Daizen ‘Danger Mouse’ Maeda: “He’s The Strongest, He’s The Quickest, He’s The Best.”

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There are certain Celtic players who have inspired in me a kind of cultish fascination. Earlier in the season when some were wondering what Daizen Maeda brought to the team I wrote some articles praising his work-rate and the unheralded contribution he makes to the side. What a difference a World Cup can make to perception.

The World Cup forced many to take another look at Maeda, and the same with Aaron Mooy. They returned from that competition transformed in the eyes of a lot of people.

They never looked back in terms of their growth within Celtic itself.

Maeda has been an exceptional signing, and he’s one of my cult heroes in the side. The long-standing joke about me is that I was a Samaras fan long before that was fashionable. I’m only slightly ahead of some folk on the Japanese dynamo.

I don’t give a nickname to every Celtic player, and I don’t know why I was inspired to give Maeda one except that I love watching the guy play.

I struggled with it for ages because I couldn’t think of one that was suitable.

For ages, at games, whenever he was on the ball I’d mentally find myself referring to him as DMZ. It was stuck in my head; I don’t know why. I couldn’t work out what the Z was supposed to stand for.

In geopolitical terms, the DMZ is in Korea, not Japan, and had nothing whatsoever to do with football.

Not that any nickname was going to necessarily be football related.

It’s only in the last couple of months that I started referring to him as DM, and that led, almost automatically, to Danger Mouse.

The second the words came out of my mouth I knew I’d nailed it. Amazingly, it took me a month or two to refer back to the theme song itself, but blimey; it could have been written for the guy!

He’s the greatest, he’s fantastic
Wherever there is danger he’ll be there
He’s the ace, he’s amazing
He’s the strongest he’s the quickest he’s the best!

I just bloody well love that!

Doesn’t it sum him up?

Doesn’t that brilliantly encapsulate the footballer we have on our hands?

Look at the goal he scored at Ibrox, the speed of thought, that athleticism.

Look at the goal from the weekend; how does he get to that ball first, with four Ibrox players in front of him and one almost on top of it? And the cross is perfection itself, under pressure, hit with uncanny confidence.

He personifies the way the whole team plays. He is the embodiment of We Never Stop, and the more I watch him the more I realise how lucky we are to have him.

He has 11 goals and 7 assists in this campaign.

As impressive as those numbers are, on their own, they don’t come close to doing justice to his overall contribution to this side.

It was inevitable that he would play a starring role at the weekend, and although much of the focus in the media has been on the defensive lapses that led to the goal, the real focus should be on the unfathomable alertness and ruthlessness shown by Maeda in exploiting the situation.

If he had been on the other team, the media would be hailing this guy from the rooftops as a player of immense quality. When you look at the honey they’ve poured on the likes of Ryan Kent, it is ridiculous that this guy remains largely unheralded.

Except by us. We know genius when we see it.

We know quality when it stands out, this obvious, in front of us.

Maeda is in the pantheon of heroes now … he could make himself a legend here.

He really is, as the song says, the strongest, the quickest and the best.

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  • Chris says:

    It made some difference that Maeda was able to cross for the goal with his right foot, his natural foot.
    People tend to forget that so many of his crosses come in from the left, his weaker foot, and a lot to do with why a lot of them are hit and miss.

    • woodyiom says:

      Spot on Chris (albeit he should do a bit better at times on the left – he’s a professional footballer.) It’s exactly for that reason that I’ve was saying for weeks when Jota was out that Ange should have played Bernabei on the left wing and Daizen on the right rather than playing Haksa on the right who is definitely not a right winger.

  • Johnny Green says:

    Dangermouse 🙂 🙂 🙂


    It’s just a pity that the “Buzzbomb” has already been taken, and there will only ever be one of them.

  • Eire goCeltic says:

    I wholeheartedly agree, James. Wonderful player. Yes, the expert commentators (Pundits) and USA style Yellow Journalist who bent towards Rangers, were non stop praising Gers players.
    “The gap was so small, you had to measure it with a micrometer”.
    Post-Sunday, they have turned against the players. “Up to 12 should go”. “A quintet (of very good players , mind you) will bring 15 mill quid”. “It’s going to take some time to rebuild”. “Not good for Scottish football”. “Up to 12 could go”. Really? These media Peepul support Beale’s talk of a major reconstruction. I don’t. All this Public Talk is devaluing the Club and the value of the players they supported and passionately promoted. I’m meaning Pounds Value. Come in Dave King. At least Sutton doesn’t bag the Club he played for.
    I’m like most Celtic supporters…interested, but not really concerned. Sorry to leave your theme James.

    • JimBhoy says:

      Beale will realistically need 5 or 6 first team players in just to replace those likely to leave and leave free of charge I may add. With a few of the fringe players pushing to the first team. They would be mad to buy Tillman now.

      I think Jack and/or Arfield may sign up for another year, trumpeted thru the papers as huge signing positives to play their parts on the bench/treatment table.

  • Johnno says:

    Can’t recall an attacking player able to still play so well without the football, where there usually judged upon.
    Yet still has enough about him to be able to contribute hugely in an attacking sence also even if not in the manner a kyogo, Jota or abada can do.
    That hamdump pitch doesn’t allow for players who have the ability to run with the football to play there more natural game which still remains a disgrace in today’s game and hardly a good look upon Scottish football still imo.
    Yet meada was still able to produce the biggest moment of footballing intelligence to still win us the game.
    Use the nicknames myself for players yet struggling for one for meada, and must admit James, danger mouse will never be one I’ll be using for meada

  • Tenaka Khan says:

    I fully agree with Chris. I haven’t managed to get over to Scotland since Covid and I’m desperate to get over and see the movement of players like Maeda, Hatate and Kyogo from a stadium viewpoint rather than just TV cameras.

  • Davie says:

    Maeda lures them into false sense of security then turns up the volume, strong and fast with the bravery to succeed.
    A song that I would like to use and change some words a little is Cry to Me by Solomon Burke, would suit us in these type of matches v The Rangers.

  • king murdy says:

    brilliant wee player….his quickness of mind on sunday to get the ball and wrap his foot around it for an exquisite cross was just fukn fabulous…..i love wee daizen….he doesn’t need to go in for patting the badge or geeing up the punters….his actions do all that !!
    he just goes quietly about his business…..and as chris said….he is naturally right footed, yet is always on the left….so all the more reason for plaudits…..

  • SSMPM says:

    I thought Maeda, like CCV, had an immense impact on the game. So rather than have a Man of the Match, I’ve made them Men of the Match so good was the impact of both of them. It seems a total nonsense to try to separate their contributions.
    I forced myself to listen to SSB podcast comments on and of the game at a friend’s behest and couldn’t believe the distain posted about Maeda from that silly fool Keevens who basically dissed his performance and lack of impact. He also had a go at Jota for celebrating his goal contribution as he came off the pitch at H/T, “like he had just won the game for Celtic”, which of course silly twat Keevens, he did.
    Seriously, I ask what is the relevance of him to SSB and to Scottish football. Everything coming from him is basically marred with spiteful opinion, incorrect information and speculation. Yet they promote him and revere him like some ancient font of knowledge and wisdom. At least Mark Wilson, who has seemed caught up in his own promotional effort on there, had the sense to immediately disagree and disassociate himself from those bitter auld fool comments. SSB need to take a good look at themselves if they want to regain any sense of a responsible broadcaster. Seriously what is the point of this narcissistic fool. HH

  • JimBhoy says:

    Maeda – Honest and unrelenting, must be murder to play against this machine.

  • Johnny Green says:

    He doesn’t need a nickname, but if this was a competition, and because of his speed and work rate, I would go for the “Flying Ant”

  • Frankiebhoy says:

    Why not call him hoover as he cleans up everything as in Dyson hh

  • 25th of May 1967 says:

    Like another poster said, I knew what we were getting with Daizen; blistering speed, huge workmate and goals. 11goals this season, so far, whilst being played on the left. Imagine if he were on the left this season; 20 goals?

    The assist he made at the weekend should be remembered for ever by all Celtic supporters. It was a thing of beauty, and if it had been done by any of the opponents, well you know what would have been said.

    Don’t forget that Diazen has scored in a World Cup. We are indeed fortunate that he plays for us…HH.

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