Wednesday evening’s match against Hibs saw Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers rotate around his midfield. The Parkhead boss made a change many were eager to see, and it turned out to be hugely effective.

Indeed Tomoki Iwata gained his maiden start of the campaign. He started at the base of the trio, and this allowed Callum McGregor to push further forward.

Rodgers has been keen to deploy such a system for a while, although Iwata’s lack of fitness didn’t allow him to. He said (Glasgow Times): “It would have happened before but he [Iwata] wasn’t available. Whatever the game needs, that’s something we will look at.

“He’s shown up very well in training and in the games where he’s come in, he’s done well. Against a good side like Hibs, you can see it’s something that can function well.”

Tomoki Iwata
4th November 2023; Victoria Park, Dingwall, Scotland: Scottish Premiership Football, Ross County versus Celtic; Tomoki Iwata of Celtic

Along with the double-treble-winning manager, many Celtic fans were eager for this tweak to be made. Going forward, it could turn out to be Rodgers’ first-choice midfield because it undoubtedly brings out the key qualities of many key players.


  1. Rodgers coming out with some amount of bull, is nothing new to ourselves and hardly helps himself either creditably wise either imo.
    Iwata has been available on more than enough occasions, and a total lack of him being used by Rodgers, simple as that.
    Nearly every available combination has been used by Rodgers in the midfield areas, especially since the Hatate injury?
    Eventually he’s used iwata in a position that many within the support was hoping for, and worked very well.
    Now the Rodgers excuses with bullshit?
    Ok he’s made a mistake in taking so long to implement that change that was possibly required, maybe sooner imo?
    But could also do without the shite talk with taking so long to make the decision also?


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