Friday, January 12, 2007

Nanami will be official soon

Sports Hochi is reporting that Hiroshi Nanami has agreed to come over on a one year loan from Jubilo. An interesting tidbit in the article has Nanami saying he is 90% sure this is his last year and he'll retire.

Leave it on the field, big fella!

Cerezo Deconstruction in full swing

I feel so bad for Satoshi Tsunami. the guy can't win. It looks like Okubo will head to Kobe and Nishizawa is contemplating a move to Shimizu. There's also talk of MF Tomi Shimomura moving into the now vacant spot left by Yuki Abe. I saw this movie last year with Tokyo Verdy and the ending was hopeful yet unsatisfying. The one good thing for Cerezo is that they have a fairly decent youth movement going on ala Kashiwa and have a little something left in the tank.

David Beckham..........200 Million Dollar man?

The big news in World Football was the signing of David Beckham to my hometown LA Galaxy. The 200 million dollar figure being thrown around is not going to be his salary from the club or the's an aggregate of his salary plus sponsorship deals, likeness rights, cuts of merchandise sales,'s not a fixed amount. What his salary will be is rumored to be between 6 to 10 million dollars, almost 6 times the amount paid to US star Landon Donovan.
It's a big risk, but a big potential reward.

There was speculation that Beckham was perusing a move over here to the J Leagues. While it was fun to speculate, I don't think it would have been a great fit.

Beckham would have needed to appear with a big money/big fan potential team (goodbye Omiya, Consadole, Ehime, Tokushima, Fukuoka, Kyoto, JEF, Mito, Kashima, Shimizu, Jubilo, Shonan, Sagan, Kawasaki, Yokohama the FC, Vegalta, Thespa, Montedio, and Venforet) Albirex goes in this category because of the trouble they have getting big time sponsorship. The fan base is second to none (except Urawa, but I'd venture to say that 40000 going to see a squad come in 13th is more solid than the 47000 going to see a first place team.)

He would probably need to be in a market close to Tokyo. I'm speculating but the media man would seem to prefer being in a media capital.

Oita, the Osakas, Kobe, and Sanfrecce would have to be ruled out although it would be fun to see how reacted to being on the same team as Toda. Kobe has the guy who would singlehandedly spend the money, but Kobe doesn't seem to be a place Mrs. spice would be comfortable with.

Urawa would be the obvious choice, an expense account at 58 million US, the biggest support in Japan, a European coach, European connections, a huge Manchester fetish, and a hype machine that is rivaled by only King Kazu. Here's the thing.......they don't need him. The money is coming in already, the sellouts are happening, and their strongest position is Midfield. The Urawa roadshow would increase road turnout and merchandise sales, but so will success in the ACL, and for a far cheaper price tag.

Kashiwa has money from Hitachi but I don't think they are ready for that kind of expenditure after being a year removed from J2. JEF has been a seller, not a buyer.

Tokyo Verdy is in J2. It would have been a huge boom for them if they signed the media mega star but somehow I think it would have toppled the franchise. I know that CyberAgent is shelling out some good cash as it is for the pickups already. 10 million seems like a stretch for the internet provider and NTV sure as hell isn't gonna shell it out. Also did I mention that Verdy is in J2? That would be a HUGE flag of surrender for Becks Inc to put up if he took a bid to play in a second division squad in a non prestigious football country.

The final three would be FC Tokyo, Yokohama F Marinos, and Nagoya Grampus 8

Yokohama F Marinos is a puzzling case, good support, big bucks from Nissan and a history of success. But, they have been a seller in the market and they hired the coach who killed Kashiwa two seasons ago. I don't think they have their act together, and I don't think they have the financial creativity to come up with a competitive offer.

FC Tokyo would be intriguing with the addition of Wanchope. FC Tokyo has been in bidding for a ton of big names in Japan and a move like this would catapult them into the position of main rival to Urawa. A 4-4-2 system wouldn't kill him and he would be the face of the franchise. It seems the gasmen could come up with the money for salary but where is the other sponsor money? Also, this team is known for underacheiving and will the new coach have the same problems as before when he was the old coach?

Finally, there is the case of Nagoya.......Toyota has a ton of money, they like to spend, and they have a European coach with euro players in place. It's a market that is waiting to explode, always approaching respectability but always being disappointed by the play on the field. Would the ghost of Gary Lineker come back to haunt this team if they had acquired Beckham?

Some other problems that worked against a place like Japan is the schedule, which includes play during the dog days of July and August. Some of the worst humidity possible is in play. The language barrier was something that was rumored to affect Mrs. Becks, so jumping into a culture with a writing system that is waaaaaay different from English probably wouldn't fly with the Posh one. I also don't think Beckham won any fans with his antics during the Real trip two seasons ago.

For the money that Beckham is about to receive, I don't think there's a good fit here for him.....not as good as Los Angeles, where he already has a youth academy going, a lifestyle that becomes him, and a chance to grow a market for his one big asset...........himself.

I'm not a fan of Beckham by any stretch of the imagination but the hyperbole that has been going on in dismissing his talents have bordered on the absurd. He didn't get Captaincy of one of the biggest football nations in the world on reputation alone and he still is capable of starting for over half the clubs in the 4 major leagues in Europe.

I'm rooting for him to make it happen in the US and that's a first but I'm glad that no one took a bite of the apple here. I'm most glad that Verdy didn't do it because I like the 1969 seats and I'm cheap!


Ultranippon said...

I don't like Beckham and players like him who are first a marketing product and second a non talented football players. For this reason I don't like to see him in Japan (almost in the green squad!).

When my friends of futboljapones made the joke of Beckham was been coming to Tokyo Verdy I told them I would prefer Marcus than him! because the Brazilian is more efective than the English, Beckham have a nice free kick shot but no more...

SMB said...

He is important for America because he is the single biggest name in football in the US and they got him. He is important for growing the brand. Japan needs it for a few struggling teams but not for the game itself. He is good with kids and he has to get them to be interested so America can have future kids wanting to play.

His free kick is amazing......that was all hard work, not just talent so I admire him for working on his game and certain systems would be great for him. I don't think he'd be good at all in running situations like Gamba or Kawasaki but a slowdown pace like Nagoya would fit him to a tee, aand Verhoosen isn't going to sign up Brazilians, so Marcus wouldn't be in a situation like that.

Not my best essay by a long shot....I forgot too much! :P

Nick said...

I didn`t expect him to come to Japan for a second!! There hasn`t been an anywhere near decent foriegner in Japan for a LONG time!! Edmundo and Mboma were the last washed up guys here and both of them (while I though they were great anyway!!) were only here for the cash!! The days of cherry picking the old boys are well and truly over I`d say.Everyone goes to Quatar these days. Verdy couldn`t afford to buy the steam off his turd never mind his time for 90 minutes of a Saturday afternoon.People these days seem to forget the 6 Premier league titles,FA Cups,Champions League medal etc he has won!! OK he might have become a media whore but,some remember him from the beginning of his career in a TRULY outstanding Man U team. Beckham,Neville brothers,Nicky Butt,Paul Scholes all come through the youth team at the same time to hammer EVERYONE in England for 7 or 8 years playing at times absolutely breathtaking stuff.Beckham was instrumental in their domestic dominance and for people to suggest a lack of talent are either unfamiliar with what he has done or blinded by what they read in the papers. OK he is not the player he was but neither are most at 31.When did Chelsea,Liverpool or Arsenal in England actually blood a member of the youth set up!! At that time half of the Champions of Europe came through the ranks. I admit he can be a bell end (sarong etc girlie ways) but no one can deny his abilities as a player surely!!
I hope he does a great job in the US,though I still dont reckon itll make much difference to the amount of recognition footy gets over there. How his wife ever got to be called "Posh" is an absolute misnomer,dumb as stump and allegedly "Takes it up A##e" according to every away set of supporters ever to go to Old Trafford while he was there.For a piss funny interview, look up Beckham and Ali G on him and his Mrs were on for a Charity tv thing in England.well funny and proof that the man doesnt take himself too seriously.

SMB said...

I do understand the backlash with Beckham and it's unfortunate because the guy has a passion for the game that gets dismissed pretty easily. He does some good things though........the youth academy is something he's doing for his love of the game. I think Cristian Ronaldo is the next guy who is going to have this love/hate thing with the fans

He does have a tendency to play for teams I hate. The Galaxy are no different.

Paulo Wanchope is a pretty big signing, he was the star for Costa Rica......notching 2 against the home squad in a World Cup is nothing to sneeze at and Qatar is starting to get some backlash.

So Ultra......would you take beckham or Dedimar? :p

ultranippon said...

Dedi or the spice boy... What a dilemma!! I suppose I would prefer Dedi hahaha, it's a joke...

When he played for Man U he was one of my favourite players but you must think that Beckham played with great players as Scholes, the Neville brothers, Giggs, Solskjaer, Butt... and had a trainer as Ferguson, this made him to appear better than he was. Nick don't you think Beckahm's real madrid seems a joke near the Man U who won the Champions League in Barcelona?

I agree with you, on the one side he is worker and has a great free kick and pass, but... no much more, on the other he is a mass media monster.

Bring to J-League a really good player and kids will play football :D and the J-League level will grew up! Not a marketing player as Beckham.

Maybe someone as Deco?

Nick said...

Wanchope I admit does look intersting but he blows EXTREMELY hot and cold,he can be world class one moment and couldnt hit a cows arse with a banjo the next.He had some pure comedy moments whilst in England and become a bit of a cult hero. He was loved by Man City fans when he was over in England and i agree,Im looking forward to seeing him in action!!

SMB said...

It seems like FC Tokyo is trying to follow the Verdy blueprint of the late 90's.....signing name players in hopes of creating buzz more than filling needs. That being said, I think Wanchope was a good signing for them.

I just hope he rests against Omiya!