January 30, 2008: One of the biggest decisions facing Takeshi Okada is what to do with Shunsuke Nakamura?
Will Okada make him a key player, as Zico did, or will he phase him out?
Will he be prepared to carry Nakamura for long periods of a match in exchange for one moment of brilliance that can win a game?
It is going to be very interesting how Okada uses Nakamura in the coming months, but first the player must return to full fitness.
Against Falkirk on Sunday, Nakamura looked anything but fully fit -- but then provided the cross that enabled Scott McDonald to head the only goal of the game in first-half injury time.
It was typical Shunsuke. He had been a passenger until this point, hardly touching the ball in his position out on the right of midfield.
Then, in the three minutes of stoppage time, he found space on the right side of the box, shaped to cross with his right foot but, of course, checked back on to his left, and then picked out McDonald's run with a gem of a cross.
"A perfect delivery for an easy finish," purred the commentator. In the second half, Nakamura teased the Falkirk defence with "an enticing free kick", and the commentator then hailed his "telling contribution" on being substituted on 67 minutes.
Still on the comeback trail from his injury lay-off, Nakamura looked rusty in open play and off the pace, but all he needs is one moment of quality to change a game.
This is what Okada must balance, but not for the moment as what the player needs most of all is match fitness. The Kirin Cup at the end of May and the four World Cup qualifiers in June, two home and two away, will give the coach the perfect opportunity to address the situation.
Staying with Celtic, the Mizuno transfer from JEF United has been completed finally -- and the No. 29 shirt with the famous green and white hoops is already available on the official website, at a big discount, too, seeing as we are halfway through the season.
With a three and a half year deal, Mizuno has time to settle and establish himself in Scotland. Who knows, by the time his contract finishes he may be able to work out the Glaswegian accent!