Ex-Japan boss slams international misuse of Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi

By Euan Davidson

September 8, 2021

Former Japan manager Takeshi Okada has blasted the misuse of Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi for his national team.

Okada has said that Celtic should be “angry” about the 26-year-old being subbed early in the second-half. Kyogo looked to have some discomfort in his knee against China, and was brought off after 51 minutes.

Okada, who has managed Japan over two spells, didn’t hold back. The manager, who also had a stint in charge of Yokohama F Marinos, was not at all pleased with how Kyogo was being utilised.

He said [via Sun]:

“It would have been far better for both Kyogo and the team if he was played in the middle instead of being stuck on the left wing.

“Why play him on the left side anyway? Celtic will also be angry that their player has been injured in this game.

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“That would concern me about his future use in the team if his club thinks he might get injured and we have to hope the extent of the injury is not too bad.

“I hope he is used properly as a central striker in the next games.”

Celtic fans hoping Kyogo injury isn’t serious after Japan substitution

Interestingly, it’s not just Japan who have played Kyogo on the left. Whether Okada is aware of that is unclear.

The former Vissel Kobe man has played on either the left of a three, or up front. After a mid-game switch against Rangers, fans became convinced that the Japan star should be playing up front. As did Ange Postecoglou.

However, was Kyogo more susceptible to picking up an injury from playing on the left? If that’s the case, we’re uncertain how. He’d have to do roughly the same amount of running, and would be just as likely to receive a tackle playing as a centre-forward.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

More likely, even.

Unfortunately, injuries are part and parcel of international football. They just happen. It doesn’t make it any easier for Celtic fans, but with less recovery time between matches, it’s bound to happen.

If, indeed, Kyogo has picked up something serious while playing for Japan, it’s a blow. But you’re unlikely to hear Ange Postecoglou complaining about it too much. Injuries occur in football constantly.

We wait with bated breath to hear how Kyogo’s doing.

Read more: Great Wednesday news for Celtic