Celtic Could Possibly Be Facing The Worst Case Scenario As The Asian Cup Looms.

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If, as looks increasingly likely, we’re set to lose a number of players for the Asian Cup you look for a silver lining. Whichever silver lining that you can get.

A possible one is this; if our plays go over to that tournament and impress people, the name Celtic will ring out like it never has before. That’s a pretty good outcome because it can grow the club commercially.

But yesterday, the Japan boss did what he’s been doing for a while. He left our players on the bench. Now, it did not adversely affect the team; far from it. They trounced Germany, who sacked their own national coach shortly after the game. But in fact, that simply makes our situation worse. Because he has to pick a squad, and our guys will certainly be in it.

Yet he does not – and it looks increasingly as if he will not – play them when it matters.

And what this means is that we’re losing these players to a team which might even be good enough to go all the way to the final … and we’re going to cop every negative possible from that outcome without deriving a single one of the benefits.

That tournament is a nightmare for us, and every time this guy selects our guys in his squad but does not play them in his side makes the nightmare worse. Every one of the risks attendant with sending the best players in your team to the other side of the world will be there; injuries, illnesses, exhaustion … and no upside if they don’t play.

With that tournament lasting weeks you do not want these guys sitting on the bench. You want them match-fit and playing games. You don’t want them playing too many of them, but just enough to make them seem important, even critical.

It looks as if our Koreans are going to be called up as well. They face just as difficult a struggle to get into the team, and they too are capable of going all the way to the final. There have to be people at Parkhead who take this seriously … there have to be. But no-one has spoken up about it, and there is no sign that they view this is a major issue.

There is the possibility that we can ask for postponements. We’d probably get one, and at a push we might even get two. We won’t get more than two, and the governing bodies have already made that clear. They aren’t prepared to cancel four or five games.

There are crucial fixtures in there, a Scottish Cup tie where we don’t yet know who we’re playing … you don’t have to be a doom monger to realise that this could go badly wrong, considering our front three will all be there, along with Yang and maybe even Tillio. What a nightmare if he turns out to be a star and he’s unavailable too?

I hate international breaks at the best of times.

International breaks where Celtic are playing and we lose key players … I hate that more. And whilst I am proud to see our players representing their nations, I do not want them doing it at a cost to Celtic. Worse is them being away and not even getting the time on the pitch which would put our club in the spotlight.

I am not looking forward to February at all. I am only glad its far enough on the horizon that we have time to come up with something. I’ll tell you, it’ll need to be something good.

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  • Mr James A Burns says:

    Well if they’re picked and not playing at least they can’t get injured…. oh wait…Labada

  • Johnpaulbruen says:

    James why r u so negative in everything, these things happen to other clubs as well , we’ll get on with it I’m sure Brendan is well aware.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Get Shankland and possibly a few other cheaper Scottish / Irish / UK guys in The January window, if even as a stop gap for a critical February in a critical season…

    We simply will need some players like that as That Bloody Asian Cup is a very very handy leveller for Sevco in this most vital of seasons and for teams like Kilmarnock and Aberdeen should we be drawn away there in The Scottish Cup –

    But Ange and the board must’ve known about this all the same…

    For every Kyogo – There are these hidden dangers lurking about, but we did know about the situation…

    Still January is there to rectify things, even in the worst case, maybe a season loan or two to see us through the business end of the season…

  • Johnno says:

    I think you could well be looking to far into a situation that might not really exist James?
    To my knowledge, the best part of the Asian cup takes place during the winter break in Scotland?
    So we could be looking at japan and Korea going all the way to a final, for it to bring about a worse case scenario for ourselves.
    Don’t take much interest in international football generally, and can be a huge nuisance with the prospect of injuries, but it’s just another problem to deal with in an overloaded footballing calendar as it is.
    Successful team’s like ourselves attract players who are regarded as international level players, and yet brings with it a baggage we could do without also?
    Long way to go before the issue arises, yet won’t look at a potential problem, that doesn’t exist in the present either, as no need to.
    The transfer window is also open during this time, which allows for any potential problems with players unavailable to be addressed also.
    Still don’t believe it will be as big as an issue that your fearing James, and only time will give us the answer

  • PJM says:

    Looking at the complete squad below it leaves us light on width and central attacking options, will be interesting to see if we experiment with Luis Palma as a centre forward prior to the end of the year.

    Potentially going to the Asian Cup
    Kyogo Furuhashi
    Reo Hatate
    Daizen Maeda
    Hyunjun Yang
    Hyeongyu Oh

    Given the current 2023/24 squad, the players who will be left behind are:


    Joe Hart
    Scott Bain
    Benjamin Siegrist


    Alistair Johnston
    Greg Taylor
    Gustaf Lagerbielke
    Liam Scales
    Nathaniel Phillips
    Maik Nawrocki
    Yuki Kobayashi
    Cameron Carter-Vickers
    Alexandro Bernabei
    Anthony Ralston
    Stephen Welsh


    David Turnbull
    Odin Thiago Holm
    James McCarthy
    Hyeokkyu Kwon
    Paulo Bernardo
    Matt O’Riley
    Callum McGregor


    James Forrest
    Luis Palma
    Liel Abada
    Marco Tilio* (may or may not be going)
    Mikey Johnston

    Loaned Out (not available for selection):

    Tobi Oluwayemi
    Yosuke Ideguchi
    Matthew Anderson
    Bosun Lawal
    Ben McPherson
    Liam Shaw
    Adam Montgomery
    Ben Summers
    Sead Hakšabanovi?
    Johnny Kenny

    • Woodyiom says:

      Your lists show that the only real issue lies up front – but strikers are by far the hardest to find in January as everybody wants them (whether its to score the goals that keep a team up or as rotation for teams that are fighting on several fronts). Shankland is the obvious choice to cover the problem for the three weeks that our forwards will be missing BUT will Celtic pay whatever inflated fee Hearts are bound to ask for OR does he have a release fee clause written into his contract.

    • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

      Bloody Hell PJM – we are brutally lightweight up front when you read it the excellent way that you’ve set that up…

      January is gonna be a big big window for sure !

  • Damian says:

    Not an ideal scenario at all, but not one we have any right to do anything about. It’s simply a byproduct of buying non-European players. Their national teams have the right to pick them and to expect them to show up, whether they choose to play them or not.

  • Robert John McPhillips says:

    We all know this will happen but if you are a real celtic supporter you put your trust in the squad

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