Stephen Welsh calls Celtic teammate a nightmare to play against


There was plenty to be pleased about from Celtic defeating St Johnstone 3-1 at the weekend, right before the international break. Although conceding an avoidable goal late on was a disappointment, the win showed that several players are finally finding some form. It also brought three points and a return to the top of the Premiership table.

It was great to see Cameron Carter-Vickers adding much more security in defence. Notably that St Johnstone goal came after he had left the pitch. Upfront we saw Nicolas Kuhn continue as he left off last week, in sparkling form, adding a goal and an assist to his tally. He is starting to look like a good signing now after some less than impressive first few weeks in Glasgow.

Most pleasing of all was seeing Kyogo Furuhashi playing well again. Significantly the Japanese forward had plenty more touches of the ball and was much more involved overall.

He also kept his tally up with a great first-half header. That was not all. Kyogo also helped Kuhn score his goal with a great assist via a pacy run and ball across the six-yard box. 

Stephen Welsh calls Celtic teammate a nightmare to play against

The sparkling display from Kyogo earned him praise from many, including teammate Stephen Welsh. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic defender said:

"The last two years he’s been among the top two or three players in the team.

“For him to come back in against St Johnstone and do as well as he did was excellent for him and I’m delighted for him as well. He’s an absolute nightmare to play against in training. I feel bad for defenders every Saturday watching them because I know exactly how they feel.

“He does so much for the team off the ball as well. It’s the same with Daizen [Maeda]. The both of them run their socks off. Their running stats are incredible when you look at them after a game."

Kyogo only scored once but with two others ruled out for offside and a strike that came off the crossbar, he came close to more goals. He was helped by better wing play from Kuhn, who along with the midfield were keen to find him with balls into the box. That has been lacking this season, with Jota leaving in the summer. 

It seems such a specific change for more direct play into Kyogo. It could well be something that has been practised in training with this slightly different group of players in Kuhn and Tomoki Iwata in particular. If it isn’t then it should be as it proves very effective in breaking down a low-block defence and could easily have added a couple more goals to the final tally.