Willie Wallace wore the Number 8 jersey for Celtic after his move from Hearts in December 1966 and it took him 79 appearances for Jock Stein’s side to score 50 goals Celtic, two of them incidentally were featured on The Celtic Star last night as we looked back on Celtic’s 3-1 European Cup semi-final, first leg win over Dukla Prague on 12 April 1967.
Wispy notes that Kyogo is on track to reach 50 Celtic goals even quicker that himself as the Japanese striker is just two short on 48 goals in 74 appearances for Ange Postecoglou’s side. The Lisbon Lion has become a huge Kyogo fan and marvelled at his performance at the weekend and notes, as we also covered yesterday, that Kyogo had scored five consecutive goals against theRangers this year with Celtic two other goals coming by Daizen Maeda before Kyogo’s five and Jota after the Japanese striker piled on the agony to theRangers five times on the bounce.
“When I first saw Kyogo, I thought he would be a Jinky-type forward. He’s small, quick, full of skill and he can finish, too. He’s been outstanding for Ange and Celtic,” the Lisbon Lion told Scottish Sun. “Kyogo hasn’t taken long to get close to that 50 mark and he deserves to join all the great players in doing that.
“Bert Herdman, my old Raith Rovers manager, used to have a saying about strikers like Kyogo. He would say, ‘He’s only got one trick, and that’s scoring goals!’.
“You just look at Kyogo at the weekend — he got three chances and he put them all away. The first one was offside, but he came back for more and his two goals were deadly.
“Kyogo’s movement is excellent around the box. He finished off the cutback really well for the first and then he was sharp for the second. That shows he is an all-round striker. He can score different types of goals, but he’s also a team player. He works so hard for Celtic in attack and that’s a big reason for the way they can dominate teams.”
“He’s not the biggest and he has to take a lot of rough tackles and fouls, but you never see him complaining — he just gets on with it. I watch him play and I don’t see any fear. He is just determined to keep scoring goals.
“Teams have tried different ways to stop him, but he’s a really clever striker and is also the man for the big occasion. Kyogo has five goals in his last three games against (the)Rangers and they have all been important ones. When you have big players like that who can produce in the biggest games, it’s massive for any team.”
“I used to play a bit deeper at Hearts before I signed for Celtic and regularly wore No 8. When I moved clubs, I just stuck with that number and wore it in the final in Lisbon.
“I was playing in one of the old inside positions and that was No 8 back then, but I suppose it isn’t really associated with strikers. Celtic have had some really good players wear that No 8 strip down the years. I think of guys like Paul McStay and Scott Brown, two big figures in the club’s history.
“Now Kyogo has that No 8 shirt and while I don’t know the reason behind that, I am happy to see him doing it proud.”
“I was a bit disappointed with (the)Rangers on Saturday. I didn’t see the drive of the Rangers teams I played against. They caused Celtic some problems from crosses and set-pieces, but there is a gap between the teams.
“The league is over. Ange won’t allow Celtic to throw it away from this position. The Scottish Cup semi-final at the end of the month is now the big one for both teams.
“Celtic will want the Treble and (the)Rangers are desperate to stop them and get their hands on the Cup. It’s the only trophy Ange hasn’t won so far and they will be fired up for it,” Wispy said.
“I’m hoping Reo Hatate is back for Celtic because I do feel they missed him at the weekend. But even without him, they still had too much for (the)Rangers and I would make them favourites again in the semi.
“When you have Kyogo in the form he is in, backed up by the likes of Jota, Celtic will be really hard to stop,” Willie Wallace said. Here are some of Wispy’s Celtic goals for you to enjoy…