Ange Postecoglou lauds 'outstanding' Celtic star who goes under the radar

By Lewis Laird

November 10, 2022

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou has praised ‘outstanding’ Hoops forward Daizen Maeda after his contribution off the bench in the 2-1 win over Motherwell.

The Japanese international started the game at Fir Park as a substitute, with the 57-year-old choosing to go with Liel Abada and Jota in wide areas.

However, late in the game, with the Bhoys still chasing a second goal, Maeda was introduced to the fixture and played his part in the victory.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

The winger latched onto a wonderfully weighted through ball from David Turnbull before striking it home under Liam Kelly.

Maeda has had his fair share of critics so far this campaign, despite continuing to showcase his work ethic on the left-hand side.

Speaking in the aftermath of the 2-1 win in North Lanarkshire, Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou hailed the Hoops attacker for his contributions, which might not always get the headlines with his hard word for the side.

The former Socceroos boss also praised several of his forwards for their impact off the bench in recent weeks, which has helped the Bhoys to three points.

When asked if Maeda’s performances go under the radar, Ange said [The Scotsman]: “It depends on what you’re looking at. Not internally.

“He works so hard for the team. He’s surrounded by other attackers who are different to him. He doesn’t get the headlines. But the contribution he makes is immense.

Photo by Mateusz Slodkowski/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

“I left him out for the last couple of games to freshen him up. He was outstanding again. The subs coming on were really important for us. He finished it off. At the weekend, it was Kyogo and Liel (Abada). The lads have a good attitude about rotating the team, which is not easy because they all want to play all the time.”

Maeda’s confidence boosted after recent showings and Japan World Cup call.

Despite facing some criticism at the beginning of the season, Daizen Maeda has bounced back brilliantly and produced some crucial goals for the side in the last few games.

Goals against Hearts and Motherwell on the road have ultimately been crucial in helping the Hoops to three points and continuing their strong start to the season.

The former Yokohama F Marinos man even put in a strong showing away to Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, where the attacking players had to do a lot of hard defensive work.

And that is why Maeda is such a good option for Postecoglou to have. Not only has he started producing in front of goal once again, but he also defends from the front and piles the pressure on opposition defenders.

Photo by PressFocus/MB Media/Getty Images

His recent goals have come at a perfect time and align with his call-up to the Japan squad for the World Cup. So, we should see the winger headed to Qatar full of confidence.

Hopefully, that experience will see him come back to Glasgow even more confident and ready to kick on for the second half of the campaign.

Maeda is certainly a player Ange Postecoglou is a big fan of, and fingers crossed, there is even more to come following his return from Qatar.

In other news, “It’s not easy”; Postecoglou hails Celtic’s character after hard-fought Motherwell win.