The Celtic Boss Backs Maeda. But Maeda Has To Start Backing Himself.

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It isn’t a surprise that Ange was directly asked about Daizen Maeda, and it’s not a surprise that he chose to back his player up.

He knows what Maeda can do; he was his manager in Japan. He also knows what the player can’t do yet, which is why he pointed out that the kid is still developing as a footballer. We sometimes forget that.

Maeda is 24, in a strange country. He initially seemed to have settled in brilliantly, but he has definitely lost a little something in the last few months. Still, he’s clearly a talent, a big talent, and the manager knows it well.

But there are areas of his game that need work, and that’s equally obvious.

The manager believes in him though.

The thing is, Maeda has to start believing in himself. We have a team low on confidence it seems to me, and Maeda is a symptom and a victim of that. He’s trying hard. Perhaps too hard.

He needs to stop sweating it.

He needs to start taking that extra second to make better decisions, and if he does that then I think he’ll back up soon enough.

Ange is right, the idea that we should start junking players is a nonsense.

Maeda is part of this squad and a big part of it.

His work-rate is astonishing, and as I’ve pointed out in previous articles he has to be exhausting to play against … and that works for us in ways which aren’t always obvious. This guy brings net gains to the team, and I believe that and somewhere I’m sure is data that bears it out. We have to be patient, as with all the team right now.

He has to improve though, that’s obvious, and we can’t wait around for his performances to start stepping up.

It has to be come soon, otherwise he’s looking at a spell on the bench. The boss didn’t build this team to keep one guy in the side when he isn’t performing. It’s the whole point of having this big squad in the first place.

I think when we have a full complement of wingers you will see him named amongst the subs for a while. When the rest of this team has its confidence up, his will follow.

But nor he nor the manager wants this guy to be carrying us right now. We can’t afford it.

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  • S Thomas says:

    Brilliant result last night, not quite hampden in the sun, but brilliant all the same. Salah was ruthless last night, a real fox in the box, that’s what top class forward players do. John hartson said today, that Celtic have had 50 odd shots on goal, and our strikers have scored none. They have to do more, they have been very disappointing . We have had a lot of chances in games, with the shakhtar game been the one that got away. We could and probably should be on 5 points the now. If we had a salah, a Kane, a Haaland we would have been in with a chance of qualifying from this group, as some of our play has been decent.

  • Jim says:

    Maeda is worthy of a Celtic shirt in terms of effort and spirit, love the guy for what he puts in, but he is footballer of fairly unremarkable skills, a sort of Japanese Johnny Doyle.

    Sure, the Rangers result last night was funny on a petty level, but it is also a measure of how far the game in Scotland has fallen.
    Time to wheel out Henry McLeish or some such, and have a root and branch review of the game in Scotland with nothing ruled out.
    We need it, because the big two only ever think of themselves, and this is what it has led to.
    We can’t properly compete with the bigger money-bags countries, but we should be doing far better than this

  • Geoff says:

    Maeda Hatate and Kyogo all seem to be suffering really obvious fluctuations in form just now and it’s quite possible the upcoming World Cup could be playing on their minds?

    • Tom Foolery says:

      No really. Maeda offers nothing and never has done in any real terms. Hatate runs out of steam after 65 mins where his passing becomes increasingly erratic and he was the same last season but he was excused because he had already played a full season in Japan but yet only 3 months into this season he is suffering from the same ‘fatigue’ syndrome. Kyogo imo is just inconsistent.

    • Jackson says:

      Have to agree with Geoff about our Japanese players and I don’t think it’s anything to do with the World Cup
      Maeda and Hatate are way off it ATM
      I just can’t see a player in Maeda and Hatate needs a spell on bench, sure hope this is a blip with our Japan players, we have a league to win with some tough away games coming up

  • Tom Foolery says:

    He hasn’t ‘lost’ anything. Maeda has been poor since he walked in the door. As far as i can see he offers nothing in terms of his finishing, ball control, crossing, passing or the ability to take people on. In fact the only thing he does consistently is to stamp on opponents feet after the ball is gone. But if running around like a headless chicken is a quality that some of our fans like to defend then who am i to disagree.

  • Peterbrady says:

    What we need is a forward coach i.e. king Henrik to coach the players on stone cold ruthless no hesitation on the art of scoring and stop being rabbits in headlights in front of goal we are playing never stop football without the end product but it will come in Ange we trust HAIL! HAIL!

  • SSMPM says:

    The rangers have embarrassed Scotland. The rangers are an embarrassment to our league.

  • king murdie says:

    i don’t know if wee maeda is gonna improve dramatically as a goal scorer…or his touch…think he is fairly limited…tho his work rate is phenomenal….and i love him for that, and it is easy to forget he’s only 24 and still developing…
    celtic cannot afford technically better players…that’s a fact…what we have, we have to keep i believe…and try and get our form back to retain the title..
    yea, was good to see the huns being humped last night…but i wasn’t ecstatic…it’s only 6 yrs ago we got a worse humping in barcelona…who was scotlands embarrassment that night?….i could see us getting similar from RM if they needed the points/goal differance…
    i just shuddered, glad it was them and not us…
    scottish football has come as far as it’s gonna come i think….apart from the odd trip to a eufa final like last year for the huns…

  • Dennis McLaughlan says:

    Time and again Maeda gathered the ball on the halfway line and had time to turn and attack the Leipzig defence ,instead he chose the easy back pass and wondered out of the game. Not nearly good ènough.

  • Iljas Baker says:

    I think we have been a bit mesmerized by our Japanese contingent, partly because they were exotic and partly because they hit the ground running in the SPFL. Now Kyogo looks off the boil in SPFL and Maeda and Hatate very inconsistent. That was not going to suddenly change in Europe where the calibre of player we have played against has been much higher than in SPFL. Only Hatate has produced one really god performance – against R Madrid. Maeda’s speed (and Abada’s by the way) looks a lot less dangerous when better defenders are being played against – even Jot’s trickery has been easier for better defenders to nullify. The players are all having difficulty stepping up to the required level. Can they? TBH I’m not sure. We were all quite surprised that Hatate and Kyogo weren’t certain starts for the Japanese national team, I think we now better understand why that is the case. But why Maeda gets game time is a mystery.

  • jrm63 says:

    Maeda – first touch is truly dreadful, as is his finishing. That will not improve at his age. He is not as quick as was advertised either. Not good enough

  • David Miller says:

    Someone at 24 is not a kid.come on.

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