Saturday, May 27, 2006
Possible Venture into infamy....500 minutes approaches
Verdy came into yesterday's match against Shonan Bellmare with a 474 minute scoreless anchor hanging about their necks. A loss would have dropped them behind Montedio in the 7th position of J2. A loss also would have put them closer to Tokushima than Kashiwa. Dark days indeed in Ruy paradise.
An interesting sidenote to the game brought out a few familiar faces from the ranks of Omiya Nation, including Bolton Dave and his wife, Mrs. Bolton Dave. They came out to see Shin Kanazawa in an increasingly rare appearance and the Bellmare bomber, Satoshi Yokoyama (or as American guy with his kid said when Yokoyama got yanked......that awful #29).
I think this was a first for Verdy this year, as Ramos opted to go with an all-Japan lineup for the starting 11.
DF Sugawara, Hagimura, Fujita, Togawa
MF Kuba, Nejime, Kanazawa, Ono
FW Maatsura, Saito
SUBS: Hiramoto (56), Nagai (71), Anailson (79), Ono Yuhei (NA) , Mizuhara (NA)
Like the last game held at Nishigaoka (which is my favorite stadium for Verdy games........even if it is a dump...........................I don't see it though, except for the crown in the middle of the field) there was a steady drizzle going. Conditions were slick on the field and not surpisingly the Kanagawa mermaids were better prepared to keep their feet. Most of the early dangerous chances and control of the game was going Bellmares way. It would have been safe to assume that another shutout was coming..........then minute 499 struck. Truth be told, I missed the start of the play................the ball was kicked into the Bellmare end, crossed to a Verdy player who I think was Maatsura (It could have been Sugawara), kicked out to a wide open Captain Ono who deposited a nice blast into the upper corner of the net magically breaking the scoreless streak. Bellmare still controlled most of play but the tide was slowly turning in the home greens favor.
The second half saw much of the same play....Verdy was unable to get passes to the forwards. When the ball got to Saito or Maatsura, they either had to quick pass it out or in the case of Maatsura, they passed it to the other squad. Ramos had seen enough and inserted Hiramoto into the game as a pick-me-up to the lagging offense. Immediately, Verdy was able to start attacking. The additon of Nagai for Kuba 15 minutes later really had the team running on pre-May cylinders as Hiramoto and Saito went on the attack. One breakaway saw Hiramoto pulled down in the box and awarded a PK.................without the specialist Basilio around, there was a bit of a debate about who would step up and take the kick............Captain Ono was originally going to do the deed, thought better of it and gave the honor to Hiramoto, who promptly deposited one into the back of the net. 2-0 Verdy and back in 4th.
GK- Takagi played a masterful game today. It seems like he is actually starting to become a leader on the squad and not the bufoonish sideshow keeper that reared it's ugly head last year. Quick movements and some really nice saves.........he even stopped doing the punches and caught the ball in the second half. Great game.......MOTM (1-10 ranking 1 low 10 high I give him a 7 )
DF- Solid game from the back 4 as well. Good communication, and solid all game....the midfield turnovers did no favors but they repelled almost everything that came their way. Probably the best game of the year. Sugawara was the weak link, struggling a bit with the passes and having the one breakdown late in the game, but the squad as a whole was nails. (6.25.......individually Sugawara would have gotten a 5.5)
MF-Rough game for them, it seemed like thy couldn't complete a pass in the first half to save their lives. 2 new starters this week and a revamped forward line probably didn't help matters. Kuba was the main culprit in the turnovers......offered almost nothing. Kanazawa was strong as a D mid, Ono was decent, and Nejime was pretty much a non-factor. ( Ono-6, Kanazawa-6, Nejime 5.33, Kuba 4.75.....squad gets a 5.25)
FW- Maatsura and Saito were rendered innefective by the bad passing from the mids and the slick conditions. Saito got a nice shot on goal and had some moments when he touched the ball, no mistakes from him. Maatsura seemed nervous and was innefective except for an early shot and possibly the pass to Ono (Saito 5.5, Maatsura 5.....Tandem gets a 5)
SUBS: Hiramoto and Nagai changed the flow of the game with an attacking style. I think Nagai is best suited for this role. (6.5 for the two......Anailson N/A........6.5 total)
RAMOS: Good subbing calls....bad shuffling calls and if Verdy didn't notch the first goal when they did, I think the streak would have continued. (in game 7, pre-game 4......5.5 for the win)
I want the same exact lineup next week, if they win.....I want the same squad again. I don't like the constant shuffling (Have I said this before? Yeah, I think I have.......a million times.). Hiramoto is pretty much a lock for the starting 11 next week...........Basilio will probably be off the bench for the next game and then back as a starter, which means Saito or Maatsura will be banished (maybe both with Morimoto returning from India). Kuba and Sugawara might get dropped as well. Don't do it Ruy. Just stop micromanaging.
Morimoto joined the U-19s in India for a three game friendly against U-19 India and a club team. The result I saw had Japans U-19s go scoreless until Morimoto was removed and his sub put in the goal. EWWWWWWW. Not cool.
Our friend MASA at MASA-NET gave me a heads up about a Verdy exhibition at Tachikawa station in the Alealea building in June. I am definetely going to try and check it out because I won't be getting to any home games in June.
I also apologize for the dearth and brevity of my recent columns and remarks. I meant to respond to you Nick but I got tied up, sorry. As always, comments are welcome so please send em in. I'm guessing our friend from Spain, ULTRANIPPON, is getting geared up for the World Cup so he hasn't been around in awhile. I'd like to give him congratulations for the Barca Champions league victory!
Anyhow.....here is the schedule for the next three games
THESPA friday in Kusatsu
VEGALTA at the National on 6/7
KASHIWA in Chiba on 6/10
Posted by SMB at 7:05 PM