Reo Hatate's brilliant comments on destroying rivals at Celtic Park
Celtic star Reo Hatate was already popular with supporters before he put two goals past Rangers ‘keeper Allan McGregor.
After that game, though, he was the talk of the Green and White half of Glasgow. His two expertly dispatched goals in the first-half killed off any Rangers hopes, before Liel Abada put the icing on the cake. A wonderful night, we’re sure you’ll agree.
And as we get ever-closer to the next meeting between Celtic and Rangers, a timely interview has come out. Reo Hatate, as part of the Japanese cohort of Celtic players, was interviewed about his time at Parkhead thus far. Naturally, the conversation turned to his best moment in the Hoops yet.
Speaking to the Celtic View [Volume 57, Issue 3, page 54], Hatate said:
“It was difficult to communicate because of so much noise, this is why I would look carefully at my team-mates to try and read their movements, what they were doing and thinking and it was the same for them.
“I felt the passion of the supporters, and it was higher than any other game I’ve played. This was more than just a derby, it was a game for first or second place, so it meant even more to everyone.
“Both goals were very nice for me, especially the second. It was pretty much my style because I controlled the ball and I finished the way I always like to.
“So this is symbolic of who I am.”
Can new Celtic star Reo Hatate dominate the next Rangers game?
Reo Hatate’s form did dip a wee bit after that, but it was only natural.
Playing an entire season of football, moving country, and adapting to a new culture, language and style of football will do that. He must’ve been absolutely knackered. Watching him is tiring enough, he covers every blade of grass.
He’s coming back into the swing of things at just the right time, though. Prior to joining up with the Japan squad, Hatate put in an excellent performance against Ross County. He was absolutely everywhere; recovering the ball, driving forward in possession, picking out sublime passes.
Against the Staggies, he made an impressive 7 ball recoveries [Fotmob], and his heat map tells its own story [WhoScored?].
The April 3rd fixture feels perfectly poised for Hatate to wreak havoc once more. Rangers just couldn’t track his runs or compete with him for energy. With a hostile atmosphere – something Hatate had no problem ignoring when he scored against Hearts – we need constant movement and passing to unsettle Rangers at home.
Hatate can do just that. It’s who he is.
So, too, is scoring wonderful goals on the big occasions. Let’s hope there’s plenty more where that came from.
Read more: Rival support should be careful what they wish for over Celtic star Tom Rogic