Dear Mr Moriyasu,
Please forgive the intrusion, I realise you may be very busy at the moment with a game due against Columbia in Tokyo on Tuesday.
I notice you did not play Daizen Maeda in your nation’s recent 1-1 draw with Uruguay which, of course, is your prerogative as the head coach of Japan.
I doubt very much if you do not rate the 25-year-old forward just because he plays for Celtic in a league with which you clearly do not appear too enthralled as regards the overall standard of play.
JAPANESE BHOY…Daizen Maeda celebrates a winning strike against Motherwell at Fir Park in November.
Daizen had been a Celtic player and performing in Scotland for the best part of a year when you included him in your squad for the World Cup Finals in Qatar, a competition in which I believe he was one of your country’s outstanding operators.
That’s the same tournament two of Maeda’s Celtic team-mates – Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate – missed out on during your selection process which I have to tell you, Mr Moriyasu, baffled a lot of shrewd judges of soccer talent in this corner of the universe.
Once again, the same two players have not been worthy of inclusion in your most recent pool of players. In your estimation, it appears we have a quality bypass in Scotland
Otherwise, how you can explain your reticence to choose Kyogo, a striker who has claimed 26 goals this season including a double in a domestic Cup Final against a team that reached a European showpiece shoot-out before they lost on penalty-kicks to a Bundesliga club last season?
JAPANESE BHOY…Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates the first of his double in last month’s League Cup Final triumph.
Also, you have overlooked his team-mate Hatate, a midfielder of such admirable calibre he will be a genuine contender for the Scottish Player of the Year honour at the completion of the current campaign.
Both were outstanding in the League Cup finale at Hampden last month when they helped Celtic to the first silverware of the season.
My information may be wrong, but I do not think you were in Glasgow that afternoon to witness Kyogo and Hatate, plus Maeda, of course, produce scintillating performances in the raw and unremitting atmosphere of a sell-out national stadium.
Maybe you didn’t witness any of the action that day. Perhaps your television was on the blink.
I am fairly certain any request for a ticket from your national football association would have been entertained by the Scottish League.
A hands-on approach from you would most certainly have afforded you the experience of being able to judge properly the merit of the football in a country where the J-League Player of the Year, Tomoki Iwata, has chosen to perform for the next five years.
JAPANESE BHOY…Reo Hatate has the backing of the Celtic support.
You may have also noted that a highly-promising central defender Yuki Kobayashi, who has won five Under-20 caps for your country, has signed a similar long-term contract at the same club.
Five top-class players have committed themselves to play in Scotland which you seem to rate as being a bit of a soccer backwater.
Kyogo, Hatate, Maeda, Iwata and Kobayashi are a quintet of excellent quality footballers who have entrusted their futures to Ange Postecoglou, manager of Celtic.
You may remember this individual’s name. Postecoglou won the title in your country with Yokohama F Marinos, the club’s first championship success in 15 years.
That knowledge may be utilised as some sort of guideline that he is a coach who knows what he is doing.
In his first season at Celtic, he won the Premiership crown and the League Cup. He has already reclaimed the latter, his club are nine points clear at the league summit with nine games to play and his team will face their Glasgow neighbours from Ibrox in the Scottish Cup semi-final on April 30.
JAPANESE BHOYS…Celtic’s five from the Far East – Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate, Daizen Maeda, Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi – show their joy after the League Cup success at Hampden last month.
The champions will also play the same side in a vital league encounter at Parkhead on April 8. I am confident any request for a ticket for either of these matches would be accommodated by the Scottish Football Association or Celtic Football Club.
The Premiership occasion will kick off in the east end of Glasgow at 12.30pm on a Saturday which I understand is 9.30pm in Tokyo and any television coverage may possibly interrupt viewing of your favourite soap or reality show.
But it might be worth a look to see how Kyogo and Hatate perform in a no-holds-barred confrontation which will be played at its usual high tempo with a fair degree of intensity. It’s not the same as actually being there, but you appear to be coy about embarking on an 11-hour flight to carry out your international duties.
Portuguese football supporters are only too delighted their new supremo, Roberto Martinez, did not dismiss the claims of Cristiano Ronaldo who now struts his stuff in Saudia Arabia, not one of the superpowers in club football, I think we can agree.
JOY BHOYS…Ange Postecoglou and Kyogo Furuhashi proudly hold aloft the newly-won League Cup.
The Spanish coach, former boss of Belgium, dismissed that fact to give the 38-year-old forward his 197th cap to face Lichtenstein in the Euro 24 match last week and was repaid with two goals from the legendary footballer to hoist his international tally to a remarkable 120 strikes.
If it is any sort of barometer, Saudi Arabia are rated in 49th position – one above Burkina Faso – in the up-to-date FIFA rankings.
Scotland are ranked in 42nd place. Yes, I realise this does not give a proper indication of standings in club football, but I thought you might want to know.
Yours in sport,