Why Maeda Does Not Deserve To Become The New Celtic Fan’s Whipping Boy.

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What is it with some of our supporters that they seem to need a Celtic player to pound on? What is it that motivates them? They certainly don’t seem to derive the least bit of pleasure out of the team.

You aren’t enjoying yourself if you are looking to poke holes in the progress and pick people to dislike. It’s frankly ridiculous.

Some of our fans have gone through quite the list over the last few years.

For a while last season one of the guys they’d “made their minds up” about was Giorgios Giakoumakis.

The player they hung in longest on slamming was Greg Taylor. Now it’s Daizen Maeda.

The issues they have with this guy seem, primarily, to revolve around not understanding what it is that he does.

Is he a striker? A winger? They appear to be unsure.

Tell them he was the top scorer in Japan last season and they hand waive that as it if was nothing. Tell them that he has contributed goals and assists for us and they don’t seem to care.

Last night I was listening to the ever-brilliant Endless Celts podcast when Maeda’s name came up in exactly this context; those boys had a statistic which honestly surprised me.

One of the guys said that since January, when he signed, he is second only to Jota in goal contributions … that would surprise me if it was true. But actually, his stats are impressive.

Maeda has had a hand in five goals this season alone, four assists and one strike. Last season, he scored eight goals and had five assists. That’s nine assists and nine goals … the guy has played a little over 30 games, and he’s been used as a sub in many of them and subbed off in almost all as the manager goes through the gears with his rotation system.

Yet he’s accounted for 18 goals.

His minutes per goals and assists must, therefore, be phenomenal.

Is he a better football than Jota? Than Abada?

You can argue the toss on those questions all day, every day and I would probably lean on their side when it comes to sheer quality, and I would start them both before him … but the idea that he contributes nothing is so far removed from reality that it’s not even worth seriously debating with people.

Aside from the stats, he exhausts defenders and midfielders who have to spend 90 minutes chasing after him and marking him tightly.

Watch the sheer number of times defenders are caught out of position because they’ve tried to keep up with his pace and then can’t scramble back again when the ball breaks loose.

It happens in every match.

That pays dividends when we make substitutions late in the game and fresh legs go up against footballers who are out on their feet. That pace of his and his almost limitless energy have wreaked havoc on our opponents and that’s not always readily apparent when you’re just watching a game and reacting to what you see on the ball.

Much of what this guy contributes isn’t measured that way.

Ange keeps playing this guy for very specific reasons and he knows exactly what he’s doing and what he gets out of him. Some of our fans should have a little more patience and faith and be a little less quick to jump on footballers who maybe aren’t at their best at the moment. If this guy wasn’t giving the manager something he wouldn’t be in the side.

Yeah, I know I screwed up the stats … that’s what I get for trying to do three things at once this afternoon. Nine goals. Nine assists. In the 30 odd games he’s played. The piece stands up. He’s not contributing nothing. The manager has good reasons for keeping him in this team.

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  • Paul says:

    Me personally, I don’t rate turnbull. I just don’t see what everyone else seems to. I think his football brain is too slow for players like Kyogo & Ange’s way of playing.
    I would never slate him though

  • Charlie Kelly says:

    Can’t believe some fans are having a go at
    maeda his work rate is unbelievable and he is always looking to unselfishly make runs to help others to get into goal scoring positions,Why do they have to pick on players I have followed Celtic for 72yrs and in that time,there has been players that I never really took to but when they pull on that jersey,they give 100% so give it a rest or follow another team HH

  • Sophie Johnstone says:

    He had a poor game at the weekend,but does that really equate to being a whipping boy

  • Johnny Green says:

    I have criticised plenty of Celtic players over the years, we all do, and I am perfectly entitled to do that, However, I still want them to play well whenever they pull that jersey on, come what may.

    I appreciate Maeda’s contribution and I always want him in the team. His work rate is phenomenal, he is fast, he tracks back, defends and is a constant threat up front, I wish we had more like him.

  • MarkE says:

    Playing against tightly packed ten man defences maybe isn’t the right game for Maeda, similarly Kyogo; both play best with space to operate in and/or run into, so either we change tact in these games & try draw teams out into an open game or we change personnel until we’re a goal or two to the good and teams have to open up a bit, then unleash players like them

    • Johnny Green says:

      Just about every domestic game we play has a packed defence and it’s up to the players to make and find their own spaces, Both Maeda and Kyogo come into that category

      • MarkE says:

        Some pitches are bigger than others, like our own, which creates that extra yard or two even when teams want to dig in.

        You ever heard the saying ‘horses for courses’? Basically meaning some racehorses, or football players in this instance, run better on particular courses but not so well on others; its been well documented!

        Same thing can be said for particular types of footballers, where their skillset is suited against particular rival set ups, but not against others, as is my comment

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Watched Celtic for over 70 years and its been ever thus. Some fans just love to slag players off, its as if they get their kicks out of it. Granted their are always some players who are inconsistent, Maeda isn’t one of them. He’s in the team because of his speed and workrate. His talent for this isn’t the glamorous side of the game but I would bet his team mates appreciate what he brings to the team.
    One league defeat in a year and some of our support go into overdrive in their criticism. It was a very disappointing display on Sunday but that’s football, even the Lisbon Lions had their off days now and again.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    Mark E
    Agree with all the points you make hopefully Big Ange has realised this. Maeda and Kyogo need space to operate. Big Gackie needs to be used from the start in these tight Parks.

  • Frankie says:

    There is enough clowns having a go at us, papers, numpties from the other side, every man and his dog , we all need to stick together and no negatives about any of our staff.

    • David Paterson says:

      Someone needs to have an opinion on the way they perform, it’s not acceptable just to stay schtume, paid thousands a week to deliver 90 minutes of pure pish, they should donate their wages to Charity, as they certainly didn’t work for it

  • John Gow says:

    Funnily enough I’ve not heard anyone slating DM and I go every week. Wonder who’s doing it?

  • jrm63 says:

    I do not agree with picking on Maeda. Abada and Kyogo were just as bad, None of them turned up Sunday. They were just useless. It really was one of the worst Celtic performances I have seen. That was back to the 1990s

  • David Paterson says:

    He missed a sitter against Real and also Shaktar, I would not consider him a winger, can’t get past a player and if he does, his crossing leave a lot to be desired, as a striker, the jury is out on that one, even his best asset, running, seems to be catching up on him and the season has barely started, just hope they can resolve these issues ( PRONTO ) We don’t need lame ducks, like the one’s on the field against St Mirren

  • kingmurdy says:

    it’s what ignorant fans have always done…at parkhead…every other ground i suppose..
    i used to stand in the jungle…watching the great stein teams…
    there was a guy up behind me who, week in, week out…winged and moaned about jimmy johnstone…..wee jinky !!! FFS
    maeda’s touch could be better i suppose….but by jesus does he put a shift in !!!!

  • Iljas baker says:

    The problem isn’t the individual ‘s performance in general but in a specific context of tight well disciplined defenses like that of St M at the weekend. The problem was exacerbated by playing Maeda Kyogo and Abada in the same line up. None of them can dribble and so we’re easily shepherded down and byline and dispossessed. Even if Maeda or Abada had managed to get a cross in it would have to be something special as Kyogo was never going to beat big defenders and goalie.

  • Lanarkbhoy says:

    Before criticising or analysing any player Sunday is best forgotten, worse than bad nightmare. Now to Maeda, whilst he has notched a few since arriving he has also been very wasteful the two CL games are glaring examples. I appreciate and commend his work rate. However he cannot be considered as a serious goal threat, we also don’t get the best of Jota when he is played on the write to accommodate Maeda we are much less threatening. I haven’t looked deeply at the stats but I’m sure our goal rate is higher with Abada and Jota on the flanks, we are certainly better balanced and more threatening. I appreciate rotation is necessary but I would not have Maeda as a regular starter I see his role as an impact substitute.

  • Effarr says:

    I think Kyogo should always start at Parkhead and Giakoumakis in away games. I felt even that Forrest could have done something in the second half.

    As for complaining: I remember Celtic getting beat at home by Ayr United shortly after winning in Lisbon. I took a workmate, whose son later played for St Mirren and Scotland, and who was an Ayr United supporter, to the game to see his team getting cuffed. Talk about being embarrassed. I was raging, and that was the Lisbon Lions for you.

    They weren`t unbeatable either.

  • Eamonn Little says:

    I can remember a guy sitting next to me in the Lisbon Lions 20 years ago,hated Paul Lambert,and would let us all know,he couldn’t for the life of him see what he brought to the team.You couldn’t make it up.Some people just don’t know the game,particularly the glory hunters.

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