ADAM IDAH’S exhibitions against Hearts and Livingston in the last two games did absolutely nothing to suggest he should lead the Celtic attack in place of Kyogo Furuhashi.

Admittedly, the powerfully-built Republic of Ireland international frontman did take centre stage with two goals against Motherwell at Fir Park last month after replacing an out-of-sorts Japanese penalty box predator at the interval.

Idah triggered a breathtaking comeback with a pulverising header that sent the ball hurtling beyond the stretching Liam Kelly before he materialised unmarked six yards out to stab in the second early in stoppage-time. In a grand finale, Luis Palma added the clincher in an urgently required 3-1 victory.

However, the 23-year-old forward, who was a bit-part player at Championship outfit Norwich City before turning up at the home of the champions on deadline day to sign a temporary deal, struggled big-style at Tynecastle and I don’t suppose an early lamentable penalty-kick attempt did anything for his confidence.

THE LONELINESS OF THE MISFIRING STRIKER…Adam Idah in a moment of contemplation at Tynecastle.

And it’s hardly fair to judge Idah when he was left up alone in a team playing with a man short from 14 minutes on after the ludicrous red card for Yang Hyun-jun. Kyogo joined the fray after the turnaround as the ineffectual Paulo Bernardo was sacrificed.

Celtic did have chances against Hearts, but, as the action unfolded, it was one of those days you just knew Zander Clark wouldn’t be invited to fish the ball from the back of his net on this particular afternoon.

Idah plodded through 61 minutes against Livingston in a stupefying encounter where the holders played tig with calamity against a team surely heading for Premiership expulsion.

Rodgers eventually wakened up to the possibility of an unfathomable exit against a line-up comprised of journeymen and then put on Kyogo.

Extra-time was avoided when Daizen Maeda completed his hat-trick in the 86th minute and the prolific Japanese raider slotted in the fourth with a trademark lightning thrust into enemy territory to be completed with an accomplished finish.

The referee’s assistant demonstrated all the qualities of a future employee of VAR at Clydesdale House in Glasgow as he frantically waved his flag, signalling offside to referee Willie Collum. There was the mandatory delay before Kyogo and all of a Celtic persuasion could celebrate a legitimate goal.

That strike was Kyogo’s 14th of the campaign and that is a worrying statistic when you consider his prowess in front of goal in the past two seasons.

PARADISE…Kyogo Furuhashi mixes joy with relief after his goal against Livingston.

However, as I stated in CQN last week, a player of his unquestionable quality is surely worth persevering with in an effort to offer him a foundation upon which he can rebuild his seemingly fragile confidence.

Idah has netted five goals – two penalty-kicks against Hibs – in eight appearances for Celtic. He has nine league games and, hopefully, two Scottish Cup-ties to prove he is worth a permanent residence in the east end of Glasgow.

Good luck to the Cork-born individual. I hope he can persuade the manager he possesses the talent required to make the grade with Celtic.

Just so long as he doesn’t do it at the expense of Kyogo.

If the £4.6million arrival from Vissel Kobe in July 2021 isn’t in from the start against St Johnstone today, I don’t think we will have any alternative but to call a steward’s enquiry.


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