The goal last weekend was the latest from our Japanese superstar in front of the Ibrox fans. Last season, he went into the first game without having gotten a goal against them in his first campaign. A lot of us were quietly uneasy about that. We’ve seen players before who couldn’t seem to find the net in derbies although they scored goals everywhere else.
Two come to mind, both on the other side of the city; Boyd and Morelos. I thought they were very limited as footballers, but it was almost incomprehensible that these guys just crumbled on that stage. Incomprehensible and hilarious at the same time.
Other players, and this time on our side, seem to thrive on them. Larsson was a legend in these matches. So too was Moussa Dembele, who seemed to find an extra edge in these games and he was superb almost every time he went up against them.
But Kyogo seems to be a cut above. Only The King of Kings, in my lifetime, inspires this much confidence not only in the derbies but in the big games which truly matter. He’s done it in cup finals, with the pressure at its highest. He is the real deal.
On the E-Tims podcast the other day, which I’ve talked about a few times now, one of the contributors said something fascinating; Kyogo has now scored in both nets at Hampden, Celtic Park and Ibrox against their club.
I assume that’s true; it’s not something I would have been inspired to check out myself, but I actually think it speaks volumes. It reveals just how critical a player he has become in these games. We are lucky to have him.
Ibrox would kill for a player who regularly finds the net against us.
I can’t remember the last one who did. Certainly, nobody has done so for the NewCo.
In the meantime, we’ve had the Dembele’s, Edouard’s, Griffiths’, Rogic’s and others, all capable of doing it in those matches. Which is why I would not come apart at the seams if Kyogo left or got injured, although right now he looks as if he could score for us every time he faces them. That should haunt them with Celtic Park up next.
Kyogo Furuhashi should stalk their nightmares. His record against them is exceptional, and especially so when you look back over the last few managers.
There is Larsson, with 15 goals against them, and then you have to go back, way back, to Moussa and Edouard on 7 goals each. They are joined there, maybe not surprisingly, by Alan Thompson, who loved goals against the first Ibrox club. Kyogo is now just one behind those guys, his current tally bringing him up to par with Tom Rogic.
It’s only then that you run into the likes of Sutton, Hartson, Petrov, Griffiths, Hooper and the rest … Kyogo has already eclipsed them, and I was surprised to find that out. But maybe I shouldn’t be because we keep on saying he’s the best since Larsson, so it’s probably fitting that these are the games where it is most obvious.
There is plenty more to come from him too.
It is not crazy to suggest that even Larsson’s record might wind up within his reach; he’s a long way from it right now, but for sure he is going to get out in front of our last two big name strikers, and Alan Thompson with them.
This summer, Ibrox spent the bulk of their transfer kitty on three strikers, all of whom cost near enough what our Japanese Bhoy did, and one – Danilo – who definitely cost them more.
Between them they might not get the goals against us that he has gotten against them, even if they are at Ibrox for the next five years and that’s based on the current numbers, not even what Kyogo might do against them as they try to.
I am excited to see what he does against them next … and in all the matches in between.
This fixture now belongs to Kyogo in the way it once belonged to Larsson.