The reaction after Celtic dropped points on Saturday due to a very late missed penalty by Gorgios Giakoumakis was natural.

We have watched Josip Juranovic step up and calmly score two penalties for Celtic since coming to hew club. Most fans believed Josip was our spot kick specialist and had been given the green light by the manager.

It’s turned out not to be the case; Ange made it clear after the game Giakoumakis is Celtic’s nominated penalty taker IF on the pitch at the time of a penalty being awarded.

Even after hearing that, Celtic fans still remain perplexed by the decision and an attitude of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ is again understandable.

If you look beyond the hysteria and frustration of Saturday’s game, there’s a very good reason why Giakoumakis was nominated.

The former VVV Venlo player was the Dutch club’s penalty taker last season as he racked up goals in the Dutch top flight. In all competitions, Giakoumakis took 10 penalties and scored 9 of them. Thats a great record!

The Greek striker has obviously demonstrated a good enough spot kick prowess on the Lennoxtown training pitch as well. We know Ange and the coaches got all the players to participate in a penalty exercise this season. Juranovic was one of the top kickers and became the default penalty kick taker if on the field when Giakoumakis is not there.

As it transpired on Saturday, Celtic’s nominated penalty taker was on the field and did hit it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, given Josip has already taken a couple, he would have been confident of scoring. Your first penalty being a high pressure last minute kick is not ideal and has ultimately cost us all three points.

Unfortunately, the Hoops forward didn’t strike it with conviction. Yes, the goalkeeper prematurely came off his line before it was taken, but it was still a very poor penalty.

It will be interesting to see if Gorgios is on the next penalty kick. I’d think he will be, if he misses his next spot kick then Juranovic would then likely get the nod.

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  1. The 9/10 penalties scored last season by Giakoumakis fell typically to VVV Venlo (relegated at end of season) when his team were behind. These would generally be easier than the situation he faced yesterday. Giakoumakis’s body language yesterday showed none of the steely determination shown by Juranovic in his two kicks.


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