SHOCK! Horror! Kyogo Furuhashi has fired blanks in six consecutive games.

If you wish to place the Japanese striker under even more intense scrutiny, he has delivered just one goal in the past nine outings.

The last time we witnessed a pyramid celebration from the fans’ favourite came when he knocked one over the line from four yards after a clever cutback from Matt O’Riley in the 16th minute of the 6-0 romp against Aberdeen at Parkhead on November 12.

THE OLD ROUTINE…Kyogo Furuhashi displays his pyramid celebration after netting in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen at Pittodrie in August.

The frontman’s participation in that particular fixture came to an abrupt halt seven minutes after the turnaround following a brutal assault from Slobodan Rubezic. Kyogo was ushered off the field looking as though he had been hit by a wrecking ball. Such a comparison is probably complimentary to the Dons defender.

Maybe the 28-year-old forward is still recovering.

The misfiring marksman has now gone a total of 387 minutes without a goal since that effort against the Pittodrie club. That’s six hours and 27 minutes of onfield involvement bereft of tangible reward for a player who makes his living putting the ball over that little white line in front of the nets.

I’m not a gambling man, but I reckon the guys with the cigars the size of rolled-up umbrellas and posh limos would have given reasonable odds on that barren sequence at the start of the season.

I doubt if Brendan Rodgers is pressing furiously on the panic button. You and I accept that all strikers will go through a period of famine. A shot or a header in August will hit the net; in October, identical efforts will be blocked, saved or squirm off target.

VOLLEY GOOD SHOW…Kyogo Furuhashi wallops in Celtic’s winner at Ibrox in September with John Souttar helpless to intervene in the Japanese striker’s magical moment.

I paid particular attention to Kyogo against Feyenoord in midweek. There is no complaint about the effort and endeavour he puts into the game. However, you can see he is a player under pressure, performing without confidence.

He is snatching at chances and attempting to hit shots from angles and distances that will not trouble the defenders or the keeper. These are profitless acts born of desperation.

This is not new territory for the bargain £4.6million recruit from J-League club Vissel Kobe in July 2021. He fired in a hat-trick in the 9-0 rout of Dundee United at Tannadice on August 28 2022 and then claimed one addition – in a 2-1 league win over Motherwell on October 1 – in the next 10 matches.

The friendly little chap from the Land of the Rising Sun discovered a remedy back then.

You just know he will find a solution to the present predicament. Today against our foes from the capital would be a reasonable starting point.


* DON’T miss the unbeatable match report from Celtic v Hearts this afternoon – only in your champion CQN.

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