It finally hit the fan last night. Today reports out of Verdy camp are that Hulk has gone home to Brazil and has played his last game in the green of Tokyo.
It seems as though Hulk got upset at being taken out of the game and pulled away from Hashiratani after he tried to say good job, showing up his coach in the process.
After the game, the meeting between Hashiratani, Kato (the technical director), Team President Hagiwara and Constantine Teo (Hulk, Leandro, and Diego's representative) took place and it was agreed that Hulk would be finished as a Verdy player. Talks have been ongoing for the services of Hulk between Verdy and numerous clubs including Paris SG, who have reportedly put up a 4 million Euro bid (6.7 oku yen). Considering the team bought him for 5oku, you seriously have to consider it, especially since he has made himself known as poison to two clubs now.
While the big striker was contributing at a decent rate (7 goals in 11 games) and opening up chances for other players, his antics were starting to wear down the fabric of Verdy as a team. 90 minute Japanese only meetings, not showing up to practice, putting in petulant and substandard performances against Omiya and Kyoto. It came to the point where either Hashiratani had to go and numerous players who couldn't get along with Hulk or Hulk had to be severed from the squad. Hulk was the choice.
Now it appears that Verdy will have to find a player who can fill the void. Oguro is not the same type of player.....think more of a Washington type of ball hawk. Hiramoto can be, but doesn't show the desire to score on a consistent basis like Hulk. There's also a possibility of a new foreign player coming in during the transfer window......probably Brazilian and not half as good.
So now the team finds itself in 14th place, a collection of stars from yesteryear and youngsters not yet ready for primetime. Where will the goals come from? Who will be the catalyst? No one knows for sure, but this team is now going to have to actually be a team to win and not a collection of one fantastic talent and 10 hangers on.
Oh yeah.....3-2 Urawa on a hat trick by the douchebag.