Team selection question number two of the day; should we go with Maeda and Jota alongside the central striker, or should we start Liel Abada, who scored up there earlier in the season but who right now is in a battle with those two for a starting slot.
I love Maeda and Jota both, but as much as the Japanese has impressed us all I think that Abada is the better footballer and needs to start the game. He brings us goals and assists and a cutting edge that we haven’t yet seen for Daizen although he’s a finisher too.
Abada just has that bit of extra quality and the partnership between him and Jota was electrifying last season.
The way he holds and runs with the balls opens up defences.
More than that, if he’s playing wide right then Jota is wide left and I think that’s the Portuguese winger’s natural role.
Not that it matters much as Ange likes to swap them during games.
I think he just poses a greater threat in front of goal and defenders are more afraid of him.
Maeda has powerful weapons to bring to bear, but he’s just not got that little bit of magic that Abada brings to the table, and that’s why I’d start the Israeli tomorrow.
Maeda is a great player to have sitting on the bench.
That natural energy of his is potent enough from kick off, but if you introduce him with twenty minutes to go against tired legs … well I don’t think their players can possibly keep up with him.
In the meantime, we want our best out there in the starting slots and I think most fans would agree that as good as the Japanese winger is, the Israeli just has more to offer us in games like this where the pitches are small and tight and defences are packed and need that little bit of fancy footwork to open them up. Abada gives us that and more.