Sunday, December 02, 2007

Many things to say

Well, I didn't think he could do it but he did it.........after yesterdays 2-2 draw to Cerezo, it became official. Verdy will be in J1 next season. As one of Rui's biggest detractors, I must have a tasty plate of crow and admit that I was wrong. The best decision this season was not the addition of Diego, Tsuchiya, Hattori, etc. The best decision was not changing brands to Kappa. The best decision was not even letting the talented Hulk run wild over J2 while donning a green shirt. The best decision this season was by upper management, who bucked popular opinion and stuck with a very beleaguered coach after a disastrous 5-1 loss to Mito Hollyhock. It would have been easy for th team to quit on him, and it looked like they did at one point, but he got them back and led them to second place. Congratulations Verdy.......and congratulations Ramos.

On another note, the tabloids are in full swing on the story of Ramos stepping down as head man and actually stepping up to be the backroom Machiavelli as Technical Director. Tetsuji Hashiratani would take over the reigns as manager with I presume former Yokohama FC man Takuya Takagi stepping in as head coach (speculation on my part but I believe he is part of the organization as an advisor). I'm a bit dubious on ramos ability to spot talent but this makes sense on alot of levels knowing the tight-knit relationship between Hashiratani and Ramos. Wanna know how important the connection between the TD and the manager? Just look up the road to Omiya, where the relationship between Satoru Sakuma, Robert Verbeek, and key players who chafed under an ill-fitting system. It's a strange move but not a bad one. Also a nod to helping out a friend who has waited patiently for a shot.

One of the few dark spots on this year's campaign was the string of injuries and disappointing play of legendary MF Hiroshi Nanami. Yesterday's game saw the longtime Jubilo stalwart in a surprise start against his former team. Speculation is that Nanami will hang up his spikes after this year. One of the hardest things for great the old saying knowing when to quit.

Yokohama FC ends their J1 campaign on a VERY HIGH NOTE

All defending Champion Urawa had to do was not lose to Yokohama FC.......and they couldn't do it. Former Verdy MF Shingo Nejime scored off of a pass from Kazu Miura to notch the only goal on the day. Urawa had a heck of a week, losing their Emperor's Cup crown to a J2 squad and their J1 title to the worst team in J1 history...........Way to go Holger!

Two former Verdy players get the axe. MF Takashi Hirano and Vegalta GK Kyomitsu Kobari got their walking papers this week. Hirano played in 3 games for 15th place Omiya, scoring a sweet goal against Yokohama F Marinos. Kobari managed to get in 11 games after Junnsuke Schneider went down with an injury.

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