Last night, Hagi went off injured during Ibrox’s game against Stirling Albion.
The impact of it is still unknown, but their fans are concerned that might miss 2 February. At 5am this morning, Japan gave us the news we’d expected; we’ve lost Maeda for that game and for the match against Hearts.
But our other Japanese players remain in Glasgow, and Kyogo is racing the clock.
What is now certain is that we cannot request a postponement, not that we would want to in these circumstances. I always felt that it would take five call ups or more before we would pursue the idea.
The very option is off the table … and that has amusing consequences.
At Ibrox, they don’t have the right to request one either but that possibility still looms if Kemar Roofe is selected for Jamaica. They will be missing Aribo and Morelos for sure.
Throw Roofe and Hagi in and you can see why they might have wanted to call it off.
But they won’t of course, because they have already stated their opposition to the idea.
Right from the start, when it became clear that they might lose a number of their star men, they clung to one hope, and it was a false one right from the start; that Celtic would be the ones to request the call-off and that they could publicly complain whilst privately welcoming it.
Ange saw through that, as everyone at Celtic did.
We kept our options open, never actually declaring any position one way or another. It was smart not to do so.
That strategy has been vindicated just like everything else. If Ibrox wants to postpone, in order to get Morelos and Aribo into the game, they have to request it themselves and eat the largest plate of humble pie ever served.
Their underlying strategy has been pretty pitiful.
It was obvious from the way the media started to push us on this that they were doing so because Ibrox might want the game called off. Celtic played it beautifully and now we’ve left their club facing major absences or major embarrassment.