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Ange Hit Back At Initial Naka Comparisons, But Celtic Fans Think Hatate Has It All.

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Watching Hatate score from distance last night, I was reminded, fleetingly, of the best goal I’ve ever witnessed scored by a Celtic player; Nakamura’s incredible long-range effort against Rangers at Celtic Park, the bending, dipping, swerving strike which two keepers wouldn’t have gone near far less one.

Last night’s goal did not have the technical excellence of that Nakamura howitzer.

It didn’t bend and dip and swerve and seem to change direction midway through just to throw the keeper off further, but it was a piece of brilliance nonetheless from a player who was having an absolute stormer for the second league game in a row.

When Ange was asked, by Chick Young, about the Nakamura-Hatate comparison, he was clearly irritated by the question and made it clear that it wasn’t an appropriate one. He doesn’t judge his players on what others at the club do or have done, and I understand that and appreciate where the man is coming from.

But in the stands it’s a little different, both for good and for ill.

Look at the number of players who, in my view, have suffered for not being Kieran Tierney. Too many of our strikers, in the early years, laboured under the weight of not being Larsson.

I can fully understand why the manager wants to discourage big comparisons.

They lead, invariably, to big disappointments. And this is likely to be especially true in the case of Hatate as he and Naka aren’t comparable in the positions they play on the pitch.

But the comparisons are inevitable. They are inevitable because there are flashes of the Naka magic in this kid, and you can see that a mile away. His first touch is excellent. His ability to make a pass, and especially a dangerous pass, is exquisite. He is fearless. And now we know that he can score goals, and not just tap-ins but end of year contenders.

That was a tough environment for him last night, and he came through it with flying colours.

We clearly have a special talent on our hands here, the sort of player who can do wonderful things with the ball and can play just about anywhere in the midfield area.

So you will hear more Nakamura comparisons, and Ange will field more questions about them. it is unfair, to an extent, but it’s not exactly a major insult.

If it puts pressure on the kid, well, you know what? I am betting he can handle it.

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4 comments
  • Henry says:

    He is a gem and his goal was top drawer. HH

  • Roonsa says:

    The technique of hitting the ball on the run like that and keeping it down is a very difficult one to get right. Some are saying Gordon shoulda saved it. I wouldn’t blame him if I was a jambo (thank Christ I am not). He was unsighted by a combination of Hatate’s powerful shot and the centre-half crossing his line of vision at the time it was struck. He overcompensated and seemed to dive too early. I don’t care anyway. It went in and it counted. That’s all that mattered.

  • larsson7 says:

    The speed of the ball,if CG had got near it he was going with it into into the net.with it the sheer power.
    Yes the first touch is the most important one.

  • Steve-oh says:

    You are of course wrong, Hatate is a mere journeyman who is not strong in any particular position because an ex player who knows Scottish football and has played for the likes of Dundee and Sunderland said so on the radio

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