'One man's opinion' - Ange Postecoglou responds to Japan snub as Celtic boss defends Scottish football

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has leapt to the defence of Scottish football after Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate were left out of the latest Japan squad.

The two players have been among the top performers in the cinch Premiership this season but only Celtic team-mate Daizen Maeda has been picked for the upcoming Kirin Cup matches against Uruguay and Colombia.

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu appeared to question the standard of the Scottish top flight when he stated that he took the “level of the league” into consideration when deciding to leave out Furuhashi and Hatate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the Celtic boss insisted that not much should be read into "one man's opinion" as he pointed to factors which show both his club and the Scottish game in good light.

Celtic manager Ange Posetcoglou during a training session at Lennoxtown on Friday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Celtic manager Ange Posetcoglou during a training session at Lennoxtown on Friday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Posetcoglou during a training session at Lennoxtown on Friday. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

When asked about their exclusions and whether Moriyasu’s comments were disrespectful, Postecoglou said: “Obviously both boys are playing really well and playing some good football. It’s disappointing for them that they haven’t been selected but that’s the nature of international football, it comes down to the national team manager’s decisions.

“Whatever decisions they make, in terms of being disrespectful it’s one person’s opinion and I’m not really sure that we should take many far-reaching conclusions.

"If you come back next week you’ll probably find we don’t have many players training. The reason for that is they are away on international duty. We had five players away at the World Cup. We did okay, better than okay.

“We’ve had Josip Juranovic and Moritz Jenz leave our football club to play regularly in the Bundesliga, which is a top five league. Unless, once they get to those clubs they magically become better footballers, then I don’t think the selection of individual players comes down to the level of the league.

“There’s been plenty of players who have left this league and gone on to the biggest leagues in the world and performed very well, and plenty of players in the Scottish Premiership who have done very well at international level. And there are plenty of players from top five leagues who have struggled in the Premiership.

“One man’s opinion. It doesn’t mean its wrong but it doesn’t mean its right either.”

Furuhashi and Hatate were also left out of the Japan World Cup squad last year and Postecoglou has backed the duo to bounce back from their latest international disappointment after insisting they are playing “better than ever”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I don’t give it too much thought,” he said. “My role is as their club coach, I’m not their national team manager. I just try and help them be the best they can be and make sure they’re in a good space in terms of dealing with whatever challenges they face in their football careers.

“There wouldn’t be any greater disappointments than missing a World Cup and if you look at the way the two lads have responded to that, they are playing football better than ever.

“They’re both really determined young men and they are going to get to the top of the game one way or another. Whatever challenge, I’m sure they’ll overcome them and my role is to help them do that.”

Related topics:



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.