Hajime Moriyasu confirms Japan coaches were ‘watching’ Celtic stars v Rangers at Hampden

By Patrick Sinat

May 14, 2023

Not too long ago, 67 Hail Hail reported that Japan national coach Hajime Moriyasu appeared to have overlooked Celtic’s Japanese when he was embarking on a tour of Europe.

Moriyasu seemed to be focusing his visit on Europe’s major leagues as he planned his next squad for Japan’s upcoming friendly doubleheaders in June.

But it seems that the Celtic players were in fact on Moriyasu’s mind. On his return to Japan on the 12th of May, it’s been reported that coaches from his backroom team did run the rule over Celtic’s Japanese contingent.

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Japan manager confirmed he didn’t personally watch the players but he did have representatives attending the Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers.

When asked if he went to Scotland, Moriyasu said [Soccer Digest], “No, I didn’t. I asked the coach to go. We had to split up.

“Coaches Hiroshi (Namba) and Ryoichi (Maeda) are watching the cup semi-final against Rangers.”

Celtic started the match with Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda in the starting lineup.

Maeda would have done his cause for another call-up no harm after his sharp reactions to the Rangers defence’s lapse in concentration set up Jota for what would eventually be the winning goal.

They would have also caught a glimpse of Tomoki Iwata as the Japanese midfielder came off the bench in the 66th minute to replace Hatate.

Photo by Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto/Allstar via Getty Images

Unfortunately, Yuki Kobayashi didn’t make it off the bench as Carl Starfelt and Cameron Carter-Vickers completed the full 90 minutes.

Is it possible that Moriyasu has yielded to the public backlash he received after ignoring Kyogo and Hatate in his last international squad?

Possibly, but even though he didn’t personally watch Celtic’s stars against Rangers last month, at least this will provide a boost to Kyogo and Hatate knowing that even though they were out in the cold, they are not completely out of the national manager’s thoughts.

In other news, Ange Postecoglou brilliantly reminds BBC journalist how Celtic reacted after last league defeat