News that Gary Hooper has sprained the ankle which caved under a hefty challenge on Saturday,  has caused much debate & concern within the Celtic online community.

I think given his scoring contribution to the Bhoys and his telepathy with strike partner Anthony Stokes, there has been more worry over the English goal machine than his team-mate and long-term absentee, Emilio Izzaguire. At the back we do have our frailties – and although Izzy is a standout at left back throughout the country,  Mulgrew should provide more than ample cover at the back & also chip in with a fair whack of assists.

Two names are therefore hesitantly put forward for inclusion in the next handful of games, including a major test on Thursday against FC Sion – Georgios Samaras & Shaun Maloney. Both have had very mixed relationships with the faithful throughout their Celtic careers, & neither have shown enough to be considered as a first choice during the summer. Only the Greek though I feel, has the capability and mental strength to take this opportunity.  Samaras has had many unplayable games in a Hooped jersey but many forgettable ones also, but it is this chance that he may shine on the big stage this week – which I feel gives him the edge. He has height, pace and skill – he rarely utilises these attributes but they are there!

Maloney on the other hand has looked disjointed and slow in his presence so far this season.  Major injuries have taken their toll on his body and he doesn’t look anywhere near as sharp or tricky as we first witnessed back in 2001 when he burst on to the scene at Ibrox to nearly snatch Henrik’s 50th! I feel sorry for Shaun because he was a tremendous talent,  O’Neill obviously thought he had the talent to shine in the EPL & he has scored many important goals in the Hoops during his two spells at Celtic Park. They say though you should never return to a former club, and in this case I have been in agreement and haven’t witnessed anything that would change that.

So I give the younger Georgios the nod, and hope that Hooperman is ready to take back his mantle before too long.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s