Celtic captain McGregor says new Bhoy embodies the spirit of Hoops under Postecoglou
Celtic captain Callum McGregor has played with some outstanding midfielders in his time, but he’s particularly impressed by new Bhoy Reo Hatate.
McGregor’s shared the centre of the park with some real talents. Scott Brown is the obvious one. There’s also Stuart Armstrong, Ryan Christie, Tom Rogic, the list goes on and on.
In a bold new era at Celtic, though, it’s McGregor pulling the strings and allowing other players to flourish ahead of him.
And after being asked about Reo Hatate, you can tell he’s not only enjoying his role, but also playing alongside Hatate, and the whole culture at Celtic under Postecoglou. There was a particular moment in the first half against Rangers where, with Ryan Kent bearing down on Joe Hart, Hatate ran almost the length of the pitch to make a crucial intervention.
That kind of thing impresses Callum McGregor. And the captain says that’s what Celtic are all about this season.
McGregor told Celtic TV: “[Hatate’s] top drawer. Really first class.
“He’s quality on the ball, everyone can see that. But it’s then the other side of his game as well where he’s working for the team. He’s ran 80, 90 yards to stop [a Rangers] counter-attack, and that’s what this team is.
“We work just as hard without the ball as what we do when we’ve got it. And that’s the secret. That’s the key to the success.”
Unity is the buzzword for Celtic under Postecoglou this season, and Callum McGregor is so crucial
This season was always going to be enormous for Celtic captain Callum McGregor. It was vital that he and Ange Postecoglou hit it off immediately, that he showed his captaincy credentials as soon as he returned from Euro 2020, and gave Ange no doubt about his leadership qualities.
Boxes ticked on all fronts. Quite rightly.
For McGregor this season, though, it’s been as much about integrating new players. God knows there have been plenty of them, and all have made their mark in some form or another. That’s especially true of Reo Hatate.
And while McGregor might have had a word in the ear of various new Bhoys about what’s expected, Hatate seems like someone who needed little instruction. To think, we once thought the guy might come in as an auxiliary left-back; instead he’s winning games from midfield.
McGregor has been spot on with every communication to the Celtic supporters this season. And while he’s praised Hatate, he’s also said that the team has to continue playing with that kind of work ethic. A compliment nestled into a challenge.
It’s almost exactly like listening to the gaffer. That’s comforting, is it not?