THE issue of Georgios Samaras’s strike-rate as a Celtic frontline performer hasn’t been raised for a while, but Jorge Cadete believes it is still questionable.
The Portuguese, who played for the Glasgow club between 1996 and 1997, has been in Glasgow this week to promote the Scottish Cup final and promote his own worth to a game in which he is struggling to win a coaching role. The Greek’s scoring role for Celtic, meanwhile, Cadete finds unacceptable.
The 44-year-old, pictured, bagged 38 goals in 50 appearances for Celtic. In his past 76 outings, Samaras has netted 20 times, 14 of those this season. Unlike his Portuguese predecessor, however, the Greek’s usefulness to his team extends far beyond scoring, and he does not permanently hover around the penalty box in the hope of snapping up opportunities fashioned by others.
“Samaras is a striker who plays with a big club in Scottish football and he scores ten goals a year? That’s nothing. Not enough,” he said.“When I came to Celtic, the first time I played it was six games, 245 minutes, and I scored five goals in that time.
“Celtic have between 15 and 20 opportunities a game to score goals. Your striker must be scoring a goal a game. Sometimes you get many opportunities and 20 goals in the Scottish league, for a good striker, is a minimum. But you can’t say ‘If you don’t score 20 goals, you don’t have a job next season’, because you don’t play alone. But you have to practice every day. A goalkeeper coach saves one or two games but a striker can bring many wins to a club with his goals. You always look at a striker to win games and titles, not a goalkeeper. There needs to be specialised coaching.”
And that is where Cadete believes he can come in. He has developed his own programme for coaching strikers, which he has offered to a number of clubs including Celtic. “I’ve spoken to Sporting [Lisbon] about an opportunity to train and develop strikers from the youngest all the way up to the professionals. Two years ago I showed the same project to Celtic and they told me they had a good service just now, but in the future you never know. I know what I can do. At the end of a game, when you ask a coach why they didn’t win, what’s the first thing they tell you? We didn’t finish well enough.
“In Portugal you get coaches to the goalkeepers but not to the strikers? They need practice to improve too.”
Maybe Cadete should offer a free trial course to Samaras.