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.

GK Takagi
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! 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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well the magic of the perm has shone through again!! Even the constant drizzle couldn`t keep the bouffant down!! The boys managed to get back on track and turned in a creditable performance to boot. They worked hard that is for sure,put in a lot of running hassled and harried and deserved the win. Good strike from Ono and after the question marks over Hiramotos last penalty award,Saturdays was a cast iron,100 per cent certain penalty.Hiramotos speed into the box was impressive before becoming the filling in a Bellmare sandwich!! It was interesting to contrast the penalty style of Basillio and Hiramoto. Basillio is a very cool customer when he reads which way the keeper is going THEN rolls it past him. However,if he ever misses he is going to look a complete idiot!! Not happened yet though. Hiramoto`s penalty was expertly struck and if the keeper had gone the right way I still don`t think he would have saved it.Smashed low and hard into the side netting just inside the post.Excellent and the sign of a player with confidence in his ability. I too didnt think much of the forwards on Saturday. Saito didn`t do much for me,the keeper made a decent stop when Saito was one on one with him,but from Saitos point of view if he`s not gonna score from those positions,he`s not gonna stay in the team.Its his job to score from there and he seems to be guilty of getting in good positions but not finding the net a bit too often for my liking.Then again he was a sight more effective than Maatsura who i thought really struggled to have any kind of influence on the proceedings,the one early strike which just cleared the bar was not much to show for an afternoons work. Its shocks me to say but the defensive side of our game today was the main plus,going forward which has usually been our strong point just didnt happen on Saturday,passes astray,lots of lost possesion and a seeming lack of communication.Bellmare were limited to a few chances which were either missed or dealt with by Takagi,whose comedy moment came when he slipped trying to catch a routine cross,luckily there wasnt a Bellmare striker near. A win was just the tonic required to get out of the losing streak and hopefully it can be the start of something good. Nishigaoka it has to be said is seeming to have a good effect on the team.Its probably because a game played in a tiny stadium with a poor crowd is always gonna have a better atmosphere than one played in a cavernous arena with the same size crowd. Just under 3,000 in Ajinomoto or National Stadium would be difficult to bear but in Nishigaoka it seems ok. I know it was pouring down on Saturday which probably put a lot of people off but 3,000 people!!?? Bellmare isn`t even very far away so I`d have thought they would bring a few more people.I wonder if (assuming we are still in J2) the Verdy management accept we arent ever gonna fill the big stadiums and just go for Nishigaoka and Komozawa.On the plus side the atmospheres would be better but on the minus side it would be akin to officially accepting that we are crap and have poor support in terms of numbers. Also on the minus side there is no roof on either of them!! I`d go for the small stadium option,maybe make it a bit more of a difficult place to come and play. I like Ajinomoto as a venue but unless we are playing Urawa or the Marinos the atmoshphere can be lacking as we are miles from the pitch and rows and rows of empty seats never looks good.Since Ive been going the crowd has probably averaged about between 10-12,000 with the bumper crowds against Urawa/Niigata/Marinos slightly distorting things.These days we are pushing 5 or 6,000 tops and numbers are dwindling rapidly.Maybe the World Cup will put a few extras through the door but I can`t see that much of an improvement before we get out of this division. Small stadiums are the option for me in this situation.Far better for the spectaters and based upon results so far,better for the team.There is still a big gap between us and third but lets hope we can do a bit of catching up.
What the hell happened to Hollyhock!!! First they go on an impressive run nullifying us on the way and then they score probably two goals of the season!! I saw the highlights at half time and man one of their boys has THUNDER in his boots. Some strike,miles out rockets one into the top corner just past the goalies despairing dive! Superb! Hollyhock and (especially Montedio) have been doing well recently and could be on the turn. Montedio have had some unlucky results but seem to be coming good recently. Onwards and Upwards!! The Boys march on!!