Or not so much actually. Shintaro Kano of the Daily Yomiuri had an interview with the coach who gave a less than stellar response.
While Hashiratani managed to keep his chin up after the draw, he didn't sound particularly enthusiastic about his team's future prospects for goals, with Verdy next traveling west to face Gamba Osaka in the league on March 30. The manager even seemed to be signaling SOS.
"I thought the boys fought hard for 90 minutes," the former Japan defender said. "But again, we just didn't have enough quality in front of goal.
"All I can say to the players is that we have to work harder in training. If we can get someone new, that would be great but it's not up to me to make that decision; it's the company's.
"All we can do is try to work better with what we're given."
The team did well in the offseason to build up the back 4 but one has to wonder if bringing in a complementary, assist oriented striker and a less than stellar midfielder to serve as a backup was the best use of resources for the team in regards to the foriegn player allocations. Starting to look like the J1 versions of Basilio and Anailson.
Meanwhile throwing the explosive personality of Hulk in the already unstable mix at Kawasaki Frontale has caused the team to arguably be the biggest disaster in the J League thus far. Frontale dropped another game to the lambs of the great north end in Sapporo yesterday, giving them an awful 1 point in 4 matches (League and Cup). Thankfully for them, Urawa has been the main story as front running flops.
The Heat Index
1. Kashima Antlers-ridiculous 21 goals in 4 matches and no signs of slowing down soon. Didn't Marquinhos used to play for Verdy?
2. Yokohama F Marinos- The tie against Omiya was predictable.......they haven't won against Omiya since Nabisco Cup 2005.
3. Oita Trinita-Shockingly at the top of the heap when almost everyone left them for dead. They will go as far as Ueslei's ancient legs and crotchety soul will take them.
4. Kyoto Sanga FC- who knew that Elevator Sanga would be the hot squad in the Kansai area. Even when they get down, they manage to claw their way back. Could make some noise in the Nabisco Cup.
5. Nagoya Grampus- Pixy has his boys off to a fine start and wins over Kobe and Urawa don't hurt at all. We'll see if they remain the Grampus of old or if the new gaffer has instilled some fighting spirit.
6. Vissel Kobe- Back to Back wins over Kawasaki and Urawa would be remarkable in any other season but this isn't any other season. If Leandro and Okubo are able to kick it up a notch, they have an outside chance to contend for the title.
7. FC Tokyo- Odd team, FC Tokyo. They look respectable right now but wait a few weeks and they will go cold again. Victories over Jubilo and Niigata really pose more questions than answers and getting run out at Shimizu doesn't look good. However Cabore and Emerson look like real players.
8. Shimizu S Pulse- Another up and down squad. Opening day disappointment against Oita followed by wins against less than stellar Chiba and FC Tokyo.
9. Omiya Ardija- Much improved over last seasons snorefest. Troubling signs involving their second half collapses to Albirex and Kyoto on the road. However, the home scoreless streak continues. Big tests against Shimizu and Nagoya ahead.
10. Jubilo Iwata- even though the squad has won twice, one wonders if this a team capable of competing in the upper levels. Filled with big names and NT perenialls. I think the crush will be on once the heart of World Cup qualifying starts. Smells like Sanfrecce.
11. Kashiwa Reysol- I'm sorry but you should never, ever let a lead go when your a man up against a team like Chiba. Ever. Not happy with you Kashiwa......not at all.
12. Gamba Osaka- Eeks in on the gutty performance in Korea. Somebody did something to Bare after his crushing of the Dynamo in Hawaii. Maybe he got the cursed tiki from one of the Brady boys and now he has to go find Vincent Price to take off the voodoo........or something like that.
This group sponsored by Kappa who could possibly see all three of their squads in J2 next year.
13. Tokyo Verdy-Scoring is nice and it helps you stay in J1. Try to find someone that can actually do it. Shades of Omiya 2007.
14. Consadole Sapporo- Big win yesterday against Kawasaki. Unfortunately that didn't come in a match that counts (league wise) so they are the early front runners to take the plunge. Takagi is back though so the dude with the really awful mullet can step away from the goal.
15. JEF Chiba- Kuse has the team playing a tight, lock down, drag out type of game which has netted them a creible 2 draws. Good coach.......so-so talent. We'll see if he can keep them above water.
16. Urawa Reds- The fans are pissed, the team is dysfunctional, the coach has been sacked. Yep, I'm in Heaven!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately we saw signs of them coming out of their funk with a hat trick by Edmilson against Kyoto in a 3-3 draw.
17. Kawasaki Frontale- Wow...........not pretty at all. I thought that Hulk wasn't gonna be a good fit but man........didn't think it would be this bad. The Tokyo tie was bad, the Kobe thrashing was worse, but that loss against Consadole had to take the cake.
18. Albirex Niigata- Omiya wishes they could play Niigata every week.....drubbings at the hands of Oita and FC Tokyo aren't helpful either. Should be helped by the eventual return of Richardes but will it be too late for coach Suzuki?