Opinion – Tomoki Iwata is long overdue starting for Celtic

Tomoki Iwata deserves a start and it will also allow Callum McGregor to play in his best position as a more productive attacking midfielder…

Tomoki Iwata again looked the part coming off the bench in the 3-1 win over St Johnstone on Sunday. The Japanese midfielder has strength and guile, and more importantly does his job superbly.

He’s been very unlucky not to get a regular start in my opinion. He reminds me of Neil Lennon in the way he goes about his job, although Tomoki has a bit more skill and goal threat about him!

Tomoki getting a start would also allow our skipper Callum McGregor to occupy a more attacking role, something he’s superb at, and a role that suits his talent more in my opinion. Look at his goal on Sunday, that’s the Callum McGregor we want to see, getting forward and grabbing goals. Similar to the Callum McGregor we watched under Brendan Rodgers in the Irishman’s first spell at the club.

Tomoki Iwata sitting deep would allow Callum to roam forward more freely and that would be of great benefit to the side. With Reo Hatate sidelined Brendan Rodgers has looked at various players to play in the advanced midfield role alongside Matt O’Riley. It’s fair to say that the likes of David Turnbull and Paulo Bernardo have not won the right to becoming an automatic pick for the manager.

So why not give McGregor the freedom to play further up the park? On Sunday both Calmac and Matt scored at Perth while Tomo got a brilliant assist during his short time on the park. Brendan has indicated that several fringe players will get there chance soon, and Tomoki is surely one he has in mind.

A midfield against Hibs tomorrow night of Iwata, McGregor and O’Riley is well worth trying and there is no doubt that the Japanese midfielder certainly deserves his chance.  Here’s that assist from Sunday at McDiarmid Park…

Just an Ordinary Bhoy

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Harry’s great friend and former Celtic teammate Tommy Callaghan with biographer Matt Corr signing copies of Harry Hood – Twice as Good

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About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. Thank you so much for this article. Iwata has been superb, v Rangers last season, this season v Feyenoord Livvy StJ… he brings strength which we badly need. I beg Rodgers to play him in tough games Inc Europe

  2. Agree.Time to give him and M Johnston a start along with Oh.
    Different shape provided the result on Sun.