Saturday, March 18, 2006

Mikan Malaise

My first trip to historic Komazawa stadium to see Team Green play the Mighty Mikans of Ehime. Komazawa is a neat old stadium with the flat benches in the stands and the running track. It really reminded me of some the old stadiums I used to play (well.......watch) football in for high school. Only 4,196 in attendance for the game today. I thought for sure Ehime would have more of a presence but it looked like they only had 40 or 50 ULTRAS in the supporter section. I couldn't get a picture of it but they did have cool cartoon renderings of each player on the team.

The other thing that stood out was the cool orange and blue uniforms with the blue and white racing stripes. I hope they keep the pattern for a long time.

THE LINEUPS

Ehime FC

GK 1 Keisuke Hada
DF 15 . Ryota Moriwaki 5. Shingo Hoshino 7.Tomoya Kanamori 23. Hideto Inoue
MF 17. Kiyotaka Ishimaru 25. Yojiro Takahagi 27. Minoru Suganuma 8. Kazuhisa Hanaoka
FW 19. Yuya Nagatomi 33. Toshiya Tanaka

Subs 3 Kenichi Yagara (15 min-Ishimaru), 24 Yuki Tamura (60 min-Tanaka), 22 Hirokazu Otsubo (82 min-Nagatomi)

VERDY

GK 1-Mizuhara
DF 3-Fujita, 2-Hagimura, 4-Togawa, 6-Sugawara
MF 22-Kina, 11-Ono, 7-Ohashi, 10-Anailson
FW 25-Hiramoto, 9-Basilio

Subs 8-Nagai (Halftime-Ohashi), 5-Dedimar (55 min-Hagimura), 39-Masaki Saito (65 min-Basilio)

THE MATCH

Another new lineup for Verdy.......no Yanagisawa (at all) and no Kanazawa (he was on the bench). Honestly, their play warranted the change. Kina is the only one with any energy to start. the first ten minutes of the match, Verdy controls play. They have most of the possesion but can't crack the disciplined back 4 of Ehime. At the 15th minute, Ehime has an unfortunate bit of bad luck when their anchor in the midfield, Kiyotaka Ishimaru, goes down with a leg injury. Ehime is forced to sub early in a position they were probably counting on being stable throughout the game. Ironically, Ehime picked up the pace and started fighting back, forcing some corners and having decent opportunities in the box.

The real problem with Ehime is they are built in a similar fashion to Yokohama FC, fairly decent in the back but possesing no real skill in the front. The forwards had a couple of good chances but weren't able to put anything away. Verdy's backline was more effective than in the past couple of games..........I think this could be a decent back 4 if Ramos lets them have some continuity. Kina is really helping settle things down as well. He had a good game defensively but his ball handling was sloppy and he held onto the ball too long. He was a vast improvement over the innefective Kanazawa.

The first half ends........reaaaaaaaaaaaaaly slow game......no flow, lots of unforced errors. You can see the Ehime philosophy of boxing in and sending one guy on a breakaway from long passes. There's no real plan on offense but Verdy is falling into their game. I'm a little worried that Verdy is not really dictating any of the flow, better teams like Consadole and Kashiwa are going to pick them apart.

The second half begins, and an innefective Ohashi is pulled for the Grand Old Man of Verdy.......Hideki Nagai. Surprisingly, Nagai comes out with some fire and gets some possesions of the ball. He really made some things happen. At this time I'm sitting behind the bench, Kanazawa is just watching the game and Ramos yells at him to warm up. I would be a bit surprised to see him with the first team next week......I think he's gonna find himself lost in the mix. Hagimura goes down in minute 55 and the fabulous Dedimar comes charging in. Huzzah!
Big Dedi is taking most of the free kicks for Verdy.........they're nice kicks, good curves but they look more like shots and not really passes. He's also a bit rough in defense......Ehime goes after him and has a couple of nice chances.

Basilio is pulled in the 65th minute for Masaki Saito. I was hoping he would get a chance, and was very happy that it was him and not Iio on the bench today. Basilio (and Anailson for that matter) looked tired and couldn't get anything going at all. Basilio had a couple of soft shots but nothing special. I have to give Rui some credit, he called a nice game. Saito and Hiramoto are getting a bit frustrated out there......the mids are having a poor offensive game and killing every breakaway chance possible, especially Ono. I'm not sure what's going on with Ono or why he's the captain........he's been less than impressive, getting unnecessary cards and playing sloppy. Finally in the 80th minute, Saito gets the ball in a position he likes. Instead of attacking, he pulls the ball back, making the defender run past him. He puts a sweet cross in front of the goal to the wide open Nagai who zings it past Hada. 1-0 VERDY

The last ten minutes saw the Orangemen pick up the attack on the Buzzards. At one point Dedimar ran into Kina, allowing an Ehime attacker to streak by and take a shot that completely missed everything in the stadium. At times, this game resembled your average 3rd grade Y league soccer match.......with every kid making a pile around the ball. Mizuhara made a couple of nice saves after the D started to break apart.

Game over.......1-0 VERDY........back up to third behind Kashiwa and Mito (teams I picked to finish 8th and 10th respectively).

THREE STARS

3. Hiroki Mizuhara- It's hard to judge him because the forwards were really subpar for Ehime, but Mizuhara cleaned up everything his way and didn't beat the team with a mistake........nice effort.

2. Nagai/Saito- Both subs gave a bit of energy to a lackluster squad. The goal was beautiful and made the game worth seeing. Well.....not really, but it was a nice goal!

1. Rui Ramos- He made the right calls all game......starting with Kina and Fujita for Yanagisawa and Kanazawa. Dedimar wasn't great but Nagai and Saito were. The team looks tired right and could've easily dropped the game after not being able to create much, but they didn't and that has to be partly because of the coach.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think this team needs a break after 4 games in a 2 week span. they look sluggish. There also needs to be a little more continuity in the lineup. There were alot of communication breakdowns, especially in the midfield. Against a better squad, Verdy would have lost. I also think the team is relying on older members alot more. That's a little troubling because they're starting to show fatigue. It's gonna be nasty in August.

UP NEXT

SIESTA! They have a BYE for the midweek match. The 25th will be a match in Yamagata against the 12th place Montedio Yamagata. I will not be able to watch but I'll try to piece together a report.

10 comments:

Nick said...

I too managed to get to Komozawa. First half was truly terrible Verdy deservedly being booed off the field. i said to the wife if they lose to this team then Verdy are truly SHITE!! The Ehime forwards were terrible and the policy of employing a dwarf on the left wing is highly questionable!!(number 8). A super dull first half was followed by a terrible second 35 minutes, the wife and myself were truly engrossed in disscussing the shopping trip after and the rain clouds approaching. Then seemingly from nowhere Saito popped up on the right knocked one in and "that old guy" turns it into the net. 1-0 to the boys and the previous 80 minutes of durge was instantly forgotten!! Great result again,crappy game again. Still,if we can win when we are playing badly then maybe we have a chance! My earlier worries of Verdy being so terrible might not matter, from what Ive seen so far, everybody else is just as bad or even worse. I think I was wrong in expecting that Japanese Second Division football to be of a higher quality.
Also, did you notice just before the goal, about 30 massive crows started circling above the ground?? A sign from above maybe or possibly they were after picking through the trash on the field below. 3rd place and rising, C`mon the Boys!!

SMB said...

I did not see the crows. I was too busy fighting off sleep.

I swear it must be something with Tokyo teams against teams in orange. Last year, the worst game I saw was FC Tokyo/Omiya and it was a boring as hell 1-0 affair too.

That Verdy midfield is just a nightmare......do you think Ono is just worthless, too?

I'm hoping Saito gets more time after this game........reports said he was good in the ACL match as well.

Ultranippon said...

Hello Im a Spanish Verdy supporter, thanks a lot for your Soilent Green 1969 blog! Its the better way to "watch" Verdy's matches :D. Uhmm this wasn't a nice match to watch but Verdy win and we're thirth! :D I have a question... do you know how can I watch Verdy's matches in Internet? because in Spain is IMPOSSIBLE to watch the J1 (imagine the J2...) and my Japanese isn't so good... so I can't read fluetly the official web page of Tokyo Verdy 1969 :S. Arigatô gozaimasu! mata ne!

VAMOS VERDY! GANBARE VERDY!

SMB said...

Welcome Ultranippon! Mi espanol es muy mal! Bienvenudos.

I only know of www.jsgoal.jp for live feeds.....it's a pay site and I think you need to be in Japan or have a Japanese bank account to set it up.

How did you become a Verdy fan?

nick said...

Going through the team I think we have problems in a lot of positions. i think Mizuhara is dodgy, he suffers from the perenial Japanese keeper problem of punching instead of catching, howver a clean sheet cannot be criticised. I thought Kogawa had a decent game at the back on Saturday, the midfield as you say was a mess, no pace anywhere,their movement seems laboured to the extreme, no crispness to their passing. Anailson has a good touch but looks like a schoolboy,no strength and was easily pushed off the ball a number of times.Nagai scored and was in the right place at the right time so good work there but,there is no way he can go 90 minutes in summer he is too old and some might say carrying a bit of lard as well.Ono and Ohashi both get stuck in and tried to boss the midfield but there was just too much poor passing,breakdowns fouls etc a lot of brawn but not enough brain. Up front, I thought Hiramoto did ok,again he was getting stuck in,harrying and running after the (many)loose balls all day. He has genuine pace but didnt have the chance to show it this week, i think he will be one of our most important players this year. As for Basillio,he had a poor game this week, to be fair to him though he didn`t get much service.He was willing to do the running but when he got the ball he didnt do anything with it. I was particularly annoyed when just before he got taken off, he was between the the 18 yard and the 6 yard box with the ball at his feet and instead of trying to beat his man and maybe look for a crack on goal, or maybe a pass, he blatantly played the ball against the defender and ran full steam into the defender and went down in a heap in the hope of getting a penalty.Personally I hate this kind of negative play, to go for a penalty when he is in a good scoring position. I thought Saito was Morimoto when he came on, from a distance they look like the same player. He did well when he came on,looked strong and full of running set up the goal,a good start compared to the largely ineffective Basillio.
Ive been watching Verdy since 2000 and this team is head and shoulders the worst team they have ever had. In the past there have been some terrible performances and we have ALWAYS conceded loads of goals but in seasons past there has always been a spark and the potential to score loads as well, since I have been watching we have always had a poor defence but have often looked great going forward which has led to some great games to watch, where else can you see 6-4 and 4-4 coupled with 6-0 wins and 7-0 losses on a regular basis.This season is gonna be poor to watch I think because the players just arent as skilled as players in the past. However,this is J2 and they don`t have to be. Long as we remember this and they keep churning out results hopefully we can be there or there abouts at the end of the season get back to J1 and say thankyou and goodbye to the old guys and get back to winning or (more often than not losing) spectacularly but doing it with style.The style point especially comes into play when considering the game against Tokushima, we won 4-1 but the game was terrible to watch. If we keep playing like we did on Saturday the 4,000 people who turned up will shrink to basically me,the wife,yourself and the guy with no teeth who seems to be there every time I go!! 4,000 is pitiful.I questioned the wisdom of playing in the crappy stadiums at the start of the season but after seeing 7,000 for the opening game and 4,000 for this one,I see they got it right, 4,000 in Ajinomoto every week would be just too depressing.It would be just right in the other crappy one whose name I cant remember, I went to see them lose to Omiya in the Emperors Cup a few years back there and that will seem full with 4,000. Green Army!!!

SMB said...

I'm looking at the Kashiwa line-up (which I insulted in the pre-season) and it looks like they don't have anyone over 30 right now......most of their players are "homegrown", so they aren't relying upon JFL unknowns or retreads (paging Mr.Nagai.....could you bring Mr.Kina with you?).

I think Nagai is good in the veteran sub off the bench, especially against the lower eschelon teams.

Mizuhara's punching is ridiculous.......I'd like to see Kurokawa get a game or two.....he wasn't trained in the "Verdy system" so maybe he'll be half decent.

I worry about how this team would do if they manage to get promoted......maybe 3 or 4 of them are legitimate J league starters......they might be able to get Takuya Yamada back next year , the way Cerezo is playing.

The stadium you are referring to is Nishigaoka "National" stadium, which seats under 10,000.....I'll still like it better than Komaba though.

ultranippon said...

I knew jsgoal and it's a good web page to see every league match of Verdy and you can see the best goals but to watch a match I think I have to buy tv premium in jsgoal... I dont know... well, firstly I became a Japan fan when I began to read manga, I began to like Japan... later, I began to like football and so... I began to be a supporter of the national team of Japan :D, in Japan the star was the big Kazu Miura who played for Verdy Kawasaki, I really liked this player! so I became a fan of Verdy, but I didn't have internet :S so I couldn't read about Verdy. Was in 2003 when I read usually about Verdy, but Im a Verdy fan since the world cup of 1998. Sorry for my English (your Spanish is better than my English, Im sure! :D). Ufff really Verdy needed this free week! they were tired? Thanks a lot msb and nick! now I can know much more about our Verdy!
I've a question, what's your opinion about Morimoto? Is he as good as be a new Kazu Miura?

SMB said...

I don't know where Morimoto is right now.......I don't think they have the same personality so I don't think so.....there is only one king

BTW....Kazu got his first goal of the season for Yokohama FC.

Were you able to see the verdy game against real madrid last year?

ultranippon said...

Yes!! I was very happy and very proud of our club!:D On the one hand I'm a Verdy's supporter, on th second, I'm a Barcelona's supporter so I hate real madrid. It was a incredible victory what show us what Verdy was able to do... but this players couldn't to stay at J1 what a disgrace!! :'(

ultranippon said...

And we won Fiorentina 2-1... another great victory! :D see you soon!