The one thing about Celtic that appears to have blown Daizen Maeda away
Daizen Maeda has stated that the experience of playing at Celtic Park was even greater than he ever anticipated.
The new Hoops star shot himself to Parkhead glory with a fine debut goal against Hibernian on Monday night. The strike ensured Celtic narrowed the gap on Rangers, and with their draw at Aberdeen last night, we now only sit 4 behind our rivals.
Much of the excitement heading into the match came due to the fact Celtic looked primed to throw in their new signings. Maeda started along with Reo Hatate, and both made themselves instant heroes with their performances.
Maeda has been discussing the nerves that were going through him in the build-up too. However, when discussing Celtic Park, he explained how it was a greater experience than he could’ve ever imagined.
As quoted by the Herald, Daizen said: “It was much higher than my expectation. I knew there was a big expectation on me, so I was nervous before the game. But I could score the goal and I feel very happy about it.
“I didn’t imagine that it was going to happen, but I decided before the game that I would. I received a good pass from my teammate and what I did was just finish it. I really don’t get nervous, but before the Hibs game, I heard a lot of things and a lot of people spoke to me. That is why I got nervous, but fortunately, I could convert that feeling into a good energy.”
Celtic Park atmosphere stoked by Daizen Maeda and fellow new Bhoys
The truth is that the reason Parkhead was so buzzing on Monday was down to the fact that Maeda and his fellow arrivals were penned in for some action. Given the high-profile nature of the signings, excitement levels had been cranked up to their peak.
What was even more pleasing was how the likes of Maeda and Hatate performed after the pressure that had been building all of them. It may have seemed like something straight out of a book, but Hibs didn’t arrive in Glasgow looking to just turn over and have Maeda and co tickle their belly.
There was huge pressure on Maeda and Hatate to make big impressions from the start. Yosuke Ideguchi, meanwhile, also had a similar pressure placed on him when he came on for the closing stages.
That says a lot about the character of the players to come out and produce that level of performance in such a high-pressure environment.
As for Maeda in particular, he’ll feel nothing but relief after getting that first goal monkey off of his back. With games against Hearts, Dundee United, and Rangers coming up in the Premiership, it’s a huge time of the year for the football club. Having Maeda up and running is absolutely priceless.
All eyes now on how he develops in the coming weeks.