Maeda In Heaven!
I mentioned at the end of last week that it had been a long wait since we last saw The Hooooops,but bhoy was it worth the three weeks it took. In fact,we looked like we had never been away,what with nearly gifting the opposition an early goal to,but wait-I’m telling you the plot!
CRAIG76 showed us a montage of Jorge Cadete at the weekend. Lordy,was that really 25 years ago? Blinkin’ flip! We all know how little time it took him on the pitch to open his account-seven weeks too long,thanks to Farry-but did any of us really expect our latest Japanese signings to get off to such a flyer? Sure,we nearly gifted Hibs a cheap opener,but a clever bit of work from Tom Rogic plus a superb pass inside to Daizen Maeda offered him an opportunity after only four minutes to open his account.
The way he finished it suggests it will be the first of many for us,and I’m sure we all hope so. It is unfair of course to burden new players with too much expectation,but wow,what a start to his career here. For the rest of the first half,he gave the Hibs defenders as hard a time as they will have had for quite a while,his pace and movement giving them twisted blood as they trooped off for the break.
Not before JJ had put us two up from the spot midway through the half. A wonderful through ball from Greg Taylor and a beautiful piece of control from Liel Abada,the ball strikes the hand of a defender and the decision is a given. So too was that JJ would score it. Good enough at halftime,two up,but we were value for more. And we expected more to come,based on that.
The goals in the second half didn’t come,in fact we laboured somewhat as Hibs improved. That was ok though as we never looked in any danger at the back,the two centre backs having perhaps their best game as a partnership. I’ll happily accept the two goals and the three points against a team clearly benefiting from the efforts of their new coach,and who will certainly improve further under him.
There were three other bonuses for the side on the night. The return from injury of both Jota and G-Mak and the Man Of The Match performance from our other Japanese debutant on the night,Reo Hatate. This lad totally bossed that midfield,covered every blade of grass,tackled when he needed to and made the correct choice with nearly every pass. To have one debutant scoring an early opener while the other wins MOTM suggests that the difference between January 2021 and January 2022 is not only on the pitch. In many ways we are moving in the right direction. That’s a lovely feeling,isn’t it?
Above article by BMCUWP