Why Ange had to play Kyogo


For you and me, it was a dead rubber, an opportunity to watch Celtic without the pressure of winning or losing.  For the players and coaches, not so much.  The entirely-changed 11 who took the field played like they wanted to make an impact, as did an almost-as-changed Real Betis side.

The game was competitive, the nine added minutes at the end of the second half passed excruciatingly slowly; by that stage of the evening, no one’s head was in dead rubber territory.

When Albian Ajeti pulled up lame in the first half, Ange Postecoglou had plenty to ponder.  At that moment, he was left with only one fit striker, Kyogo Furuhashi, the most valuable asset in Scottish football, who was resting on the bench.

Of course Kyogo came on.  Ange did not set his team out to pull their punches, he wanted and got a performance.  He gave fringe players their opportunity.  Would it have been right for him to pull his own punches, 30 minutes into the game, by leaving his only striker on the bench?  If he expects the players to commit, he has to commit and play the game competitively.

Management is so subtle.  Selecting the right players and tactics is not nearly enough.  If you want players to follow you, you have to live the role.  Ange knew this when he told Kyogo to get stripped.

So what did we learn?  James McCarthy looks more than comfortable in a Celtic shirt every time I see him.  The player he was is slowly emerging.  Liam Scales can feel aggrieved he has not had a sniff of proper action before this week.  Stephen Welsh continues to grow into the role of Celtic central defender, a year after breaking into the team.

We finished third in a group against the third placed teams in Germany and Spain.  Collecting six points from Ferencvaros was an objective delivered, although so much more could have been achieved as we allowed comfortable positions slip in Spain and Germany.

If you are old enough, you will remember being told Celtic win trophies when they first emerge.  Perhaps the Europa Conference League will have its compensations.

Motherwell on Sunday afternoon is anything but a dead rubber.  The Celtic FC Foundation Bucket Collection returns for the first time in two years, those in need remain numerous.  The work of the Foundation does is remarkable and literally life changing at this time of year.  It is our greatest boast.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 13

  1. Agree



    Ange doesn’t do half measures, he’s fully committed to the process as is the modern footballing cliche.



    I’m not sure if he’s read “move fast and break things” but his philosophy does seem to eschew caution in favour of action and full commitment.



    If you a plan but don’t stick to it then you have no plan at all.



    We wanted a modern coach, now we have one wee need to let him get on with it

  2. Is it only the Board who are allowed to keep their powder dry?



    Is the manager not allowed to do the same?

  3. I thought Bain was pretty poor last night, not for goals but general play.



    His decision making to pick up or kick the ball was off all night, Sutton was pulling his hair out on commentary.



    Enjoyable game overall, at least it’s fun watching Celtic these days.

  4. Kyogo’s style of play and whacked out year of football had a hammy injury in the post. Yesterday, last week, Sunday. It was coming.



    Let’s take each game as it comes. Us at home and thems at Diets has a real possibility of a gap closing this weekend.




  5. CELTIC40ME on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:10 PM




    It should be a plan, not a straightjacket, and it should be capable of being adjusted and adapted


    to suit circumstances as they change.



    Can’t say I was all that impressed by McCarthy last night.

  6. chief nat! yip but your still a bag of shite , maybe fool a cple of yur clique!! but you’re grandstanding look at me look at me a care !! fake bag o , shit

  7. Can’t agree that Kyogo ‘had’ to play. In an alternative universe, and article is being typed around squad management, especially during such a hectic period.


    Great result last night, good performances, disappointing injuries.


    Oh, to have it all

  8. We finished with a point more than Sevco. They are the only team to finish second in their group with only 8 points. They had only one team in their group from one of the top leagues, and Lyon are well short of the top four in France whereas Leverkusen and Real Betis are both currently in the top four in Germany and Spain respectively.


    Apart from Celtic only one other team failed to finish second in their group with 9 points. That was the Danish Midgies who were in the easiest group of all with no team from one of the top leagues.


    Even allowing for our more difficult opponents, however, our goal difference compared with the Huns – Celtic for 13, against 15, Huns for 6, against 5 – says a lot about the way the two teams play.

  9. McCarthy played okay but nothing more than that, he kept on attempting long balls which doesn’t really fit with Ange’s style of football

  10. THE_HUDDLE on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:11 PM



    Sutton was moaning because he was punching rather than catching balls. Put me in mind of Brian Clough years ago describe some world cup keeper as a clown, But he wasn’t at fault for either goals and made some decent saves.



    Angeball demands a lot from keepers and takes them well out of their comfort zone (literally and metaphorically). I thought he coped well on the night.

  11. Pingback: Why Ange had to play Kyogo | Celtic FC News Now

  12. THE_HUDDLE on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:18 PM


    ‘McCarthy played okay but nothing more than that, he kept on attempting long balls which doesn’t really fit with Ange’s style of football’






    As did Bitton.

  13. Certainly as the clock ticked on in injury time last night, I was on the edge of my seat and was completely engrossed in what was a very good game.



    The conference is a competition we can have a real good go at and one I look forward to in the new year. The improvements in this team are clear for all to see.



    However, we knew before a ball was kicked last night that we were playing conference football.



    We’ve not only lost our best striker but indeed our only striker in a game that changed no outcomes for us.



    That’s a very hard pill to swallow. It was a mistake which I hope we don’t look back on come the 3rd January with even more regret.



    We move on now, there’s little to be gained by tearing into Ange, P67 obviously doesn’t want to do that and he’s right. We have to move on now.

  14. ERNIE LYNCH on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:15 PM



    It should be a plan, not a straightjacket, and it should be capable of being adjusted and adapted



    That goes without saying, but the question is always to what degree before it makes the plan not a plan anymore.



    It might be halo effect on my part but I don’t think he would do something like that without it being part of the plan. He’s fully commited to his strategy and philosophy, I don’t know better than him how to execute it.

  15. Dexter P. Bampot on

    I do not get the logic of this piece. Kyogo did not have to play. It was an error by Ange.



    How or why do we know that for a fact? Because Ange himself told us so when he came out after the game to complain of the ridiculous schedule. Simples.

  16. Dexter P. Bampot on

    Bain has not improved. Hart needs proper competition. There are far better SPL keepers than Bain.

  17. It might not have been important to some on here last night but, a very good victory last night was important to the squad. It will have done wonders for the confidence of the whole group, tangible rewards for training hard, following instructions, being brave in possession. In terms of momentum it was very important, it maintained an exceptional run of form and results.



    I can understand why Ange would want to win the game, commitment to winning every game comes from the manager first and foremost. The confidence gained from winning last night for the players who took part could be invaluable

  18. What we know is that the squad is threadbare and major reinforcements are required in January if the league and the CL money which is at stake are to be won.

  19. Today’s article seems to be a contradiction of that from 25th Nov, before we faced the germans



    “I know Ange Postecoglou will want to compete and do his best to achieve a result, but that 0-4 home defeat still haunts, I don’t expect anything tonight and my real hope is that we come through the game with a full complement ready to go against Aberdeen on Sunday.


    This is not the European campaign any of us wanted, but with Europa Conference qualification secured, I only see past the next league game”



    The article which followed the prev European game advised us the substitutions were not wrong. Failure to analyse critically yet honestly does us no favours.


    Can’t be long until we read “really, we won” following a defeat.

  20. DEXTER P. BAMPOT on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:27 PM




    Get real. Celtic aren’t going to sign a second choice keeper who is of a standard to challenge Hart.

  21. Mcarthy has never been good enough for celtic and never will.he got his move down south from Hamilton and I don’t no why .hel always be a bench warmer if he’s no injured.and ange totally fecked up putting kyogo on.schoolboy management stuff.and anybody that thinks he done the right thing.needs there head examined🍀

  22. Why not put Kyogo on? Was he any more likely to get injured last night than any other game?



    For those who proclaim some insight into hamstring injuries (not stretching or warming up correctly) why did Ajeti and Kyogo get their injury after being involved in the game for a substantial amount of time?



    Surely they were warmed and fully stretched by virtue of playing?



    It’s a fallacy that hammies go due to inadequate warm up or stretching.



    If Kyogo hadn’t played last night, would it be any different if he got injured on Sunday?



    It’s football. It happens.

  23. onenightinlisbon on

    Kyogo did not have to play. The game was meaningless. We can go on about how wonderful it was to win in Europe but much more important towin on Sunday.

  24. And while I’m here. Having been at the game, I read back on the live updates and I seem to disagree with a substantial amount of those provide commentary and opinion.



    Bain. Say what you want about his shot stopping (though he saved a few last night) but his skills with the ball at his feet are excellent. Finds our players all the time – well except for one notable mistake last night, though there were many outfield players who made poorer passes under less pressure than Bain.



    Ughoride, wow. Seemed to get disparaged a lot. From my vantage point he was mostly excellent. Nearly my MotM.



    Scales. Yep, he’s good. Tired in the latter stages and subsequently gave the ball away a few times. Probably would have been subbed if it weren’t for all the other enforced changes.



    Welsh. My MotM. Not just the goal. In fact, not even because of the goal. Rarely a mistake, good use of the ball, excellent in the air and as shown when covering Bitton’s howler, no lack of pace.

  25. Theee take always for me from last night (in no particular order):



    Bain did OK for his first time playing like this.



    Surprised not to see more acknowledgment of Urhoghide’s display and potential in the comments.



    Celtic are fun to watch again.

  26. Kyogo could have been injured in training today or a pre match warm up or the game Sunday.



    It happens.



    If he hadn’t pulled his hammy we’d be largely discussing a great display and result by a young side.



    What heartens me is that the system appears to be working. It will be more or less efficient depending on personell but it is delivering. That withstands the loss of individuals more often than not.



    I’ve got a wee feeling that the team will have extra motivation to batter motherwell on Sunday. Maybe it is the cold weather but I’ve got a feeling in my bones.



    Seems fringe players want to step up. Whoever plays for Kyogo needs to try and emulate his movement and defending from the front and not worry too much about goals. I think we’ll see someone emerge in the next fortnight.



    After the cup final Jota is likely to be back. New signings a few weeks after that and a fit again Furuhashi raring to get back at it. December is tough, it could make us, but whatever it won’t break us.

  27. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    There were a couple of late night posts last night that articulated quite skilfully what I was feeling.



    I was taken aback by the Monday morning quarterbacking on display.



    Celtic won.



    A game we didn’t expect to win.



    That made me feel great.



    Knock on impacts?



    Best player (opinion) got injured (fact).



    The “guys Ange can rely on to deliver to a certain standard, in the short term” gang?



    …. got at least 3 new members off the back of their performances. (opinion).



    Kyogo got injured?



    Tough. 5h1t happens. Get over it.



    Want him not to get injured – simplest solution is don’t play him at all.



    As SFTB suggested last night – if our team is nothing more than two wowsers (Jota and Kyogo) plus a supporting cast of nine others?



    You can forget winning the title right now.



    Kyogo is a short, bandy legged, buzz bomb with the lower body of a 60-metre indoor sprinter.



    He’ll have hammies like piano wire. He is going to get injured. Such is life.



    He has game intelligence beyond anything I’ve seen in a Celtic shirt since Larsson (opinion) – so he’ll be a big miss.



    So over to you Joe, Josip, Cameron, Carl, David, Calum, Liel, James (all very good players) plus the fit and available “reliables” to take care of business for a bit.

  28. SUPERSUTTON on 10TH DECEMBER 2021 12:47 PM




    ‘If Kyogo hadn’t played last night, would it be any different if he got injured on Sunday?’






    Next Sunday? Yes it would be different, because he’d be playing in a game that has some bearing on the outcome of the league, and one assumes have made some positive contribution prior to him being injured.

  29. the long wait is over on

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with P67 at all.



    I get the commitment point but the commitment and being “all in” is about


    being committed to and being all in about winning as many trophies as you can , especially the league.



    That is miles way from reckless commitment to win every game, no matter what.



    There ARE some games which matter much less than others, if at all , in the grander scheme of things.


    Last night was one.



    Of course Kyogo could have been injured in the first 5 minutes of Sunday but now he won’t be on the pitch at all – that’s worse still.



    I think it was a monumental error of judgement to play him. Ange’s demeanour in the post match interview suggests he thought the same.



    He doesn’t seem to me a guy who won’t learn from the mistakes we all make but it was a mistake all right.



    I still fully expect us to take all three points on Sunday.

  30. We enter our most crucial phase (since we were unprepared for Europe or even the start of the league season) without a striker and Ange was right.



    Probably we will have a Celtic team playing in a final without a centre forward.




  31. Irrespective of who’s injured and who isn’t, one thing is certain about our players. They will absolutely give their all. The workrate on Sunday, from our first team, was phenomenal. Last night, our second string also showed tremendous work ethic and attitude. I wouldn’t have played the wee man (Kyogo) but he played and we’ll just deal with it. As someone else said, his style of play and tremendous work rate lends itself to picking up an injury (chasing back and stretching to win a ball back). It’s not as if we’ll ever want him to change. So delighted for those players last night. I think Scales will definitely see more game time now. Shaw showed some decent moments in the second half. Thought Abada did well and was brilliant at reaching an underhit pass for the penalty. His corner kicks were also good. If Urhoghide can be coached not to dive in too much, he’ll improve. Henderson also reminded us that he’s a good footballer (still only 21). Fingers crossed that we have a few back for the game on January 2nd.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 13