Hatate on suffering early under Rodgers before gradual understanding

Earlier today on The Celtic Star, Just an Ordinary Bhoy provided his assessment on the Reo Hatate quotes that are all over the Scottish media this morning, flagging up the Japan international’s desire to earn a move away from Celtic to play down south in the Premier League or perhaps in Italy or Spain.

Our writer pointed that this was actually a good news story for Celtic as it’s exactly what the club hopes to achieve strategically to allow us to dominant domestically and look at taking the necessary steps to make us competitive on the new format in the Champions League.

Celtic have yet to take any of those steps this summer but we are expecting some movement ahead of the trip to the United States.

And on Reo Hatate, he requires to have a season in the shop window to show his ability of the Champions League stage and prove that he has at long last put his ongoing and persistent injury woes behind him. Until he can do that, it’s unlikely that any club would offer the kind of money that would interest Celtic after Hatate signed a long term contract just last year.

Speaking to Japanese media outlet Sportiva, Reo Hatate talked about his wider ambitions in football beyond his time at Celtic and also provided an interesting player’s persecutive on the difficulties the Celtic squad experienced in transitioning from the style of ‘vertical’ play under Ange Postecoglou to the more considered ‘keep the ball’ approach under Brendan Rodgers.

“There are still higher leagues, so if I can challenge for those leagues, I want to do so,” he stated. “Unless I aim for that, there is no point in me continuing as an athlete. I want to keep aiming high. I would like to play in the Premier League, as well as Spain or Italy.”

“The biggest part of the game was that, in Ange’s time, the first thing we did was play goal-oriented football,” Reo explained. “We were told to go vertical as much as possible. But Rodgers’ coaching style is very much about the ball. Even in situations where you can attack quickly, the first priority is to keep the ball. I believe that is the main change.

“There are also other obvious differences, like the fact that fewer goals were scored from crosses compared to the 2022-23 season. I think it was a difficult season, as it was the first year with Rodgers as manager. If I had to say, it was more a sense of keeping the good parts of the previous team, and trying to adapt to what the new coach wanted to do.

“That’s why we struggled in the beginning, but as we worked on it, we came to understand what each other wanted to do. As a team, we have found a good response, but we also wanted to do more. Personally, I enjoyed the more aggressive and faster goal-oriented style of football. But I also discovered new things, including how to take care of the ball, so it was a good experience,” Hatate commented.

Yatao has also been posting some comments from Reo about his Celtic teammates while talking to a You Tube channel in Japan.

“In particular, McGregor always runs for the team, works hard in defence, can carry the ball smoothly in attack, and can hit good shots. And O’Riley is tall and left-footed, can pass the ball well and score goals. I gradually realised our combination was starting to go well. Anyway, O’Riley is a really fantastic player.”

“Scotland is a place rich in nature, and Edinburgh, the city next to Glasgow, has very beautiful buildings, and just walking there makes me feel refreshed. Also, the whole city of Glasgow is enthusiastic about football, so I’m really happy to be able to play in such a city,” Reo said.

On the Celtic support Reo said: “Celtic fans have great degree of enthusiasm for football, so when I go to a cafe after a game or on a day off, the fans often call out to me. For example, a clerk who is a Celtic fan at a cafe once told me, “You don’t have to pay for the coffee, so drink it.” Wow.”

On Brendan Rodgers, Reo Hatate said: “Rodgers our manager presented to our team what he wanted to do while maintaining parts of things that we have been doing well until last season. We certainly suffered early this season, but I gradually began to understand what he wanted to do for our team.”

Yatao also reported that Daizen Maeda was at the airport over the weekend starting to make his journey back to Glasgow to join up with his teammates ahead of the trip to the United States for the three match summer tour. Presumably Reo Hatate is due back on the same day.

Celtic’s other three Japanese players, Kyogo Furuhashi, Tomoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi all featured in the large Celtic squad that travelled to Somerset Park in Ayr on Friday evening, with all three getting minutes in the 1-1 draw with Scott Brown’s charges. Kyogo scored the Celtic goal from the penalty spot.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

1 Comment

  1. Hatate had a fairly non event of a season for ourselves, mainly due to the injury issues.
    Yet also struggled, like so many other players as well, to the adjustments Rodgers was trying to introduce into the team?
    Biggest criticism I personally had upon the return of Rodgers, with not getting our established treble winning players, playing anywhere near the standard that we had become use to?
    Hardly helped with the new players added also struggling to fit into the plans of Rodgers, and so many players dismissed in the process of change between Ange and Rodgers?
    So even though success was gained by the end of the season, it still raised more questions than answers over the course of last season imo?
    We already know that Rodgers has broken up a fair bit of the Ange squad already, which only indicates that Rodgers has completely different ideas upon how he intends to set our team up in future, compared to what we had under Ange imo?
    Think our Asian venture under Rodgers is at an end also, especially when all of our Asian contingent of players struggling so much with the adjustments of playing style under Rodgers, with already dismissal of a few of our Asian players, and I believe that there is more to come also imo?
    Thinking Rodgers is far more interested in the European player going forward, which is a far more competitive market for ourselves to be operating within, especially with attracting the quality of players, Rodgers is trying to install into the team?
    The question still remains with kyogo and Hatate, along with a few others, as to whether they are really Rodgers type of players going forward for ourselves?
    Not convinced that a few of our bigger players are going to be within the bigger picture imo?
    We know the quality within kyogo and Hatate as players for ourselves, but will such quality get the chance to shine, if such players don’t fit in properly to the structure of the team a manager is trying to install?
    Yet we stand to lose Oreily who shone out the brightest with the adjustments of Rodger?
    So potentially a replacement required by the looks of things, and potentially more pressure upon Hatate now to replace what we stand to lose with what Oreily provided for ourselves last season?
    Paulo done a decent enough job in replacing Hatate when he wasn’t available for ourselves, so again raises the question as to whether Paulo is more of a Rodgers type player than Hatate?
    Personally think Hatate has been a brilliant signing for ourselves, and throughly enjoyed so much great moments he has provided for ourselves, and hope it can continue also for ourselves, but remain uncertain he will remain a big part of Rodgers plans going forward all the same?
    Think kyogo is possibly in a similar position also within the planning process of Rodgers also imo?
    Somehow don’t think that through the course of next season, that our teams won’t resemble to much of a look about it, than the one Ange built for ourselves imo?
    To get them changes installed into the team from Rodgers, will possibly take a number of changes in personal for them to be delivered for Rodgers liking also imo?