BBC 5 Live note Daizen Maeda's role in shock Japan win; want more Celtic involvement

By Lewis Laird

November 23, 2022

BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Pat Nevin praised the work rate of Daizen Maeda and Japan teammates after their shock victory over Germany.

But, the former Scotland international still believes there should have been more Celtic involvement in their World Cup squad at Qatar.

Japan got their campaign underway this afternoon, and they faced the extremely difficult task of taking on 2014 winners Germany.

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

With more tough opposition in Group E awaiting Hajime Moriyasu and his squad, who will also face Costa Rica and Spain, a result in the first game was imperative if they had hopes of getting out of the group.

Celtic striker Daizen Maeda led the line from the start and was his usual busy self, pressing the opposition’s backline. The 24-year-old even looked to get on the scoresheet, but his effort was called offside.

Japan found themselves falling one goal behind in the opening 45 minutes, as Ilkay Gundogan opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

Maeda was then replaced before the hour, and the game was then flipped on its head by the Samurai Blue’s, who scored two goals to take home all three points.

Speaking directly after the result, BBC Five Live presenter Kelly Cates opened up on the new found relationship between Scotland and Australia, which will leave many Scots supporting the Socceroos at the winter tournament.

However, Cates also rightly pointed out the relationship that Japan holds in Scotland, with Celtic being at the forefront of that, thanks to Ange Postecoglou and his five signings from the J-League.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Scottish pundit Pat Nevin praised Maeda and his teammates for their work rate throughout the match against Germany but also pointed out his belief that more than one Celtic star should have been selected for the Japan squad heading for Qatar.

He joked [BBC Radio 5 Live (15.06)]: “Well, not enough of them (were picked). Oddly, it slightly put me off; I love Japanese football, and I love the energy they bring to the games.

“However, the fact they didn’t bring Kyogo Furuhashi stunned most people in Scotland and certainly stunned me as well. I was a wee bit miffed about it.

“But then, if you can go and do that, what they have just done, then I’ll forgive them for it. Maeda was upfront anyway; he’s a Celtic player. And what he did, the amount of running he put in the first half. It was almost pointless, apart from almost nearly scoring, it was offside though.

“But the fact that they all work that hard. They are all technically good. I heard the lads talking about it, have a look at their bench; these are no mugs, and they use their bench.”

“How well they used that bench was astonishing, and it’s going to be one of the most important things at this World Cup. As we go on, use the bench well because you’ll get tired players as it’s the middle of the season.”

Photo by Pablo Morano/BSR Agency/Getty Images

Daizen Maeda likely to have an impact for Japan; whether that is from the start or off the bench.

As Nevin rightly points out, the use of their substitutes bench was hugely beneficial to Japan in the victory over Japan, with Maeda putting in a tough shift for the first hour of the game.

Japan has shown just how important utilising the entire squad can be, and that is going to be a pattern we see them use in each of their group games.

This also means that no matter if Maeda plays from the start or comes on later as a substitute, he is going to have a big role to play at this World Cup.

The Celtic frontman is exactly the sort of player you want to have in this Japan squad due to his pace and incredible pressing abilities.

So, it will be good to see him continuing to make an impact for his nation and, hopefully, help them advance to the next stage.

In other news, The Daizen Maeda verdict after Celtic star’s Japan shock Germany at World Cup.