Sorry.......only Verdy themed Christmas photo I could dredge up. However it's slightly apprapos. As Verdy enters its 38th year of football existence, it finds itself in a crisis position. The good news is new half owner CyberAgent is willing to open up the pocketbook and go after better quality players. And to be fair, Verdy got a very late start on signing up what amounted to an entirely new squad for last seasons campaign. This year is critical however to the former standardbearer of Japanese club football.
So in an early edition of New Years wishes......I give you the 2007 wish list thread.
1. Promotion to J1- This is a given.......the longer the club stays in J2, the harder it will be to advance to the upper levels. One needs to look only at the struggles of former J1 squads Vegalta Sendai, Consadole Sapporo, and Shonan Bellmare to see that if you don't do it quick, you might get stuck in purgatory for a very long time. Here's hoping that Verdy gets it done.
2. An actual plan for success- Attaining J1 is the goal, but almost as important is how it gets done. A recent theme on Soilent Green has been building a solid young core to push a team across th line. Kashiwa did it, Vissel did it, Yokohama surprisingly went against their past and did it.......now it's time for Verdy to do it. Togawa, Fujita, Kanazawa, Hiramoto, Silva........build on this nucleus with other good young players and a FEW smart older players and you will go far, go for the quick fix and not only will you probably fail.......you WILL fail for a long time.
3. Fill in the blank,Rui ______ is a Virtue- PATIENCE. Rui needs to show that he has learned lessons from this season and will find a coherent lineup and stick with it.......ESPECIALLY in the middle. Please Rui, show the patience to your team that the folks at NTV/CyberAgent has shown you.
4. Consistent playing time for Masaki Saito- Soilent Greens favorite Verdy player was a minor revelation for the squad last year.Here's hoping that Martin gets a chance to shine, either in green or in another color.
5. Hiramoto has a breakout season- Kazuki showed flashes of talent, perserverance, and leadership at the end of the season and I truly hope he builds on it. His first test will be in taking the JEF offer or not. Honestly, I'm not sure what the right decision is for him. I only hope that he can reach his full potential and show the rest of Japan that he is a quality striker.
6. A full season of Nakano and Togawa manning the centerback position- We saw the start of something special with the teaming of Togawa and Nakano in the center. Two athletic branch defenders teamed with these two would give Verdy a formidable backline.......something Verdy hasn't had in a long time.
7. See 6-Branch defenders
8. A goalkeeper that can either push Takagi or take over the spot- Takagi had a relatively successful season but one thinks that Verdy needs more. The rumored offer to Tsuzuki is an excellent step towards shoring up the position.
9. Success for those that have left the nest- Here's hoping Coach Tsunami, Kuba, Nejime, and the rest of the former Verdistas find a good amount of success for next year. No matter where they go, they're always green.
10. A Merry Christmas to all- Have a safe and happy holidays and a wonderful 2007!!!!!