The debate in some places over Daizen Maeda is becoming a little crazy. That cohort of our support who enjoy writing players off before they’ve even properly gotten their feet under them are now turning on him with their typical fury.
But for the rest of us, it’s take a deep breath and relax time.
This guy has a tougher adjustment curve than others do.
He actually played an entire season prior to his move to Scotland – where he was the top scorer in the league – and so there is a huge amount on his shoulders as he tries to settle in, tries to cope with a second punishing schedule on top of the first and gets to know his team-mates and Ange’s style of play … slowly but surely he’ll get there.
Some players can settle right away, or at least hit the ground running – like Hatate and Kyogo – and others need a spell of acclimation before they are properly doing it for you. A case in point is our big Greek striker Giakoumakis.
He had to put up with all the same negativity from certain people when he was just in the door, including some ex-Celts in the media whose entire reason for being seems to be attacking this club and those who play for it.
He has turned almost all of them with some sterling displays and that hat-trick against Dundee has done him no harm at all.
Maeda has been specifically picked by the manager for what he knows he can bring to the team.
This was not some random choice or player recommended by the scouting department; Ange is choosing the tools for this job himself, knowing exactly what he wants in every position and this guy is part of the plan.
We simply must have faith in that.
The truth is, with even Hatate going off the boil a wee bit a long Japanese season is already catching up with these guys a bit.
They will get us through this campaign, I’m sure, but the fact is we’re probably not going to see the best of some of Ange’s players until the next campaign when they have a full pre-season under their belts.
In the meantime, have a little faith. You can see in flashes what Maeda will bring to us, and I suspect before too long we’ll be singing his praises along with the rest.