Friday, May 02, 2008


Since the days of JSL, a long standing rivalry has been in effect between the two entities known as Yokohama F Marinos and Tokyo Verdy. It was only fitting that the very first J League game was played between the former Nissan FC and Yomiuri FC. On that first day, Verdy got the first goal but Yokohama got the win. 32 league matches later, Verdy finds itself on the short end of the rivalry and a definite underdog for tomorrow's match.

So after a two year plus hiatus, the Classico is back on. While some of the shine is off the rivalry with the additions of Kawasaki Frontale and FC Tokyo, not to mention the rapid decline of Verdy and the slow fade of Marinos, don't be fooled into thinking that both teams don't care about the win. This is a rivalry.

Currently, 3 players for the Tricolore once donned green, including the superb NT defender Yuji Nakazawa, who left for Yokohama under circumstances that will never be forgiven amongst the old soldiers in the stands. Verdy counters with recent signing, DF Daisuke Nasu, who has been a bright spot amongst a disappointing class of reinforcements.

Both squads play a triangle type of offense with large Brazilian mids serving as the rudder for the offense (Marinos-Lopes, Verdy-Diego). Both have Brazilian forwards who have been disappointing so far. The difference between the two is the quality of the midfield. Yokohama has relied on speed and good ball control to keep the team going. Verdy meanwhile has struggled to ingrain the former FC Tokyo man Takashi Fukunishi into the scheme comfortably. Recently, fans have seen the reemergence of former J2 captain Harutaka Ono into the plans of Hashiratani and company and the results (1 win and 1 tie) have been promising.

Anyhow, the potential lineup (according to El Golazo and Yahoo.Jp) looks a little like this

Hulk Leandro


Ono Fukunishi


Hattori Nasu Tsuchiya Wada



Yuzo Funakoshi and Kojiro Kaimoto are both being shut down for 3 months due to various injuries. Nothin else to say, really.......I'm sure Nick is heartbroken.

Finally, that Takuya Yamada uniform is still up for sale with NO BIDS.........I'm shocked and frankly disappointed that no one here has put up the cash for that little treasure. I'm also mildly contemplating attending the match on the 18th between Verdy and Shimizu.....which has been pushed back to 6pm because somebody tried to blow up Chofu I guess..............I gotta be honest, I'm not really against blowing up's far and I don't like it that much. I'd rather they play in that place that holds 5000 people and has one bathroom.


Anonymous said...

Ill take Chofu just above the Olympic just cos it has a roof. History schmistory, if its raining you get is better at Olympic though, big cans instead of little for only 100yen more. Access is better for most at Olympic as its more central but there is still no roof. My first 2 ever J League games were at Olympic Stadium and on neither occasion was there a roof. First time out didn`t matter as it was a sunny day and I saw the non entity that was Tokyo Gas v Jef United. I thought the J league was crap on this day. My new foriegner, fresh off the boat snobbery saw to that. From the "You`ll never walk alone" Tokyo Gas song to the Kharmachameleon Amaral chant.Nonsense I thought. The game was pretty poor that day, can`t remember the score and the difference in atmosphere from an English game was astounding to me. Orchestrated singing no sponteneity, no goading the poor plays/referees or EVEN the opposition.All very strange and not particularly of interest to me..or so I thought.Fast forward to a windswept stinker of an evening later in typhoon season of that year and it was Verdy v Reysol, still no roof and an equally crap game being played out in front of an extremely sparse crowd. The Verdy "singers" were split into 2 camps the main guy(s) with the drum(s) were in the middle singing the usual and a samba band who only struck up if Verdy were attacking were on the left. I was freezing my derier off that night so bought 2 t shirts from the stand closest to me, the Verdy one, also I had heard of Edmundo and Verdy were moving to Chofu soon, so they would be closest to where I lived at the time making them one of my local teams. Ive been going ever since and while the atmosphere is still not the same as an English game, it is just as enjoable in a Japanese kind of way. Fans can mix together in the safe knowledge that some lunkhead isn`t going to start throwing half-enders amongst a crowd of opposition supporters.Millwall bricks don`t exist at all. You can enjoy a few beers, before, DURING and after the game in a realxed atmosphere. The standard of play isn`t as high as some of the high end European leagues, but so what?? Its at least on a par with some of the lower leagues and of a better quality than the lowest divisions in England. Ive stood watching Wolves in the fourth division in a tense atmosphere on a crumbling terrace in the middle of January, and Ive also sat and watched Verdy in J2 in the comfort of Ajinomoto stadium in summer with a beer in my hand in a relaxed atmosphere. Now tell me the J League is crap?? I slap myself at my former snobbery!! Yeah we have orchestrated singing, pin drop atmosphere when the singing stops,diving ballerinas on the field, crap referees, not the best players in the world, ridiculous team names and NO ROOF AT THE NATIONAL STADIUM!!! I give a monkeys not!! Football is football and if there was a team of Tibetan monks playing a team of Peruvian goat herders, I think I`d give it a watch. It`s all about the drama. The stories and the inner feeling of wishing I could be out there myself showing them how its done!! Long the Classico and well done to the J League for actually bringing football to the country 15 years ago. Where the heck were you guys for the previous 100 years??!! Ah yes baseball.....2nd place within 25 years I think. 2nd place in Saitama already!!

dokool said...

I kinda liked Olympic Stadium. Rain builds character.

What's this about blowing up Chofu?

Ultranippon said...

It was very funny to read your post, nick!

I like a lot J-League, as you said isn't as competitive than some European leagues but it's funny to see the games because teams usually play good football and there is a lot of goals (isn't the case of Verdy this season xD).

See you! Good luckfor this clasico :). come on Verdy! vamos Verdy!

Ultranippon said...

3-2! we won!

Great game for Verdy and Marinos! In my opinion anyone could win. It was a very intense match. Although Marinos had the iniciative Tokyo Verdy's counter-attacks was dangerous with the speed and quality of Hulk, Diego and Leandro. The last one seems to be with more confidence and made a good match attacking from the left side.

So 3-2, 7 points in 3 matches and the season looks a bit better. With this confidence Verdy can win anyone!

Vamos Verdy!

UltraVerdy said...

Fantastic win for us !
Winning a clasico, enough said... good stuff !
C'mon Verdy !

金太郎 said...

まさか家のエレベーターでフ ェ ラされるなんて思ってなかったよ。。ww
「ここでフ ェ ラさせてくれたらもっと報 酬あげるよ♪」

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