Report: International boss who keeps misusing Celtic star Kyogo could soon lose his job

By David Walton

October 11, 2021

Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu, who has been criticised for misusing Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi, could be on the verge of losing his job according to the Japan Times.

Moriyasu has overseen a disastrous World Cup qualifying campaign so far that’s seen them lose to both Oman and Saudi Arabia. Results that have severely dented their chances of a top-two finish in their group.

Japan Times reports that the Blue Samarai must overcome Australia to dampen speculation over the manager’s future, with scrutiny intensifying after recent results.

Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

ESPN reported several days ago that a hashtag calling for Moriyasu to be sacked was trending on social media after the loss to the Saudis. Australian news outlets have also stated that the noises from Japan are that Moriyasu could be sacked if they lose on Tuesday [News.com.au].

The Blue Samarai boss has recently been criticised for wasting Celtic’s Furuhashi whilst on international duty by Japanese pundits [Daily Record]. Kyogo hasn’t scored for his country in six matches, but primarily because four of them have seen him be utilised as a left-winger.

In only one of Japan’s last five games has the Celtic striker actually played in his natural position. Instead, Moriyasu has been handing the centre-forward jersey to Vissel Kobe’s Yuya Osako.

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Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi playing for Japan coach’s job this week

It would be interesting to know how Kyogo actually feels about playing out of position. After all, he’s kept quiet about it as you would expect. But he must have a firm opinion on the situation.

We’ve already seen at Celtic just how influential he is as a centre-forward. His movement is second to none in Scottish football. It’s not just domestic centre-backs that have trouble in dealing with him either. He also caused the likes of AZ Alkmaar and Bayer Leverkusen all sorts of problems in Europe.

Osako has a fine record for Japan stretching back to 2013, but Kyogo is surely their most impactful forward player. Why you would stick him on the left-side consistently is anyone’s guess. It was one of Ange Postecoglou’s key mistakes at Ibrox back in late August.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

In any case, it is what it is. Kyogo is now effectively playing for his international manager’s job tomorrow. Interesting that he’ll come up against fellow Celtic star Tom Rogic too.

It will be intriguing to see whether Moriyasu caves in and finally throws Kyogo up top then. Considering the pressure he’s under and the fact it’s being pointed out to him by Japanese punditry figures, it’s advice he could probably do with listening to.

If you want to get the best out of Kyogo, he simply has to play up top. It’s as simple as that.

In other news, Sweden boss explains why he snubbed Celtic defender Carl Starfelt against Kosovo