as important.
Apart from the November international break, Celtic have two games per week until Christmas. This is the kind of run that blunts players whose responsibility it is to carry the load game after game.
Ange Postecoglou will be able to rest Kyogo, who will return to Asia for Japan’s games next month, and let Giorgos lead the line. The Greek striker also has the benefit that he is not the Greece striker, he has not represented his country since March and is likely to have a two week break next month, time hopefully spent at Lennoxtown honing his fitness.
Resting Kyogo also means bringing Mikey Johnston and/or eventually James Forrest back into the team. There is no freshness gained if Kyogo is shifted to the right. Johnston has looked sharp on his substitute appearances this month, especially against Ferencvaros on Thursday. The home game against Livingston on Saturday would be an opportunity for him to start.
For all that has been said about our defence this season, they scarcely conceded a chance worthy of the name during their three consecutive clean sheets. This is a factor not just of defensive form, but of shape in the middle of the park. It is as though everyone now knows what to do.