Monday, April 30, 2007
Sponichi and Nikkan Sports are both reporting that Rui Ramos might step down if the team loses on Thursday to Mito.
Sports Hochi http://hochi.yomiuri.co.jp/soccer/jleague/news/20070430-OHT1T00095.htm
Words popped up such as KUBI (Dismissal or Beheading) and YAMERU (Resign). Other interesting factoids. Vegalta Sendai are the only team since Sanfrecce in 2003 and Kyoto in 2005 to start a season with an 11 game unbeaten streak (Both were promoted). More ominous was the factoid that no team has ever lost 5 games in a row and been promoted.......Verdy is at 6.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM TOSU
Tasui posts the highlights for the Tosu affair here.......Fukuda makes a nice save but Verdy fails to clear.......Togawa looks out of his depth and Nagai sends a nice feed in to Kanazawa who steals a goal from Hulk.
Satellites provide a clue to the next game?
Verdy played a game today against Toyo University, winning 2-0 on unlikely goals from Seitaro Tomisawa and Shigenori Hagimura.
Up front, the Verdy squad went with a rotation starting with Yuzo Funakoshi being paired with Hiramoto. Yoshitake, Hiroyama, Inoue, and Iio all took turns playing up top.
In the middle, a lineup of Hiroyama and Sonoda played the wing positions, with Sato and Ono taking the middle.
Finally, the back 4 featured Fujita, Tomisawa, Hagimura, and Ichiyanagi
My speculation is this
FW Hiramoto Funakoshi
MF Kanazawa Yoshitake
Hattori Ze Luis
DF Fujita Hagimura Tsuchiya Fukuda
BENCH: Takagi, Ichiyanagi, Nagai, Tomisawa, Inoue
If he's gonna go out....go out swinging
This is what I'd do
FW Hiramoto Funakoshi
MF Kanazawa Hiroyama
Ono Ze Luis
DF Hattori Ichiyanagi Tsuchiya Fukuda
BENCH Shibasaki, Inoue, Sato, Shibasaki, Fujita
Fast squad.........run them to death.
Sunday, April 29, 2007
The second goal against Vortis had me in awe of Tsuchiya and in shock at the inept game Takagi had.
Might as well give you a little taste of what happened in Tosu
The combination of Funakoshi and Iio combined to put up no shots in 90 minutes
Hulk and Diego notched their 4th yellows, thereby forcing them to sit against Mito
Nagai, who usually would sub in for Kanazawa/Sato/Ono instead came in for the Brazilian Buffalo and immediately set up Kanazawa for the equalizer.
In games where Verdy allows 2 goals, their record is 0-1-6
Verdy dropped to 8th place behind Cerezo. If Sagan and Tokushima win on Thursday and Verdy loses by a couple, they will drop to 11th place.
That was the 6th loss in a row for Verdy and WA-Rui Ramos
More to follow tomorrow
Saturday, April 28, 2007
DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Sugawara
MF ZE LUIS HATTORI
FW Hulk Funakoshi
BENCH: Takagi, Tomisawa,Nagai, Shibasaki, IIO
Frankly the bench leaves me speechless. Hiramoto, Saito, Inoue, and Hiroyama were all left back in Tokyo so they could take Senor NoShots instead. I guess we should also get used to seeing the Brazilian Buffalo playing out of position on the wing for the full 90 minute shift. The good news is that Yoshihara has a chance to steal the keeper position away from Takagi or at least pressure him to play better.
Of note for the home squad is Verdy signee Leonardo, who was with the squad for about 20 seconds.
Anyhow, well see how the team does today with the more eclectic lineup.
Friday, April 27, 2007
The other game
A freefalling Verdy side ventures south to face the only team arguably more disappointing than them in the current campaign. Sagan Tosu has put on a putrid display, neither being proficient on offense or competent on defense. After allowing a more than respectabe 49 goals in 48 games last year, Tosu has already given up 23 in 10. Three times this season, the squad has given up 5 goals to opponents. Theoretically, Verdy and the weapons they possess should have a field day against Tosu.........Unfortunately, we've seen the difference between being excellent on paper and being excellent on the pitch. Tosu enters this game without their big Brazilian offseason acquisition, Anderson, who is suspended because of yellow card accumulation.
Tosu showed signs of life with a hearty 1-1 tie against a slowly evolving Kyoto squad. Verdy meanwhile has many questions surrounding them after a 5 game streak in which they haven't had a lead or shown competence in the back line. A distressing sign for the squad is the injury to MF anchor Hiroshi Nanami, who left after 14 minutes of play. Speculation is that Harutaka Ono will slot into Nanami's spot and play his more natural role as a central midfielder.
Potential Verdy lineup
DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Ichiyanagi Hattori
MF ZE Luis Ono
FW Hulk Hiramoto
Bench: Yoshihara, Inoue, Nagai, Sugawara, Fujita
How to beat Tosu
This squad is tailor made to help Verdy break the slump. They have a porous defense that allows oppositions to get off a lot of shots. If Verdy can get an early lead and keep the pressure on, they could theoretically get 7 in this game. IF THEY WANT IT. On the other hand, if Tosu gets the upper hand early, it could downhill fast. Verdy must pressure and get bodies up. Hattori and Fukuda must improve their distribution and clearing. Hulk must recreate the magic of early season. And Diego has to contribute SOMETHING. Anyhting less than 3 points will show that this squad has given up and they might as well blow up the team and start over because there is something fundamentally flawed in their makeup.
Go THESPA-until the Hairdo is shown the door.
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Letting up 2 goals in the first 20 odd minutes after doing the same thing in the last game is pathetic. 5 yellow cards is pathetic after having those issues 2 games ago is pathetic. Being outscored 15-5 is pathetic. Starting a bloated MF in the wrong position and letting him stall the offense is pathetic.
I didn't know what else to do, so until the Rui era in J2 has ended, this will be a "THESPA KUSATSU" blog..........Why Thespa Kusatsu? I got no friggin clue. Until Rui either rights this listing ship or quits......you will see a header and pictures featuring Thespa Kusatsu. Ohhhh, I'll still blast Verdy and give you the same news updates, but it will be blue in protest.
Do the right thing, Ramos.........GET OUT!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
A statement game. After the first 20 minutes the statement was loud and clear.............WE QUIT. 16 minutes after kickoff, a series of putrid backpasses, poor clearances, and awful goalkeeping led to 3 goals for Consadole. The only thing keeping Verdy in the game was spirited play and good offense from two previously forgotten players in Shin Kanazawa and Youzo Funakoshi. The two fresh recruits combined on the first goal to give Verdy a spark of life.
The second half saw a renewed Verdy attack fight back to grab a tie on a PK by Hulk and the second goal of the day for Kanazawa. Tied up only to see Consadole strike against a porous Verdy defense harkening back to last year. 4-3 and now Verdy sits in 7th.
The most losses in a row last year for a far less talented squad? 4. The most goals allowed in a game? 4.
The good news for Verdy is that the easier part of the schedule is coming up. Granted,no game is easy but facing 4 of the top teams in the league back to back (3 of 4 on the road) is a rough call that will be alleiviated with upcoming games against the bottom three teams in the league. Anyhting short of 7 points might get Ramos fired.
It was amazing how badly the "character" guys played in this match. Tomisawa is always bound to stink up a match but the breakdowns by Tsuchiya and Hattori were incredible. Hattori especially was indefensible.
Speed on the wings, power up top......3 goals, 14 shots. Somehow, I think there is no way Diego gets moved out of his position on the wing.....no matter how ineffective he is.
I'm guessing Fukuda is probably going to be the scapegoat for yesterday and we will see Kaimoto in his place. Because I'm sure Hattori and Nanami are untouchable as well. I fear Hagimura is coming soon.
Hiramoto made his first appearance which was good. What I didn't understand is the removal of the only effective offensive weapon on the day at a goal down. Why take out Kanazawa when Diego is offering nothing? Again.
The Rui deathwatch is in full effect
The clock is ticking
The satelittes had a game against Shobi University and were victorious 5-2.
Hiroyama, Inoue, Iio, and Yoshitake (2) all notched goals.
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Lots of stuff fell through the cracks this week so let's get to it!
First off-Highlights from last weeks stinkfest in Shonan.........no highlights of the red cards but some stinkers when it comes to clearance.
Naoki Mihara becomes the 4th player with Verdy connections to put on the shirt of 4th division Fagiano Okayama. Mihara is a 19 year old defender who went through the Verdy youth program before signing with the big club. Mihara never got into the first team so this is a good chance for him to get some competitive footy under his belt.
Verdy took on JEF United reserves and the second string of Yokohama FM this week and had mixed results. Shin Kanazawa and Nozomi Hiroyama tallied three goals between the two of them to up end the Chiba squad 3-1. Yokohama stuck it to the lads in green with a mirror result of 3-1. Hiroyama managed to notch the lone goal for Verdy, begging the question......Does Rui even know Hiroyama is on the team?
Rui gets a vote of confidence
Nikkan sports reports that Verdy's chairman gave Ramos a vote of confidence after the recent three game slump. The chairman said that changing the manager now would make things worse.
Drop below Thespa and I think it would be Okada time.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
I am happy to present to you the Kyoto Sanga blog
Unfortunately, he doesn't have a comment section because I'd give him some stick for Kyoto coming in and beating up poor Rui.
Anyhow, Gora....Welcome to the J Blogosphere
2007 Wins 4 Ties 1 Losses 3 goals for 15 goals against 11 +4
2006 Wins 6 Ties 0 Losses 2 goals for 16 goals against 11 +5
Leading scorers 2007 Hulk 7, Funakoshi 3
Leading scorers 2006 Basilio 7, Hiramoto 6
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Let's peruse the candidates
Seitaro Tomisawa- If Ze Luis is banged up, I'm guessing Tomisawa will stay in the DMF spot. Had a bit of trouble clearing in the Shonan game which helped contribute to two of the goals.
Koijiro Kaimoto- Actually, he'd move into Hattori's spot and Hattori would presumably move to the center position. Not crazy about this but it would give a boost to distribution from the back and I think Hattori could adapt.
Yugo Ichiyanagi- It'd be a good chance for the youngster that makes sense. Probably zero chance of happening.
Shigenori Hagimura- DING!DING!DING! We have a loser......been waiting to see what excuse Rui uses to get one of his favorite cronies in the starting 11 and this one looks like a golden opportunity.
Tomo Sugawara- Shockingly mediocre in the Shonan game after coming on for Nanami.....2 men down you have to be better on the clearances.
Shin Kanazawa- He's been practicing in the back and having good runs in training. Rui has seemingly forgot about him, though.
Eugene Killoran-Could we see the young Irishman play his match in green? Not likely.
There is also a bench spot up for grabs- Nozomi Hiroyama, Masaki Saito, Kanazawa, Iio, Hiramoto......all possibilities.
I don't dare delve into the mind of Rui......it's much too murky!
FC Ryukyu signs a Verdy alum
Takuya Sato signed up with FC Ryukyu on the 13th after spending time with Verdy in 2006. Sato makes a homecoming of sorts as he was signed from the Okinawa side at the start of the 2006 campaign. Sato failed to mark last year and probably is at his level of play in Ryukyu.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
After two crushing defeats to 2006 relegation victims Avispa Fukuoka and Kyoto Sanga FC, Verdy finds itself staring straight at the well rested and very physical squad from Hiratsuka, Shonan Bellmare.
Shonan was expected to make a push towards promotion after adding some quality back line players. Anchoring the middle of the Shonan defense are two veterans from J1 wars, career Shimizu man Toshihide Saito and former FC Tokyo anchor Jean Carlo Witte. Both have been as good as advertised as Shonan has seen an early season improvement from last years sievelike defense.
The problem with Bellmare this year has been on the offensive side. Last year's big gun, Adiel, has been efficient in setting up the offense but there has been a dearth of targets for the shifty midfielder to get the ball to. Currently Adiel is the only real threat to consistently score for the Sea Kings.
Bellmare seems to be a better offensive squad at home. They've notched all 5 of their goals at Hiratsuka. Verdy meanwhile seems to be less effective defensively on the road, letting up goals in every road contest they've appeared in.
GK Kim Young
DF Murayama Saito Jean Omata
MF Nakamachi Sakamoto
FW Ishihara Hara
DF Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori
MF Nanami Ze Luis
FW Iio Hulk
I gotta admit I'm not excited about seeing this lineup at all tomorrow. I don't understand the thinking behind it, I don't know what Rui hopes to accomplish with this lineup. Actually it looks like he did a pre-season version of Weekly Soccer Magazines best 11 and slotted the guys in. I'm gonna take a different approach to today's preview.
What will Shonan do?
1. Bully Hulk- by now, the league is aware that the best way to stop Hulk is to hit him with the biggest central defender you can find. Because Verdy has gone with 2 small forwards in Iio and Inoue, opposition does not have to stay honest with the second striker. they can cheat with a mid or wingback and not pay for it. Jean and Saito will take turns using their physicallity and veteran guile on the mercurial striker and hope he blows a gasket resulting in a red card. If I'm Shonan, I put him on the ground every chance I get.
2. Exploit the wings- El Golazo had a humourous look comparing Kashiwa Diego to the Diego of today. They, like me, questioned his physical condition and his position on the wing. If I'm Shonan, I get Adiel and Kato to attack the sides. Make Tsuchiya and Togawa come all the way out and counterpunch. Ono came back and had a nice game for Verdy offensively. Defensively, the team was punished by the attacking midfielder Taakaki Tokushige who ran roughshod over the wings. For Avispa, Alex had the dangerous runs. the key for Shonan is to get the ball to Adiel and let him use his skill to exploit the wings.
3. Get Takagi moving- Wednesday was a rough game for for the Verdy keeper as he let in 3 goals against an opportunistic Kyoto side. The normally reliable spine of Verdy broke down on a couple of occasions to get the lanky keeper trapped in isolation plays. If Shonan can get some quality shots on goal, they can use the MF to clean up long rebounds and deflections.
What will Verdy do?
1. Try and free up Hulk- If Verdy decides to go with the small second forward, it will be imperative for the two attacking midfielders to clog up the middle. Diego needs to do most of the heavy lifting on this one by taking up space and putting pressure on Saito or Jean to cover him. He also is going to need to be the big target in the middle that is lacking without Funakoshi.
2. Nanami and Ze Luis need to control the middle- The best way to make sure the opposition doesn't score is to not let them have the ball. Ze Luis and Nanami have to make sure they are making good passes and covering the sides when Shonan try to exploit the lack of speed on the middle.
3. Togawa and Fukuda have to be flawless- Shonan would love this to be a 1-0 game. An early mistake by either of the back line juniors and Shona will do all they can to take the air out of the ball. Togawa and Fukuda have to play clean games with no mental breakdowns.
4. Clean up the rebounds- Both sides, get the ball and score on deflections and bounces.
It's very important that Verdy gets the offense back on track tomorrow. Consadole awaits and they don't let up points easily. I will be attending the game and I don't want to see inept play after a 2 hour train trek. Sack up!
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The big adjustment was taking out Sato and putting in Ono and keeping Iio up top.
7 shots total. The middle broke down, the midfield couldn't control the ball and the speed of Kyoto looked to be too much for the wings.
Bad game, stinker, move on....I'm not gonna spend time analyzing it.
Here are the highlights
The last time a beer drinking monkey and a grizzled tough guy hit America, it was cinematic magic! Edmundo is gonna score Every which way but loose baby!
Monday, April 09, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Saw the game ,agreements and disagreements.We weren`t creamed by any stretch of the imagination,Avispa had two periods of extreme pressure one in which they scored and one in which they didn`t but for the most part it was an even game.Their first goal was a CRACKER nobodys fault, just an excellent peice of skill (you`ll see when you get the highlights) our goal was dumb luck (and the Aussie defender trying to chest the ball back to his keeper from the 6 yard box...duuuh!!) to be fair to the bloke, he tried his damndest to make up for it, can obviously hit a pass and is full of running.They had more shots than us but the problem with stats is that they are just STATS they don`t show the true nature of the game.A draw would have been fair at the end of the day, however Tomisawa popped up with some kind of penalty offence in the 93rd minute on a fast breakaway that the TV cameras couldnt keep up with(the tv replay was entirely inconclusive...) however the other defenders and Takagi didn`t protest for a second, so unfortunately I can only pressume the ref was on the mark.Up stepped Alex to beat Takagi (though only just...) and the points went South. Takagi still dumbfounds me!! On one hand he made a SUPERB one handed save that looked a certain goal and on the other he punched a waiste height cross straight to an oncoming forward to have a clean strike on goal! He is consistently inconsistent.Not our day today boys,but next week is ours!!GREEN!GREEN!GREEN!GREEN!!ps my agreement is that Iio isn`t up to much,he had one early crack on goal and after that was anonymous at least Funakoshi is anonymous then scores!! At the moment we have one route to goal (Hulk) if he`s knackered, so are we!!
Good point on the stats.......I also missed it on the PK.....READ HERE
the peno came off a foul by Tomisawa on Alex,it was a deep cross from the left,ball comes across Alex runs through the centre,cross beats everyone but Alex is lieing on the floor in a heap when the camera cuts back...as usual on Japanese "replays" you don`t see the controversial offside/peno/across theline or not decision.The foul for the PK isnt on the highlights reel...
As always, I encourage different points of view and CORRECTIONS so send em in. Thanks again Nick for setting me straight on the game!
Tsunami's squad gets out of their funk against Sagan
Cerezo blog posted rumors earlier about Tsunami possibly being on the chopping block if Cerezo didn't get a result against Sagan Tosu yesterday. It seems the team took the rumor to heart as they overwhelmed the little southern squad. Goals were scored by Ze Carlos, Noriyuki Sakemoto, and Tatsuya Furuhashi to post a convincing 3-0 win. Verdy rental Leonardo got run with two consecutive yellows 17 minutes after being subbed in. The loss helped Sagan post a league worst 11 goals allowed in 6 games as well as putting up a league worst 2 goals scored.
I'll have a preiew of Sanga after the matches today.
From what I can surmise........
The first goal saw Yamagata completely undress Fukuda and put a high one just over the outstretched hands of of Takagi. Great individual move and a good lesson for the young man......If Ruy doesn't decide that Shigenori Hagimura could do a much better job first.
Fukuda??? gave a nice feed to Hulk, who sent it to the center of the box and off the chest of hapless Alvin Ceccoli. Ball looked like a rocket. It seems Hulk always brings his game, even when the rest of the squad lags.
The PK came off a hand ball, I think, If you look at the footage of Tomisawa, Alex, and Tsuchiya going up for the header it looks as though Tomisawa gets his hand on it. Stupid mistake and really unneccessary, but his back was turned so you do what you gotta do.
Had to happen sooner rather than later.
I won't post the lineups again, you can see them above
Verdy entered today with a wonderful chance to distance themselves from an early season favorite who has struggled to get their gameplan together. Rui Ramos decided to change things up by taking out the gigantic talisman, Yuzo Funakoshi. Funakoshi was coming off his worst performance of the season against Leonardo and a Montedio side who used force and muscle to counteract the physicality of Verdy's attack.
Instead, Ramos went with a very small and quick option in former Avispa man Kazunori Iio. On a certain level, it made sense. Avispa is very vulnerable on the wings and theoretically, Iio would be the best person to know how to exploit the weaknesses of a team he trained and fought with for a good amount of time.
Boy, was that a stupid mistake. Unfortunatly by doing this, Avispa was allowed to put their big centerback Shinya Kawashima predominately on Hulk. Without the enormous presence of the 195cm striker, Avispa could focus on the one big presence up front. The new, more frail offense was barely able to put up a fight against the Avispa side, losing the battle in the midfield as well as managing an anemic 5 shots on the whole game. Avispa meanwhile was able to tee up 14 shots. Corner kicks were even more lopsided as Avispa earned 11 of the precious spot kicks to a mere 2 for Verdy. In fact, Avispa had control of the ball for about 60 percent of the game.
Scoring started early in this as Kyohei Yamagata struck gold in the 11th minute of play. Fortunes seemed to be turning in Verdy's favor though when former Sydney FC man Alvin Ceccoli continued his string of misfortune by misplaying a clear into his own net.
Verdy withstood the barrage of Avispa shots until the final minute of play, when Seitaro Tomisawa was whistled for a yellow and Alex was awarded a penalty kick. Not much of a chance for verdy as the great Karmic PK wheel rolled in favor of Verdy opposition today. 2-1 Avispa and very now finds itself in danger of slipping away from a Vegalta side focused on advancement.
Much speculation was done in this column, if anybody has an eyewitness version, please write in and tell us what happened.
If you've been reading this blog regularly, you already know my feelings about Kazunori Iio. I don't want to harp on him again......obviously, the brain trust sees something in him that I don't. And, I'm not sure if Funakoshi was injured today or just pulled because they were disappointed with his play in the past game. I'm not going to speculate.
What I will criticize is the system that allows the opposing defense to body up on Hulk with no repurcussion from the other striker. If you really want to put Iio in, put him on the wing and move Diego up top or better yet have him come off the bench after pummeling the opposition with two big Brazilians. Start Ono again on the wing if you want a two way player. Give Nagai the start, or GOD FORBID give a look to Hiroyama or Saito who both are more physical and better at ball control than Iio.
Not only did Ramos take an option off the table by putting in Iio, he neutralized the effectiveness of Taira Inoue, who provides a completely different look to Funakoshi off the bench but plays the exact same style as Iio.
I understand wanting to shake things up. Verdy has regressed this season from a high of 5 goals in game 1 to 3,2,2,1 and a fortunate own goal 1 performance today. And judging by the stats, it looks like everybody got manhandled today.
Still, I doubt that I'm the only one who looked at the lineup and saw a slightly built striker with dubious finishing skills and porous control and thought, F@#$, It's gonna be a long day.
The machine was built with one wheel....the only place it could've gone was downhill.
Youtube clips will be posted when I can dredge them up!
Friday, April 06, 2007
MF Kudo---Nunobe---Tanaka---R. Yamagata
MF Diego-----Nanami----Ze Luis-----Sato
FW Hulk @#$%&!
Iio got the call to the first team. Awful decision. I'm afraid Rui is starting to mess with the lineup again. I fear the changes if Verdy loses today.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Pink Derby Cerezo vs Sagan- Two of J2's most disappointing squads take the field for a battle of bottom dwellers. Both teams are relatively punchless up front especially after losing star strikers. Sagan has settled down defensively after a dreadful debut. Cerezo is still on their 2 goal a game pace.
Yamagata vs Ehime- Yamagata tries to bounce back after a couple of disappointing results. Ehime just tries to scrape up what was left of their confidence.
Shonan vs Tokushima- So, Shonan is not as bad as they have been playing and Tokushima aren't as good yet Shonan keeps embarrasing me. Shame on you Shonan.
Mito VS Kyoto- The last minute win against Avispa means nothing if Kyoto can't get a result in Ibaraki. Mito has been dreadful at home against talented clubs and Kyoto is talented.
3-0 Kyoto (sorry Vendo!)
Vegalta vs Consadole- Game of the weekend 1 vs 2(b). Vegalta seems to be on a roll and have far more weapons than Consadole have seen all year. Surprisingly Vegalta has yet to win at home this year. Consadole meanwhile has a great scoreless streak going at the moment, albeit against the weaker sisters of J2. Consadole hopes to prove that they truly belong in contention for promotion and a win here would go a long to proving that.
Not gonna happen
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Best Coach-Toshiya Miura SG Comments-Never thought I'd say this about Miura but I agree, he's done a great job of getting apreviously offensive squad to buy into a defensive mindset.
FW Hulk (VERDY 6.7) I don't think anybody in their right mind would disagree with this selection. 2 more games and he ties the Verdy and J2 record for consecutive goals scored.
FW Genki Nakayama (Consadole Sapporo 6.0) It's a little difficult justifying an offensive player for a team scoring 1 goal a game. Better than the 2 Kyoto strikers or someone from Avispa or Vegalta or even big Fukunishi? Really?
MF Adiel (Shonan Bellmare 6.33), Jonilson (Vegalta Sendai 6.08), Tadahiro Akiba (Thespa Kusatsu 6.38), Ryan Yong Gi (Vegalta Sendai 6.58) All these players are good ones, and it's hard to argue against any of them but I think Lopes deserves some consideration in this.
DF Alex (Avispa Fukuoka 6.1), Yukio Tsuchiya (VERDY 6.5), Yushi Soda (Consadole Sapporo 6.17), Toshihiro Hattori (VERDY 6.3)- Leonardo of Montedio gets a bit of a raw deal here because in Avispas system Alex is more of a MF than a DF
GK Junnsuke Schneider (Vegalta Sendai 6.08) This one kind of bothers me, I think Takahiro Takagi's 5 consecutive shutouts are far more impressive than the performances of Schneider. Heck, Schneider might even be behind the other Takagi as well.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Attendance figures http://ameblo.jp/giggs/
Giggs has info on this year's attendance
Verdy up 2000+ from last season
順 team this year last year change
01 Vegalta 15,736. 14,453 +1,283 △
02 Consadole 10,612. 10,478 +134 △
03 Avispa 8,449. 13,780 -5,331 ▼
04 VERDY 8,136 5,705 +2,431 △
05 Sagan 7,983 7,465 +518 △
06 Cerezo 5,762. 13,026 -7,264 ▼
07 Kyoto 5,628 9,781 -4,153 ▼
08 Shonan 5,053 5,365 -312 ▼
09 Yamagata 4,593 5,085 -492 ▼
10 Tokushima 4,284 3,477 +807 △
11 Ehime 4,106 4,139. -33 ▼
12 Mito 3,097 3,017. +80 △
13 Thespa 2,669 3,736 -1,067 ▼
So Verdy has had the biggest bump in attendance after losing the most fanbase last campaign. Mito also inches past the free falling Thepsa support squad to become the second least biggest team in J2.
Anyhow, Verdy took the field against a scrappy Montedio side bound and determined to stop the Goal scoring machine known as Hulk. Was it a case of the Irresistable Force meeting the Immovable object or would this game confound all expectations?
Let's get to it!
Fukuda Tsuchiya Togawa Hattori
Sato Ze Luis Nanami (Tomisawa) Sato(Nagai)
Funakoshi (Inoue) Hulk
It only took 4 minutes for Hulk to make his mark as the burly goal hanger split the defense and drove into the box. Montedio stalwart Leonardo grabbed the striker by the arm in the box and pulled him into the onrushing keeper for a yellow and a penalty. Montedio netminder Kenta Shimizu had no chance as Hulk calmly put it in. The rest of the half would see more of a wrestling match as both teams were content to grab and hold.
The second half looked much like the first until the 60 minute mark, when Taira Inoue and Hideki Nagai were inserted for Sato and Funakoshi. Quick bursts of speed and harassment of the Montedio keeper were the weapons of choice for the energetic young Inoue, who nearly broke through in the 80th minute. Inoue managed to get the ball free from Montedio and take a shot that was deflected by Shimizu. Inoue managed to get the rebound and shoot on a goal free of the prone Montedio keeper. A heady play by one of the back 4 denied Inoue a chance for glory but another deflection went to the trailing Nagai. Unfortunately, Nagai hesitated and wound up his shot, allowing Montedio to deflect the third and stay out of danger.
On the other side, Yoshinori Takagi dove to make an outstanding save on a rocket shot by Montedio striker Tomotaka Kitamura. 1-0 final and a perfectly clean sheet at home for Verdy
Diego did look more lively and in control. His moves weren't so telegraphed and he was distributing much better. Nanami was having a nightmare of a game offensively however as he sprayed errant passes left and right.
Leonardo is one strong dude. He was manhandling Funakoshi and knocking the snot out of Hulk all game. He's a really good centerback who the refs let get physical. That being said, I liked the game Funakoshi played today. He didn't get any shots but he was always in the mix and wore down the center so Inoue could hit with quick bursts.
The one thing I absolutely LOVED today was the second striker (Funakoshi and Inoue) constantly rushing the keeper when Montedio backpassed to him. Inoue was close to prying the ball loose for an open net on one occasion. I don't understand why teams don't do it more. I think it serves a purpose DEFENSIVELY because it rushes the keeper into a quick decision and messes up the distribution.
The field was really slick on the visitors end.
Takagi looks like a completely different keeper.......And I'm not talking about his bleach blond Madonnaesque haircut either. The guy is commanding his box and you can see the confidence. His punches have a purpose unlike last year and he hasn't really been out of position.
Hulk didn't want to pass yesterday............it was the worst game I've seen him play so far. He was still a monster on his one man drives but it would have been nice to see him dish off to the open man a coule of times.
Finally, my man of the match was DF Kensuke Fukuda. He was constantly getting my attention with his forays into the defensive middle, breaking up plays and covering for Togawa and Tsuchiya. Great game by the youngster.
Next up is a battle with Fukuoka down south. A very important contest for 2 reasons. One, it would push Avispa back even deeper into the abyss of J2. Secondly, Vegalta and Consadole battle it out on Sunday.
Former player sightings
Yuhei Ono signed with lower division squad Fagiano Okayama on March 30th. Ono becomes the third Okayama man with ties to Verdy, joining Kohei Kiyama and Kenta Tsurumaki.
Saturday- Consadole VS Cerezo- Consadole's Caue scored one late in this game as Sapporo stretched their cleansheet streak to 5 full games. Satoshi Tsunami's men managed to get 11 corner kicks out of this affair but could not seem to crack the defense of Toshiya Miura and friends. 1-0 Consadole
SpaceMaruMaru has an in depth report in both Japanese and English here: http://www.consadole.net/masamaru/article/162#comment
(This is a great site dedicated to Consadole as well....I'll give you a link to it later!)
Thespa VS Shonan- Looking at the scoreline, you could have taken a nap, talked on your keitai, gone to the snack bar, shopped for souveniers, and read a book for the first 89 minutes of the contest and you wouldn't have missed much. Minute 90 however was a cracker as Thepsa struck not once but twice to score the upset over the hapless Bellmare. Mr. Thespa, Nobuhito Toriizuka had the deciding goal. FW Ryoji Ujihara put the exclamation point in moments later.
Sunday Games-Tokushima VS Mito- Not really sure what happened in this one......it was a 0-0 deadlock. Maybe our friend Vendo will have more details later.
Ehime VS Vegalta- I always seem to call one predicted score right on the button and today this was it. Ehime was crushed into Mikan Juice by Vegalta 4-0. Hiroki Bandai chipped in two and Ryan Yong Gi had 2 assists as Vegalta made a statement after a disappointing 1-1 tie. Yuki Nakashima and Lopes also contributed with a goal and an assist. Vegalta held their thin lead over Verdy with the win. 4-0
Game of the DAY- Kyoto VS Avispa- A closely contested battle which went down to the final minute. After Paulinho and Avispa's Seiji Koga each notched goals in the second half. The game looked like it would end in a one all tie but Kyoto's other big Brazilian striker Andre hit in the 44th minute of the second half to seal the deal. 2-1 Kyoto and a sigh of relief for Sanga fans everywhere.
I'll have the report of Verdy's 1-0 win tonight or tomorrow.
So here are the standings
Vegalta 6 games 4-2-0 14 pts +8 GD
VERDY 5 games 4-1-0 13 pts +10 GD
Consadole 6 games 4-1-1 13 pts +4 GD
Kyoto 6 games 2-3-1 9 pts +2 GD
Thespa 6 games 2-3-1 9 pts +1 GD
Avispa 5 games 2-1-2 7 pts +6 GD
Shonan 6 games 1-3-2 6 pts -2 GD
Tokushima 6 games 1-3-2 6 pts -3 GD
Montedio 5 games 1-2-2 5 pts -1 GD
Ehime 6 games 1-2-3 5 pts -6 GD
Sagan 5 games 1-1-3 4 pts -6 GD
Cerezo 5 games 1-0-4 3 pts -5 GD
Mito 5 games 0-2-3 2 pts -6 GD