Celtic star Daizen Maeda has been praised by former Hoops striker Frank McAvennie for his honesty in acknowledging the mistakes made by himself and his team-mates in the wake of their Champions League failure this season.
The Lowdown: Champions League catastrophe
The Group F offering to Celtic was never a kind draw, but the Premiership champions failed to adapt and were subsequently punished for not taking their chances against the likes of Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk.
The Hoops ended bottom of the group by some margin, having failed to win a single match. Ange Postecoglou’s side scored just four goals and conceded 15, ending their European endeavours for the season, having failed to even qualify for the Europa League play-off stage.
Earlier this month, Maeda spoke of his experience in the Champions League to Japanese outlet KKT, as relayed by The Celtic Way, in which he admitted that he and Celtic failed to make the most of the chances that they had in their Champions League outings.
The Latest: McAvennie praises Maeda
McAvennie is pleased with Maeda’s honest assessment and feels as though Celtic’s big test will come in their European ventures next year.
Speaking to Football Insider, the 62-year-old said: “They made mistakes and that was just not putting the ball in the back of the net.
“No matter how good a team you are in the Champions League, you are going to get chances against you because it is the best teams. They took their chances, we did not and that is how it ended up. That is the only mistakes.
“Maeda was guilty of a few of them so that is maybe what he is talking about. It is great that he is acknowledging it.
“We will go again next year and try and make a dent in Europe.”
The Verdict: Maeda can do even better
Amidst Celtic’s Champions League disappointment, the 25-year-old failed to find the net and missed the joint-most big chances for his team alongside fellow countryman Kyogo Furuhashi, with the pair squandering three big chances each.
This candid reflection hones into the environment that Postecoglou has instilled at Parkhead, so we agree with McAvennie that it is refreshing to hear Maeda acknowledging his individual flaws.
The Japan striker chipped in with 11 goal contributions last season in the form of six goals and five assists from 16 Premiership appearances, so there is every chance that he will come good for the Hoops in Europe next year and learn from the shortcomings of this autumn.
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