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Celtic FC Remains on Top in Scotland, But Success Attracts Attention

Aided by its trio of Japanese regulars, Celtic FC defended its Scottish Premiership title, but change is coming after manager Ange Postecoglou's departure.



Celtic FC
From left, Celtic FC's Kyogo Furuhashi, Yuki Kobayashi, Tomoki Iwata, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda along with teammate Joe Hart (back row) celebrate after winning the Scottish Premiership on May 7 at Tynecastle Park in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Russell Cheyne/REUTERS)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Celtic FC Remains on Top in Scotland, But Success Attracts Attention

GLASGOW ― Another Scottish football season has ended, with  Celtic FC retaining its Premiership title. It feels like the end of a chapter as Ange Postecoglou has left to become manager of English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.

During his two seasons in Scotland, Postecoglou won five of the six trophies available to him. His success was helped in no small way by Kyogo Furuhashi, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda ― three players Postecoglou knew from his time managing Yokohama F. Marinos in the J.League.

Since arriving in Scotland during the 2021-22 season, these three players have performed with remarkable consistency. They have all played a major role in the style of soccer Celtic has played under Postecoglou.

But nothing stands still in soccer for long. Success is noticed by teams with larger budgets, who play in bigger leagues. Managers and coaches move on. Similarly, players who excel in the Scottish Premiership can win moves to the better paying clubs in England.

Postecoglou's move south could be the first of a series of changes at Celtic this summer. Speculation is rampant.

For now, the speculation will remain just that. This article will look back at Celtic's 2022-23 Premiership win and highlight the contributions Furuhashi, Hatate and Maeda made to the team. 

Ange Postecoglou has been named the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur. (Russell Cheyne/ACTION IMAGES/via REUTERS)

How the League Was Won Against a Sustained Challenge From Rangers FC

Back in January, the mid-season situation was positive for Celtic. It had a nine-point lead and vastly superior goal difference to its closest challenger, Rangers FC.

While Rangers, under new manager Michael Beale, did all it could to narrow the gap, Celtic's consistency kept its rival from across Glasgow at arm's length.


It should be noted that Rangers was better under Beale. Under his stewardship it won 21 out of the 24 Premiership matches it played. If Rangers can maintain that level next season, it's unlikely that one team will be able to build a nine-point lead by January. 

As it played out, Celtic was able to match the consistency of Rangers under Beale. This enabled it to secure the league title on May 7 when it defeated Heart of Midlothian (Hearts) 2-0. With four games left to play, Celtic could not be caught at the top of the table.

Celtic's 38 league games yielded 32 wins, three draws and three defeats. Its goal difference was +80 and the 99 points it gathered has only been matched or bettered four times this century in Scotland's top league.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

Author: Colin Morrison

Morrison is a freelance sportswriter. Writing since 2016, his byline appears on boxing website NYFights.com and multi-sports platform Spitballingpod.com. His main areas of interest are boxing, soccer, golf and rugby union. Find his stories on SportsLook. Morrison is from Scotland and can be found on Twitter @Morrie1981.

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